When we visited Kyoto we realized we could not see all the temples of the city. There are more than 1000! For this reason we had to make a research and choose some of them. We already wrote about the 7 best shrines in Kyoto. However, Kyoto is much more than temples and spirituality. It has a rich natural heritage. Although concrete and asphalt is everywhere, like in every Japanese city, there are many natural hideouts. In this post we write about our walk through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and our visit to the Arashiyama Monkey Park.
Nara was the capital of Japan during the Nara period (710-784). It was enough to build one of the most impressive buddhist temples in the world: the Todai-ji. It is also home of hundreds of deers and site of other impressive places, some of them free, that we explain in this post. It is an unmissable city in any trip in Japan. It is small enough to be visited in one day coming from the nearby cities of Osaka and Kyoto. Well connected by train in the region of Kansai, you won’t have any excuse to not come to Nara in your travel to Japan after reading these lines.
Although Japan might be one of the most interesting and culturally rich countries in the world, most travelers use to have a limited time to visit it. Thus, the aim of this post is to share the route that we completed when we discovered Japan in 2015. We have written a lot about this beautiful country in previous posts, but we wanted to give you a full idea of the kind of trip that we did and to prove that some of the main hotspots of the country can be seen in less than two weeks.
As we already explained in this post, when flying from Barcelona to Tokyo we did a stopover in Moscow that gave us some time to visit the city and the same happened in our trip back home. This means that we had less time for Japan due to the lenght of our stopovers. Nevertheless, in 11 days and thanks to the wonderful Japan Rail (JR) Pass we left Japan with a good number of must-see places in our bags.
We don’t know anyone that has been to Japan and doesn’t want to go back at some point. Japan is an amazing country and, although we are happy about the trip that we did in 2015, we know that someday we will return to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Tokyo, Kyoto and Miyajima are in the beaten track, but there are some other destinations that surely deserve a visit. An example of this is the city of Himeji, which has one of the most beautiful castles we’ve ever seen. Of course we love European medieval castles, but the Himeji Castle was something totally new for us. We felt as a Samurai when we saw it.
Himeji can be easily reached from Osaka in less than one hour by train, so why don’t you keep reading and add Himeji to your bucket list? 🙂
It seems that for first-timers in Japan Tokyo and Kyoto are the preferred destinations. However, in light of the expensiveness of the accommodation in Kyoto and taking into account the good connections of Osaka by Shinkansen (high-speed train), we decided to book three nights in Shin-Osaka Sunny Stone Hotel, a hotel located just 10 minutes walking from the Shinkansen station.
From there, and using our Japan Rail Pass, we could visit Hiroshima and Miyajima and went back to Kyoto, where we already had spent two nights, to visit some temples that remained in our bucket list. Do you want to discover the fascinating nightlife that awaits in Osaka? Just keep reading!