Most people planning a trip somewhere new will think about the best place to go at their destination. I know I certainly look for what is the best value for money in hotel, sights and activities. If you’re planning a trip to Japan in the near future, or just wondering if there’s a new and interesting place to go, Specifically, the Kansai region of Japan is amazing, and definitely a place you should consider checking out.
Your first port of call should be Osaka. This city is quite central to the region and has some very cool hotels. One hotel that stands out in my mind is the four star Vista Premio Dojima. The room price is amazingly low for a four star hotel, and the hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the main train station in central Osaka.
Now this is where it gets interesting…the list of cool things to do from your base in Osaka is long. In fact you may have to pick and choose which you will do depending on how long you’ve got to stay here.
Check out Nara
First on your list – visit Nara. This city was the capital of Japan for most of the 8th century, and the cultural influences of that era have been well preserved giving the city an ancient feel that embodies most people’s impression of Japan. You definitely have to visit Nara Park while you’re here, and take some biscuits to feed to the deer.
The next day trip you can take is to Ise to see the famous Ise Shrine. There are three key times of the year that are really worth arranging your trip around. In early April, they host the Kagurasai Ceremony, in mid-July there is the Miya River Fireworks Festival, and at the end of September the fall version of the Kagurasai Ceremony.
Kobe is next on the list
Kobe is another great place to go on a day trip, especially if you enjoy shopping. Alternatively you can visit Kyoto and check out the tea houses, shrines, temples. In fact there is so much to see and do here, you might want to arrange to stay one or two nights.
Return to Osaka
Back in Osaka, there is no shortage of quirky things to see and do. One that I thought was fun and really unusual was a visit is just 20 minutes from downtown Osaka is the Instant Ramen Museum. Yes, it is a museum dedicated to the pot noodle that we all ate while in University. You can go on a tour of the factory, and then design your own cup, soup flavour and noodles, making your very own personal cup of noodles to take home as a souvenir. Talk about a unique way to remember your Japanese vacation!
This is just a very short list of the amazing and quirky things you can do if you visit Osaka. If you’ve got a special place you enjoyed visiting here, leave a comment and let everyone know about it.