KANSAI: A Haven of Golden Temples and Cute Deer!
Kansai is the country’s cultural and spiritual emblem! It is famous for iconic temples like the Kinkakuji and historical sites throughout Kyoto. Witness geishas host a traditional tea ceremony and enjoy the company of friendly deer in Nara. The summer brings exceptional sceneries and a raft of incredible watersports!
When the summer rolls around, Kansai is bathed in the most beautiful sunny backdrops and excellent weather for some fun on the water. Head over to Lake Biwa for calm and beautiful waters, excellent for an afternoon SUP. Admire the Shirahige Torii gate floating in the turquoise before visiting the Hikone castle, just a stone’s throw away, for a magical view of the unique three-level castle keep.
Still on ancient castles and significant ruins, be sure to spare a few hours for Himeji castle, a well-preserved, multi-storied and grandiose white hilltop castle with the best views. The golden temple of Kinkakuji offers a rare combination of designs while the ruins of Takeda castle hide many interesting stories beneath the rubble. On cloudy days, Takeda appears to be floating in the fog hence its sobriquet “the floating castle.” Osaka Castle is famous for its spring and fall leaves, and it once played a pivotal rule in the unification of Japan. Fushimi Inari Shrine and Todaiji temple are places of great interest too!
Back to the brimming menu of watersports, Kansai avails gravity-defying flyboarding off the white sands of Shirahama beach, known for its fishing and games. Drift the day away merrymaking with friends on a banana boat and go canoeing into the sunsets of Wakayama and Awaji Island, among many other fairytale locations. Embrace rafting across the Hozu River in Kyoto as you forge memories in the splashes, and quench that thirst for heights with a hoverboard experience in Himeji, Lake Biwa, Toyooka, and Tanabe.
The traditional experiences on offer are just as abundant and exciting. Stroll the Edo streets and parks with lovely kimono rentals and take pictures in paradises of green and yellow. Sit down in tatami rooms and be part of a customary tea ceremony in Gion, the geisha district, while being entertained by the song and dance of geishas. Get the full Maiko and Oiran experiences in Gion, some of which may entail meeting a samurai! For a taste of ancient handicrafts, learn flower arrangement (Ikebana) and traditional textile dyeing.
Kansai is not without its more than fair share of adventures. Cycle across World Heritage sites in Kyoto and Nara (also known for its blissful deer park), then take on forest adventures in Hyogo, Shiga, and around Mt. Koya. Visit a refreshing tea town on sightseeing guided tours that entail Dotonbori street food tours, and sake tasting trips around famous breweries.
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Become a real ninja with a VR experience and have tea with warriors in a samurai café! Your cultural rollercoaster also entails kimono rentals and strolls in beautiful tree-framed streets, not to mention amazing Kansai calligraphy classes. Of course, you’ll also get to be treated to the delicacies and formalities of a proper tea ceremony according to Japanese tradition!
Do you have a sweet tooth that won’t budge? Embrace your foodie side with cooking classes in Kansai, where you’ll learn shichimi and omi chicken making. Create Japanese-style cakes and traditional sweets perfect for home parties and craft the best sushi from scratch. Sit down to the meals of a proven chef in world-class restaurants!
Home to SUP adventures on white sandy shores and hoverboarding experiences in backdrops of clear skies and azure waters, Kansai has you covered with incredible watersports. Dive into adventurous lakes and seas, uncovering geoparks and tropical fish along the way. Have fun above the surface as well with canoe tours on Lake Biwa and Awaji Island.
Mold clay into beautiful cartoons and ceramics in a pottery class of discovery and intrigue. Spruce up your home’s lighting by learning Japanese Candle making, and up your furniture game through weaving classes in Osaka and Kyoto. Traditional crafts such as these and more will let you in on ancient skills to improve your decorative prowess!
Are you looking for a great adventure to brag to your friends about? Kansai has you covered with loads of experiences! Paragliding Lake Biwa and the spring lands of Kyoto and Hyogo is always an electrifying affair, as are the forest adventures in Hyogo! Play military games in real-life in airsoft war contests and gallop within lush plains while horseback riding!
There’s no time for boredom in Kansai! Turn up the fun bouldering artificial slopes in Osaka, then wind down to refreshing drinks and the tunes of cute girl sing-alongs in maid cafés. If you prefer more furry tablemates, an animal café is a great place to meet friendly owls. You can also be someone else for the day, perhaps a samurai/geisha, with cosplay photo shooting!