— Best Places to Stay in Kyoto & Nara
— Best Places to Stay in Osaka
奈良位于京都的南面，是日本最大的寺庙 “东大寺 “和大佛，至今仍保留着其历史遗迹。奈良的面积不大，但交通方便，它的故事和强大的寺庙与京都的故事是密不可分的。
本页包括5个小贴士，让你在京都的时间最多，其次是我们的推荐。京都必做之事 / 奈良必做之事 / 大阪必做之事。本页的所有目的地和活动都可以全年享受。
如果它是著名的，它将是拥挤的：预计最著名的寺庙将是拥挤的 – 总是。京都每年吸引数百万游客–包括日本人和外国游客–大多数人都会前往相同的寺庙，包括清水寺、银阁寺、良安寺、伏见稻荷大社等。如果你想看这些寺庙，请尽量早去，赶在大型旅游巴士之前，不要害怕瞄准一些不知名的寺庙。它们往往同样美丽，而且游客明显减少，可以获得更好的体验。
不要试图看太多：很多第一次来的游客都是带着计划来的。见多识广的寺庙，却发现三四次之后就有点 ‘庙会了’，不知道该怎么办。我们的建议是争取看到两个 早上去寺庙，然后享受京都的其他精彩活动 – 包括美食、咖啡馆、古董购物、博物馆和画廊 – 在这里，下午和晚上。如果你允许两天的时间这样做，你会看到一个。少数的大寺庙，有精力去欣赏每一座。我们 特别推荐在夏天，当城市将非常炎热和 潮湿。争取早点看完几个寺庙，然后去吃午饭，再去看一个 下午在室内，以避免最严重的高温和潮湿。
春天的京都看起来很美，很多人都会在那个时候来参观：很多游客的目标也是在日本迷人的 “樱花” 季节来参观。当然，在樱花盛开的时候看京都确实很壮观，但这并不是什么秘密，你会和很多人分享这座城市。街道和寺庙都非常拥挤，几乎无法欣赏，所以如果你计划在这个时候去，请做好准备，尽可能早地去，并参观一些不太有名的寺庙。
1 / 清水寺和三十三间堂
Translating as ‘Pure Water Temple’, Kiyomizudera is one of the most famous temples in Japan. As a World Heritage-listed site, the temple attracts a huge number of visitors each day, who come to enjoy the expansive temple precinct including its large wooden decking that sits 13 metres above the ground and affords a fantastic view looking back toward central Kyoto.
Most visitors heading to and from Kiyomizudera do so along the picturesque streets of Higashiyama – see below for details – adding to the crowds. To get the most out of your visit to the area, go early or late in the day to avoid large tour groups that tend to fill the streets and dominate the temple.
Most commonly referred to as ‘Sanjusangendo’, the properly named Rengeo-in is the longest wooden structure and second largest temple in Japan. Housing 1001 golden ‘Kannon’ statues – the bodhisattva of mercy – the interior of the temple is one of Kyoto’s most spectacular sights. Often overlooked, Sanjusangendo should not be missed as is only 25-minutes walk from the more famous Kiyomizudera.
2 / 东山地区包括八坂之塔
Located between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, Higashiyama is one of Kyoto’s best-preserved historic districts. An enclave in which ‘old Kyoto’ lives on, the area retains the majority of its historic character with traditional buildings, including numerous stores, restaurants and residences lining the narrow streets.
3 / YASAKA (GION) SHRINE & MARUYAMA PARK
Also within walking distance of Kiyomizudera – approximately 20-minutes heading through the Higashiyama district – Yasaka Shrine, sometimes called Gion Shrine, is one of Kyoto’s most famous Shinto sites. The shrine complex is comprised of multiple structures including the ‘romon’ (gate), ‘honden’ (inner sanctuary), ‘haiden’ (offering hall) and dance stage bordered with hundreds of lanterns. A beautiful sight when lit a night, the shrine and central dance stage are the focal point the ‘Gion Matsuri’ held each year in July.
Adjoining the shrine, Maruyama Park is one of Kyoto’s best cherry blossom-viewing spots and always busy once the blossoms are in bloom each spring. Easily combined with a visit to Kiyomizudera and Higashiyama, be prepared for huge crowds if visiting when the blossoms are in bloom. The park is equally beautiful in October and November when its many trees are awash with autumn colours. Both the shrine and park are accessible at all times of day and admission is free.
4 / 祇园神社
Between Yasaka Shrine and Kamogawa (Kamo River) – which runs north to south through the city – you can wander into Gion – one of Japan’s most historic and famous neighbourhoods. Another of Kyoto’s best preserved historic areas, Gion is famous for its traditional ‘ochaya’ (teahouses) and attendant ‘geisha’. Whether or not you have visited Japan, chances are you will have a strong image in your mind of the fabled geisha. Beautiful yet other-worldly in appearance, the charm and gracefulness of the geisha seduce many and it is here, in Gion, that many still ply their trade.
Gion is home to many teahouses and traditional restaurants, offering some of Japan’s best ‘kaiseki’ and the chance to be entertained by geisha or their attendant ‘maiko’ (geisha apprentices) – see below for details. A common sight on the streets of Gion and Higashiyama around sundown as they head toward their evening engagement, geisha and maiko are an enchanting sight to behold but do not stop them for photographs. They are on their way to entertain and cannot risk being late. Please be respectful of their space and do not trouble them.
5 / 南禅寺和东山慈照寺包括银阁寺
Located at the base of the Higashiyama mountains, Nanzen-ji lies on the eastern outskirts of the city. One of the most important Rinzai sect temples in Japan – an important school of Zen – the temple complex is large and includes multiple historic buildings, stunning gardens and unique brick aqueduct that runs through the grounds. Approximately 2km / 25-minutes walk to the north of Nanzen-ji, the Higashiyama Joshi-ji temple complex includes another of Kyoto’s most famous temples – Ginkaku-ji or the ‘Silver Pavilion’. Modelled on the Kinkaku-ji or the ‘Golden Pavilion’ – see below for details – Ginkaku-ji served as the retirement villa of shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa until his death in 1490, and then converted into a Zen temple. Visitors wishing to visit both temples can do so by following the ‘Philosopher’s Path’ – a stone-paved trail along a canal and under cherry trees – between the two, a walk of 30 to 45 minutes.
6 / 二条城和京都御所
Built in 1603 as the Kyoto residence of the famous shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nijo Castle is an expansive historic precinct in the heart of Kyoto. As a World Heritage-listed site, Nijo is another of the city’s most important and historic destinations, providing a different experience to the many temples of the city due to its heavy fortification including moats and imposing stone walls. More than twenty historic structures – including the beautiful Ninomaru Palace – exist within the grounds demanding that you allow several hours to enjoy Nijo Castle completely.
Approximately 20-minutes walk from the castle, Kyoto Imperial Palace was the main residence of the Imperial Family until it was relocated to Tokyo in 1868. Located within the expansive Kyoto Imperial Park, the precinct also includes the Sento Imperial Palace with the current Imperial Palace dating to 1855.
7 / 伏见稲荷大社和在稻荷山散步
Heading a little out of central Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Taisha is another of Kyoto’s most iconic spots. Famous for its thousands of ‘torii’, the famous gates lead visitors into the forest of Mount Inari, a sacred mountain in Shinto belief. Most visitors come to witness and photograph the gates but should you wish to walk the trails that ascend the mountain, the hike to and from the summit takes between 2 to 3 hours. With multiple shrines and ‘inari’ statues (mythical fox-like creatures) along the trails, exploring a little deeper into the precinct offers and escape from the crowds of the city.
8 / 金阁寺和龙安寺
Kinkaku-ji or the ‘Golden Pavilion’ is perhaps Kyoto’s most iconic temple. Located in the north of Kyoto and quite distant from some of the other famous temples located in the central/eastern Kyoto, the distinctive gold-leaf exterior of the temple is a beautiful sight set against a large pond and traditional garden. Dating back to the 15th century, the current temple is a relatively recent 20th century reconstruction.
Located nearby Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji boasts Japan’s most famous rock garden. Originally the residence of an aristocrat, the villa was converted into a temple in 1450 with the exact origins and designer of its famous garden now unknown.
9 / 岚山包括渡月桥、竹林和岚山猴子公园
Lying to the west – approximately 20 to 30-minutes from Kyoto Station by train or bus – Arashiyama attracts plenty of visitors, especially in spring and autumn when it is blessed with some of Kyoto’s best cherry blossom and autumn colours.
The area’s Togetsukyo Bridge is iconic and a popular photo spot for visitors while the Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove – located between Tenryu-ji and Okouchi Sanso Garden – is one of Japan’s most photographed locations. A beautiful sight any time of year, walking through the bamboo in summer offers welcome relief from the heat, as the bamboo sways and a cool breeze refreshes the body and soul.
10 / 京都市国立博物馆
Located nearby Sanjusangendo, Kyoto National Museum is one of Japan’s most distinguished institutions. The museum displays are wide variety of collections and artefacts through both permanent and special exhibitions with many important cultural properties including sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy, paintings, and archaeological artefacts housed within the museum.
Special exhibitions are held on a regular basis, with the theme to each varying widely. Open daily – other than Mondays and over the New Year period – from 09:30 to 17:00, a visit to the museum can be easily combined with visits to Sanjusangendo, Kiyomizudera, Higashiyama, Yasaka Shrine and / or Gion.
11 / ’KAWADOKO´ DINING ON KAMOGAWA RIVERSIDE
Need a break from the temples or just want to sit, unwind and have a drink and a meal? Enjoying ‘kawadoko’ dining is the perfect way to do just that! Running along the banks of Kamogawa (Kamo River), numerous restaurants face onto the river, most of which erect large outdoor decks from May to September, allowing diners to eat and drink outside while cooled by the air moving off the river and up and around the decks. Below the restaurants and their stilted decks, the riverside walking trail is always busy, with families, friends and couples strolling the river or stopping to sit on its banks for a snack, drink or meal. Always popular, ‘kawadoko’ offers relief from the heat and humidity on summer nights when hundreds of diners sit on the outside decks enjoying some good food, plenty of cold drinks and lots of chatter.
12 / 京都站地区
If you’re visiting Kyoto, chances are that at some point you’ll pass through Kyoto Station. The area in and around this large, modern station is worth allowing time for as it boasts some fantastic restaurants, shopping and plenty of hotels. It’s one of the most convenient places to stay in the city, allowing visitors to disembark the Shinkansen and quickly check-into their hotel and drop-off their luggage with all popular tourist sites accessible using bus or train services from the station.
13 / 锦市场
Kyoto is a great shopping city and there’s no better place to start than its famous Nishiki Market. Running five blocks of the city, the market is one narrow arcade with all manner of vendors, shops and restaurants lining the tight street. One of Japan’s best markets, Nishiki is always busy but that just adds to the atmosphere, as visitors move along the arcade and between vendors selling traditional food, vegetables, fruit, meat, seafood and more. Regarded as ‘Kyoto’s Kitchen’, Nishiki is an excellent place to buy high-quality kitchenware including knives.
14 / ANTIQUE & VINTAGE SHOPPING IN TERAMACHI-DORI
Intersecting with Nishiki Market, the Teramachi-dori precinct is home to many high-end antique stores and an increasing number of younger dealers selling more contemporary collectibles and hipster wares. As such, there are plenty of good cafes popping-up in the area, enticing visitors into the pleasant streets of the area in search of that special souvenir or keepsake from their time in Japan.
15 / ‘GEISHA’ & ‘MAIKO’ EXPERIENCE
While in Kyoto, visitors can enjoy a range of experiences that further their understanding and appreciation of Japanese history and culture. Following on from our description of Gion – see above – many visitors to the historic district take the chance to be entertained by a ‘geisha’ or ‘maiko’ for an afternoon or evening. While you need to be introduced to a geisha in order to acquire her time and a booking comes at considerable cost, it is one of Kyoto’s signature experiences and a rare chance to meet and be entertained by a practicing geisha or maiko.
16 / 茶道仪式体验
Geisha and maiko entertain their guests in several ways and one of the most essential is by performing a tea ceremony. Referred to as ‘sado’ or ‘chado’ in Japanese, tea ceremony is a true performance provided in honour of the guest. While acquiring the entertainment of a geisha or maiko for an evening will come at considerable cost, the good news is enjoying a tea ceremony is far more accessible with multiple venues spread throughout the city.
17 / 武士和忍者的体验
Another fun experience for guests of all ages is trying your hand as a fully-fledged ‘samurai’. Japan’s fabled warriors have almost mythical status both at home and abroad, but they were very much real and the skills they honed can still be practiced today in Kyoto with tour providers providing samurai experience tours throughout the year. Another place to enjoy both samurai and ‘ninja’ experiences in the heart of the city, the Samurai & Ninja Museum combines a guided tour of their engaging samurai and ninja exhibitions followed by samurai and ninja training. Family-friendly and great fun for adults too!
18 / 住在 “旅馆 “或 “宿坊”
As Japan’s cultural capital, Kyoto is a great place to enjoy a stay at a ‘ryokan’ (traditional guesthouse) or ‘shukubo’ (temple or shrine lodging). Spread through the city, prices range widely from sky-high to more reasonably priced, with the most famous guesthouses booking out far in advance. Often set among beautiful gardens or adjoining temples and shrines, both ryokan and shukubo offer refuge from daily life and a chance to truly unwind, relax and breathe in the history and tradition of the city. For more information, see our ‘Where to Stay in Kyoto & Nara’ page.
19 / 享受日本最好的 “怀石料理”
When staying at a ryokan, you’ll almost certainly be served ‘kaiseki’, a traditional multi-course dinner. With menus designed to promote the culinary heritage of the area and typically based around local seasonal ingredients, no two kaiseki menus are the same between guesthouses nor even the same guesthouse as the seasons change. Kyoto is also home to some of Japan’s best kaiseki restaurants, many of which also book-out far in advance. If you have your eye on a particular one, make sure to book it early and get ready to indulge your senses. For more information about the range of accommodation available in the city, see our ‘Where to Stay in Kyoto & Nara’ page.
20 / 大原包括三千院
Heading out of Kyoto but still within the boundaries of the city, Ohara is a picturesque rural area approximately 60-minutes to the north of Kyoto Station. This tranquil enclave is often missed by international visitors but can be easily included in any itinerary when heading from Kyoto toward Fukui and Kanazawa or the other way around. Sanzen-in is the most famous attraction in the area. Founded by Saicho – a 9th century monk who brought the Tendai school of Buddhism to Japan from China – the temple is set within beautiful gardens, at its most spectacular each autumn. Multiple temple buildings are connected by corridors with buildings housing multiple important artefacts. One of several important and beautiful temples in the area, a visit to Ohara offers an escape from the crowds at the famous sites in the central city.
21 / 延暦寺
Located in the forests of Mount Hieizan, Enryaku-ji is a historically important temple that will be immediately familiar to any devoted student of Japanese history. Headquarters of the Tendai sect of Buddhism, Enryaku-ji was founded in the 8th century – also by Saicho – and at the height of its powers led as many as 3000 sub-temples and army of warrior monks. One of the most powerful institutions during the Heian Period, the monks of Enryaku-ji caused great problems for the emperors and court regularly threatening or invoking insurrection against them. Destroyed the powerful warlord Oda Nobunaga in the 16th century, the complex and its many buildings were reconstructed during the Edo Period. Another temple often overlooked by international visitors, Enryaku-ji is well-worth the visit.
22 / 日本最大的寺庙–东大寺
The largest Buddhist temple in Japan, any visit to Nara surely starts with Todai-ji. Construction of the temple was completed in 752, Todai-ji and its attendant monks became so powerful that capital was soon moved from Nara to Kyoto in 794. The current temple is a reconstruction dating to the late-17th century and houses the ‘Daibutsu’ – one of the largest and most revered Buddha statues in Japan. The seated Buddha measures 15 metres in height, a remarkable and inspiring achievement in craftsmanship.
Nearby the statue at the base of one of the temple’s supporting pillars, a hole is the same size as the nostril in the statue, a space that visitors try to pass through furthering them along the path to enlightening (and at the risk of getting stuck – it does happen!). Outside of the temple, the immense Nandaimon Gate with its fierce ‘Nio’ – two guardians of the temple – is equally impressive and acts at as the entrance to the temple and the surrounding Nara Park.
23 / 奈良公园
Nara Park is an expansive public area surrounding Todai-ji and other important cultural sites. Most famously, the park is populated by more than one thousand deer that have become a symbol of the city. Visitors are allowed to feed them and the official line is that some deer have learned to bow in asking for food – feel free to question how that might have come about. While some visitors find this experience enjoyable, the deer can be aggressive and intimidating for children and are known to bite the buttons of peoples’ clothing, mistaking them for food.
24 / KASUGA TAISHA
Located within the grounds of Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha is the most important Shinto shrine in the city. Founded in the same period as the city itself, the shrine is dedicated to the protector spirit or deity that is believed to reside there. Much-like the Grand Shrine of Ise – Japan’s most important Shinto site – sections of the shrine are deconstructed and then reconstructed every twenty years in order that the knowledge and skill required to maintain and build such shrines is retained. Famous for the hundreds of bronze lanterns that hang from buildings within the shrine, Kasuga Taisha is highly photogenic and a colourful contrast to the grand but more austere exterior of nearby Todai-ji.
25 / 奈良国立博物馆
Also located within Nara Park, Nara National Museum is primarily dedicated to Japanese Buddhist art across both permanent and temporary collections. Holding many important cultural properties from Todai-ji and other temples, a visit to the museum aids in understanding the development of Buddhism in Japan and Nara’s pivotal role in that story.
26 / KOFUKU-JI inc. KOFUKU-JI NATIONAL TREASURE MUSEUM
Once of one of the most grand temples in Nara, Kofuku-ji was originally the family temple of the powerful Fujiwara clan – who effectively ruled Japan by dominating essential court positions through the Nara and Heian Periods. Today, the temple includes buildings of huge cultural importance including two pagodas, the Central Golden Hall, Eastern Golden Hall and Kofuku-ji National Treasure Museum housing some true treasures of Japanese Buddhist art.
27 / 法隆寺
Declared a World Heritage site in 1993 and another of Japan’s most important Buddhist temples, Horyu-ji was founded by the semi-mythical Prince Shotoku – a hugely important figure in the establishment of Buddhism in Japan – in 607. One of the oldest temples in Japan, Horyu-ji is home to the world’s oldest surviving wooden structure built sometime in the Asuka Period (538-710). The extensive grounds are divided into two main precincts, the ‘Sai-in Garan’ (Western Precinct) and ‘Toin Garan’ (Eastern Precinct) with multiple historic buildings including gates, main halls, sub-temples and pagodas of great beauty found throughout.
As Japan’s third largest city, Osaka has several huge stations including Shin-Osaka Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen line running to Kyoto, Nagoya and onto Tokyo. A thriving city, Osaka is all about having a good time boasting some of Japan’s best food, shopping and nightlife. Though it may not have the historic attractions of Kyoto and Nara, if you’re asking whether it’s worth visiting, the answer is definitely yes! Friendly, fun and plenty to do other than visit temples, Osaka is just the tonic many visitors are looking for, starting with:
28 / 食物 – 日本最好的一些食物!
Anyone who has visited Osaka will know all too well, it’s one great city for food! You’ll find fantastic food throughout the city starting and there’s no better place to start than the city’s famous Dotonbori precinct. Forget the fine dining of Kyoto, Osaka is all about eating on the street and packed, lively restaurants serving its famous:
什锦烧通常被称为 “日本煎饼”，起源于关西，因此或多或少是大阪的代名词。杂样煎菜饼在热板上烹制，最常见的是将面粉糊和卷心菜丝结合在一起，并加入无穷无尽的配料，包括猪肉或熏肉、章鱼、鱿鱼、虾、其他蔬菜、奶酪……基本上，你能想到的都可以。裹着健康的釉面酱、”Kewpie “蛋黄酱和/或 “鲣鱼”（鱼片），享受大阪烧基本上是在大阪时必须做的事情。当地的变体还包括 “日式葱煎饼”，另一种包括大量日本韭菜的咸味煎饼。
章鱼烧 “或 “章鱼丸 “是大阪另一种最美味的街头食品。大块的章鱼浸在面糊里，煮成外酥里嫩的口感，然后浇上 “章鱼烧 “酱、蛋黄酱和鲣鱼，通常还包括腌制的姜，形成一道美味可口的菜肴。
这碗热腾腾的 “乌冬”（小麦面条）是用清淡的 “usukuchi “酱油和煨制的 “aburaage “豆腐浇在上面。大阪的狐狸乌冬面在日本各地都有供应，以其清淡的甜味而闻名。简单、饱满、美味!
“Kaisen “或 “海鲜 “是日本饮食的一个重要组成部分，毫无疑问，是大阪街头最诱人的食物之一。从日本最好的寿司和生鱼片到包括螃蟹在内的当地美食，应有尽有–只要沿着道顿堀寻找巨大的螃蟹……它们就不难发现。
29 / 美食… 然后是所有其他的！
印度菜、斯里兰卡菜、中东菜、非洲菜等，在日本最大的城市之一，有很多可以选择的地方，虽然这可能是一个奇怪的建议 – 如果您想从洗食中解脱出来，或者只是想品尝一下其他美味，那么大阪的许多国际美食店是真正的亮点。
30 / 夜生活
Wandering the streets you’ll spot plenty of places to have a drink – whether its beers stands on the street, bars or clubs you’ll receive a friendly welcome upon entry. If this is what you’re after, start with the areas around Dotonbori – see below – along with Shinsaibashi-suji, Namba and Amerika-mura and make sure to book your accommodation nearby – or risk missing the last train back!
31 / 道顿堀
Boasting what are arguably Osaka’s most recognisable landmarks, Dotonbori is a hugely popular restaurant and shopping precinct that runs parallel to Dotonbori canal. On the bridge crossing the canal, visitors gather to photograph the city’s famous ‘Glico Man’ and other huge neon billboards while just along the road, the ‘Kani Doraku’ crab sign beacons diners inside to eat. Always busy, Dotonbori hums with activity and nightlife and is every way, one of Osaka’s most charismatic and famous enclaves.
32 / 心斋桥
Running north from Dotonbori, the covered Shinsaibashi-suji is a seemingly endless covered shopping, dining and entertainment arcade. It is the best-known shopping area in the city with everything imaginable on sale along its 600 metre stretch – from official brand stores to cheap knock-offs, excellent restaurants to quick and cheap eateries. The street’s eclectic mix of stores, restaurants and entertainment ensure an equally odd variety of people walking through the arcade. Often crowded and noisy, you might quickly need to escape from Shinsaibashi-suji but it is worth visiting for a snapshot of life in Osaka.
33 / 难波和美国村大阪
Within walking distance of Dotonbori and Shinsaibashi-suji in the direction of Osaka-Namba Station and JR Namba Station, the lively area of Namba is home to plenty of great little bars, eateries, clothing and record shops, and small clubs. One of the city’s youth culture hubs, time spent in Namba is always entertaining with plenty of young Japanese in the area guaranteeing an energetic atmosphere.
Most famously, the area adjoins Osaka’s famous ‘Amerika-mura’ (America village), a centre of youth culture known for its second hand clothing stores, independent galleries and cafes, music bars and shops, street art and plenty of nightlife. Located within easy walk of Yotsubashi Station or Shinsaibashi Station, Amerika-mura is worth the visit even if you feel too old to really get it.
34 / 难波公园
Located to the south of Namba Station, ‘Namba Parks’ is a shopping and office complex designed to mimic a natural canyon in the heart of one of Japan’s largest cities. Housing 120 stores, numerous restaurants serving all manner of cuisine, a cinema, terraced rooftop gardens and 3-storey office tower, Namba Parks acts as a refuge from the congestion of the surrounding city (and possibly much-needed relief from the noise and effects of the night before) and offers particularly welcome relief from the often oppressive heat and humidity of summer. Beautifully designed, you can easily spend a morning, afternoon, evening or entire day strolling through one of Osaka’s most enjoyable shopping and entertainment precincts.
35 / NIPPONBASHI ELECTRIC ‘DEN DEN TOWN’
An area equivalent to Tokyo’s Akihabara, Nipponbashi or ‘Den Den Town’ is something of a hub for Osaka’s ‘otaku’ culture. Located between Ebisucho Station to the south and Nipponbashi Station to the north, the streets of Den Den Town are full of shops selling all things ‘anime’, ‘manga’, electronics and all things pop-culture. Basically, it’s a nerd’s delight! Shops are concentrated along two main streets – Nipponbashi-suji / Sakai-suji and the parallel-running Ota Road – making it fairly easy to navigate and less crowded than Tokyo’s otaku neighbourhood of Akihabara, a visit to Den Den Town is typically good fun.
36 / 梅田蓝天大厦
One of Osaka’s most distinctive buildings, Umeda Sky Building is a 173 metre tall pair of towers connected by a ‘Floating Garden Observatory’ on the 39th floor. From the observatory, visitors are afforded fantastic views of the sprawling metropolis, best enjoyed from the open-air viewing deck. Open daily from 09:30 to 22:30, admission is a rather steep JPY1500.
37 / 大阪城公园
Osaka Castle Park occupies a huge area in the heart of one of Japan’s largest cities including expansive public gardens, historic structures, along with multiple cultural and sports facilities. Centred around the reconstructed Osaka Castle – one of Japan’s largest castles – and surrounded by the original foundation walls and large moats, the park is in many ways the historic and public heart of the city.
First constructed in the late-16th century, the castle was the largest in Japan at the time before it was destroyed in 1615. Rebuilt in the 1620, the castle was again destroyed in 1665 when struck by lightning and set alight. It was not until 1931 that the castle would be reconstructed again, miraculously surviving the heavy bombing of WWII the castle enjoyed renewal in the 1990s and remains one of Osaka’s most iconic sights. Open daily form 09:00 to 17:00 – other than December 28 to January 1 – the castle houses artefacts and materials relating to the history of the castle.
38 / 大阪海游馆
Moving away from the heart of the city and to the Osaka Bay area, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan is another of the city’s most famous and popular destinations. The spectacular central tank is nine metres deep and home to the aquariums most famous attraction, a whale shark and other marine life from the Pacific Ocean. Other tanks display sealife from the Gulf of Panama, the Great Barrier Reef, the Tasman Sea, Antarctica along with other marine ecosystems. In addition to the main tanks, the aquarium includes interactive displays and special experiences including evening events along with multiple restaurants and shops.
39 / TEMPOZAN HARBOR VILLAGE
Osaka Aquarium is part of the larger ‘Tempozan Harbor Village’ precinct, a modern development on Osaka Bay also including LEGOLAND ‘Discovery Centre Osaka’, the boarding point for the ‘Santa Maria’ cruise ship, and ‘Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel’.
直径100米、高112.5米的摩天轮是世界上最大的摩天轮之一，全程15米，可以欣赏大阪湾的美景。此外，还有以1960年代的大阪街景为原型的美食主题公园 “浪花老饕小吃街”，以及拥有约80家餐厅和商店的现代餐饮购物综合体 “天保山市场”。
40 / 日本环球影城 (USJ)
Finally, located across from Tempozan Harbor Village – over the Tenpozano Bridge – Universal Studios Japan (USJ) is one of Japan’s most popular attractions. Divided into themed areas, the park brings the films of Universal Studios to life including Jurassic Park, Spiderman, Minions, Harry Potter and the newest area – Super Nintendo World. Rides range from gentle but fun kids amusements to rollercoasters and immersive simulators. The huge precinct also includes hotels, restaurants and shops and as one of not just Osaka’s but Japan’s most popular destinations, USJ is always busy but great, great fun.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN KYOTO & NARA
As Japan’s most historic cities, Kyoto and Nara attract millions of visitor each year. As such, it is no surprise that there is plenty of accommodation of choose from, ranging from high-end hotels and traditional guesthouses, to mid-range and budget options dotted in and around the city. Our ‘Where to Stay in Kyoto & Nara?’ page listed the best areas including accommodation listings.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN OSAKA
Osaka offers travellers a huge range of accommodation dotted throughout the city. To make your time there as easy as possible, we recommend choosing a hotel or guesthouse nearby a major train station, allowing you to move around the city and beyond with ease. Our ‘Where to Stay in Osaka & Kansai International Airport?’ page listed the best areas including accommodation listings.
Kyoto Station and Shin-Osaka Station are stops on the Tokaido Shinkansen line making them easy to reach from Nagoya, Tokyo and beyond, while other shinkansen and express train lines running from the cities to regions throughout Japan. Within easy reach of both Kyoto and Osaka, Nara is under an hour away using local trains services allowing travellers to move easily to, from and between all three cities. For more information, see our pages: How to Get to Kyoto / How to Get to Nara / How to Get to Osaka.
Got a question about arranging a charter or tour in Central Japan? Contact us and let’s get planning together!