Many often visit Kyoto to witness its traditional sites situated in the bustling city. This includes countless temples, castles, and gardens that are carefully preserved during the time when Kyoto was Japan's capital. During our stay, my husband and I enjoyed visiting some of the well-known spots located in the downtown area, such as Nijo Castle, Gion District, and Arashiyama (see the blog post here!). Although there were many more places to see in the city proper, we knew that there was more out there in the Kansai region to explore. In this post, I am excited to share about Amanohashidate and Osaka, and Kanazawa and Tojinbo Cliffs next!
When my husband and I planned our itinerary for Kyoto Prefecture, we were surprised to find a gem like Amanohashidate - known as one of the three most scenic spots in Japan (in addition to Itsukushima Shrine from my previous post). Roughly translated as "Bridge to Heaven," Amanohashidate is a sandbar that spans about 3.5 km across the mouth of Miyazu Bay. Visitors can easily walk or rent a bike to cross the sandbar, while being surrounded by thousands of pine trees. We were refreshed to see a different side of the prefecture, and was an escape from the tourist-filled city of Kyoto. A highlight of this attraction was Kasamatsu Park, where there are options to either take the cable car or chair up to the mountain. We highly recommend taking the chair, since you can get a better view as you ascend upward!
Osaka Castle & Nishinomaru Garden
Osaka Castle is one of the most famous landmarks of Japan that is easily accessible and seen since the main tower is built on two raised platforms. Since it was the peak of cherry blossom season, we couldn't help but leisurely walk around the surrounding lawn of Nishinomaru Garden. The vast green space was filled with hundreds of blossoming trees and different varieties, and the best part was the park hours were extended to thoroughly enjoy this special occasion!
A prominent attraction in Osaka, Dotonburi runs along the canal and is a popular place to go to enjoy traditional to modern Japanese food. The area had a lively atmosphere at night, and is known to have a billboard of the iconic Glico running man. Takoyaki and okonomiyaki are popular food items associated with the city, and we personally recommend visiting Acchichi Honpo and Takohachi!