Kansai Region Travel Series – Day 0
After visiting Tokyo, Japan, for the first time early this year, I was back in Japan for another vacation. I was on a 6-day vacation in Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, part of Kansai region, in November. This trip was planned less than two weeks before we left, glad we managed to redeem our air tickets using my KrisFlyer miles and managed to book the last two seats for our return flight. Booking hotel in Kyoto was quite a challenge as most of the hotels are fully booked and I was determined to stay at Gion area, a popular tourist spot for both foreigners and locals, made it more challenging. Glad I managed to book the last available room at Hotel Sasarindou.
Brief Travel Itinerary
With little time to plan, I did a quick check on the must go places in Kyoto and Osaka at www.japan-guide.com and fella bloggers’ posts on their vacation in Kyoto and Osaka. Also spoke with friends who are familiar with Japan and was told that Nara is a must go side trip. Upon arrival at Kyoto, we started to map up the high-level itinerary for the next few days and included Nara in our plan. Our focus is to enjoy the experience at each place we visit instead of trying to visit as many places as possible. Following is the high-level itinerary of our 6-day vacation:
Day 1 – Caught red-eye flight to Singapore Airlines flight to Kansai International Airport and spent the day at Kamogawa and Gion
Day 2 – Spent the day at Kyoto – Hagashiyama, Kiyomizu Temple, Nanzenji and Philosopher’s Path
Day 3 – Spent the day at Kyoto – Arashiyama and Nijio-jo Castle
Day 4 – Spent the day at Osaka – Osaka Castle Museum and Namba
Day 5 – Spent the day at Inari and Nara – Fushimi Inari Shrine and Nara Park
Day 6 – Caught morning flight back to Singapore
Will share in detail on the places we visited, getting there, key highlights and parting thoughts in My Kansai Region Travel Series.
Brief on Kansai Region
Kansai region (関西地方) lies in the southern-central region of Japan. It is the cultural and historical heart of Japan, the earliest beginnings of Japanese civilisation. It is where Kyoto, Nara and Osaka are situated. Nara was Japan’s first permanent capital (710-794) that saw the spread of Buddhism to Japan. During the Heian period (794-1185), the capital was moved to present-day Kyoto, where it remained until the Meiji Restoration. In 645, the capital was moved from Asuka (present-day Nara) to Osaka and a Palace was built though it was not officially recognised as the national capital, it served as a sub-capital.
If you are like me, not a big fan of ancient history but would like to know the history of Japan that you may appreciate the places you are planning to visit or visited, check out this 9-minute video by Bill Wurtz which cover from ancient to the modern history of Japan. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for more on My Kansai Region Travel Series!
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