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Kansai Guide: Walk amidst the gods and nature on the old Kumano Kodo, a World Heritage Site

Kumano Kodo, Shingu, Shirahama Forests & Mountains

Kumano Kodo [Old Road] is one of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range and is also registered as a World Heritage Site. Popular as a power spot, I walked this road so rich in history and natural beauty with a storyteller guide.

Incredible Access to Kyoto's Temples: Sowaka is a Truly Kyoto-esque Hotel!

Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple Hotels

Hotel Sowaka opened in the Gion Yasaka area of Kyoto in November 2018. Located in a refurbished old tea house built more than 100 years ago, this small luxury hotel has only 23 guest rooms. All rooms are fully furnished with traditional Japanese elements, such as fusumae [paintings on sliding paper doors], lacquer, and Japanese paper, and each has its own layout. During autumn when the foliage is at its brightest colors there is also a special plan for visiting a temple. If you are going to visit Kyoto, then make it a truly memorable experience by staying in this very Kyoto-like hotel! We highly recommend it for individuals interested in immersing themselves in the traditional culture of Kyoto.

First trip to the Osaka/Umeda area? Check out these five spots!

Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi Downtown

Umeda is so prolific it may as well by the face of Osaka. With JR, Hanshin/Hankyu, Osaka Metro and other essential train lines, you can get anywhere you need to go from Umeda, an area constantly filled with tourists, shoppers and businesspeople. Aside from the massive shopping mall, there are spots to look at the city’s nightscape, a variety of restaurants in the commercial street, and storied shrines in Umeda! Don’t just go straight to your hotel – check out some of the sights to see!

Unique Kyoto Experiences: Making Umeshu and Ume Syrup at Specialty Shop Choya

Kyoto Station, To-ji Temple Food Shops

The world’s first umeshu (Japanese plum liqueur) and ume (plum) syrup making store Ume Specialty Shop Choya, opened in Kyoto. At this stylish store you can make over 100 types of original umeshu and various ume syrup.

What to Do if You Get Sick While Traveling in Osaka or Kyoto? A List of Tourist-Friendly Hospitals

Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi

During your trip to Japan, unfamiliar food and climate could bring about a stomachache or cold, but generally speaking there's always a possibility of suddenly falling sick. This article will introduce two easily accessible doctor's offices with treatment available in English, as well as a convenient search engine website.

Choice Spots

  • Arashiyama, Uzumasa
  • Gion, Kawaramachi, Kiyomizu-dera Temple
  • Kobe, Sannomiya, Kitano
  • Kyoto Station, To-ji Temple
  • Nanba, Dotonbori, Shinsaibashi
  • Nara, Ikoma, Tenri
  • Shinsekai, Tennouji, Tsuruhashi
  • Umeda, Osaka Station, Kitashinchi
  • USJ, Nanko Port
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