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11 Fun Day Trips From Osaka: Kansai Sightseeing Highlights!

11 Fun Day Trips From Osaka: Kansai Sightseeing Highlights!

Date published: 7 August 2020
Last updated: 11 December 2020

Western Japan's Kansai area is filled with gorgeous spots that make perfect day trips from Osaka. Here we have put together a list of 11 of such spots that you can easily get to from within Osaka City.

So pack your day bag, and get ready to experience the rich nature and culture of Japan and the excitement of traveling, without having to stray too far from the city!

Table of Contents
  1. 1. Harvest Hill: A Green Theme Park Full of Fun and Food!
  2. 2. Nishiki no Hama Park: A Seaside Park with White Beaches and Green Pines
  3. 3. Mount Inunaki: Enjoy Hot Springs and Mountain Climbing on a Secluded Mountain
  4. 4. Kishiwada Castle: An Artistic Castle and Garden
  5. 5. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: Experience the Excitement of a Traditional Festival!
  6. 6. Mount Izumi Katsuragi: Mountain Climbing, Forest Bathing, and a Magnificent Landscape
  7. 7. Tondabayashi Jinai-machi: A Traditional Town to Enjoy Your Holiday
  8. 8. Rinku Park: Enjoy A Refreshing View
  9. 9. Mozu-Furuichi Burial Mounds: One of the 3 Largest Burial Tombs in the World
  10. 10. Boken no Mori in NOSE: A Forest Adventure Like No Other!
  11. 11. Koyasan: Sacred Buddhist Area and a Popular Day Trip From Osaka

1. Harvest Hill: A Green Theme Park Full of Fun and Food!

1. Harvest Hill: A Green Theme Park Full of Fun and Food!

Harvest-no-Oka, or Harvest Hill, is an agricultural theme park on a vast expanse of land. Seasonal flowers are always in full bloom, as the natural environment is carefully maintained throughout the year.

There are also many experiences where you can interact with animals, such as milking cows, riding horses, and feeding animals such as sheep, capybaras, and rabbits. There is a playground, too, with all kinds of interesting activities, such as an aerial athletics adventure, a grass slide, and funny bikes that you can ride!

You can also enjoy hands-on experiences such as harvesting vegetables in the garden, making handmade ice cream and bread, and eating gourmet dishes. From Izumigaoka Station of the Semboku Rapid Railway, take the No. 6 Bus Line from the bus terminal to Harvest no Oka (Nankai Route Bus). You will arrive in about 20 minutes.

Measures against coronavirus: all places in the park are thoroughly disinfected, and vinyl curtains are installed where needed. Masks are required in both indoor and crowded outdoor areas.

  • Harvest Hill
    堺・緑のミュージアム ハーベストの丘
    • Address 2405-1 Hachigamine, Minami-ku, Sakai City, Osaka, 590-0125
    • Phone Number 072-296-9911
    • Admission: Adults: 1,000 yen; Students (junior high/high school/university/trade school), Seniors 65+: 700 yen; Children (4 and up): 600 yen; Children (3 and under): Free (All prices include tax)
      Regular Holidays: (for 2020) Every Wednesday from December to February

2. Nishiki no Hama Park: A Seaside Park with White Beaches and Green Pines

2. Nishiki no Hama Park: A Seaside Park with White Beaches and Green Pines

A popular seaside day trip from Osaka, Nishiki no Hama Park attracts nearly 1 million visitors each year. It's about 10 minutes west on foot from the nearest station, Nishikinohama Station on the Nankai Main Line.

Inside the park are popular Osaka beaches, BBQ facilities, clamming areas, and sports facilities. The place gets its name, Nishikinohama (literally, "two-color beach"), from the white color of the sandy beach and the green color of the pine forests.

The picturesque beach and green park were selected as one of the top 100 sandy beaches with green pines in Japan. They are full of sights to see that will keep you busy from sunrise to sunset! On sunny days, you can even see Kansai International Airport, Awaji Island, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, and the Rokko Mountains from the beach. This is definitely a fun place to visit as a family or with your friends!

Though swimming has been suspended for the rest of 2020 to prevent the spread of coronavirus, you can still enjoy a BBQ at the rental facilities along the coastal green area (you must use the facility's ingredients; bringing your own BBQ into the park is prohibited). To use the space, make reservations online. You can also reserve the food ingredients you would like to use. The cost is about 2,000 yen (tax included) per person, and may be used by parties of 2 people or more. Restrictions on party size may be enforced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Before visiting this park, as a measure against coronavirus, visitors are requested to register with the Osaka Covid-19 Tracing System, as well as follow all other health precautions such as wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining social distance.

  • Nishikinohama Park
    二色の浜公園
    • Address 859-1 Sawa, Kaizuka City, Osaka 597-0062
    • Phone Number 072-422-0442
    • Hours: 9:00AM-5:00PM
      Admission: Free (fees apply for using BBQ area, sports facilities, and ocean sports)
      Regular Holiday: Dec 29-Jan 3
      Prohibited: No BBQ or swimming allowed in 2020. Skateboarding, loud music, drones, remote-control cars, and any activity that causes damage to the flowers or trees are always prohibited.
      For more details, visit the website at: http://www.nishikinohama.com

3. Mount Inunaki: Enjoy Hot Springs and Mountain Climbing on a Secluded Mountain

3. Mount Inunaki: Enjoy Hot Springs and Mountain Climbing on a Secluded Mountain

Especially for trekkers, one of the more popular day trips from Osaka would include visiting Mount Inunaki. The temple of Inunaki-san was established 1,300 years ago as the sacred training grounds of Shugendo (mountain asceticism) by well-known ascetic and mystic, En-no-Gyoja. People from all over Japan still gather here for this training, such as 'takigyou,' the practice of meditation while sitting under a waterfall. You can also visit Shipporyuji Temple, the main temple of the Shingon Buddhist sect, and home to principal guardian deity Kurikara Dairyu Fudo Myo-o, a dragon deity believed to grant wishes.

There are many waterfalls in the mountains, both large and small, and the scenery along the mountain streams is as mysterious as it is breathtaking.

Inunakiyama Onsenkyo is also popularly known as the closest hot springs to the Kansai International Airport. There are many hot spring inns you can visit on a day trip, including some with rock baths and open-air baths. For more information on Shipporyuji Temple and individual hot springs inns, please visit their website: (http://www.kankou-izumisano.jp/50on/a/inunaki.html).

To get here, ride the Nankai Wing Bus South to the Inunakisan Bus Stop from Izumisano Station on the Nankai Main Line. We also recommend checking out the 5-hour round-trip hiking course!

  • Mount Inunaki
    犬鳴山
    • Address Ogi, Izumisano City, Osaka 598-0023
    • Hours: 8:45AM-5:15PM
      Admission:
      Regular Holidays: Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays, Year-end Holidays, New Years Holidays

4. Kishiwada Castle: An Artistic Castle and Garden

4. Kishiwada Castle: An Artistic Castle and Garden

Kishiwada Castle is a landmark of Kishiwada City. The exact date of its establishment, as well as exactly who established it, remains unknown. However, it did serve as the residence of the Matsura Clan, the family that ruled the Senshu Region at the time, towards the end of the Sengoku (Warring States) Period in the mid 16th century.

The garden is designated as a National Scenic Spot, and the castle ruins are designated as Historic Sites of Osaka As you can see, the historical value of Osaka is highly regarded! The garden, called Hachijin-no-Niwa (Garden of Eight Battle Formations), was developed by a famous Japanese gardener, Mirei Shigemori, based on the strategic battle formation designed by Chinese general, Zhuge Liang.

During the Danjiri Festival (Autumn Festival) period, danjiri floats are brought around Kishiwada Castle. The castle tower is illuminated both during the day and at night.

Kishiwada Castle is about 7 minutes on foot from Takojizo Station on the Nankai Electric Railway/Nankai Line. It is a great place for anyone interested in Japanese buildings and historic sightseeing spots.

Information boards and websites in the venue are multilingual for your convenience. Also, as measures against coronavirus, visitors are asked to maintain social distance, wear a mask, and carefully wash hands when you get home.

  • Kishiwada Castle
    岸和田城
    • Address 9-1 Kishiki-cho, Kishiwada City, Osaka 596-0073
    • Phone Number 072-431-3251
    • Hours: 10:00AM-5:00PM (Admission ends 4:00PM)
      Closes 8:30PM on castle festival days (admission ends 8:00PM)
      Castle Tower Admission: Adults: 300 yen (tax included); junior high school students and younger enter free
      Regular Holidays: Mondays (open on holidays and during castle festival period), Year-end and New Year holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3), during exhibition changes

5. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: Experience the Excitement of a Traditional Festival!

5. Kishiwada Danjiri Festival: Experience the Excitement of a Traditional Festival!

The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri is an important festival in Japan, and you can learn all about it at the Kishiwada Danjiri Kaikan!

The Kishiwada Danjiri Festival began in the middle of the Edo Period, boasting 300 years of tradition. This festival is still held annually in the fall (September/October), and attracts nearly 600,000 spectators from all over Japan. The origin of this festival is said to have been to pray for a good harvest and to ward off plague.

Inside the building are reproductions of old townscapes, and displays of some of the oldest objects, happi coats, and ancient documents related to danjiri. You can also experience what it's like to be the Daikugata, the person who performs on top of the danjiri, play the taiko drums, and learn all kinds of things from the video displays.

It is about 7 minutes on foot from Takojizo Station on the Nankai Electric Railway/Nankai Line. Whether you want to experience Japanese culture or just enjoy festivals, it is a worthwhile place to visit.

As a measure against coronavirus, visitors are asked to disinfect hands with alcohol and wear a mask. Also, please note that the 'Nerimono Taiken (Sound Experience) Corner' has been discontinued.

  • Kishiwada Danjiri Kaikan
    岸和田だんじり会館
    • Address 11-23 Honmachi, Kishiwada City, Osaka 596-0074
    • Phone Number 072-436-0914
    • Hours: 10:00AM-5:00PM (Admission ends 4:00PM)
      Admission: Adults: 600 yen; Children (elementary/junior high): 300 yen (Prices include tax)
      Regular Holidays: Mondays (Public holidays; open during Castle Festival); Year-end and New Years Holiday (Dec. 29-Jan. 3)

6. Mount Izumi Katsuragi: Mountain Climbing, Forest Bathing, and a Magnificent Landscape

6. Mount Izumi Katsuragi: Mountain Climbing, Forest Bathing, and a Magnificent Landscape

Mount Izumi Katsuragi is the central mountain of the Izumi Mountains, lying at the prefectural border between Kishiwa City and Kaizuka City in Osaka Prefecture, and Kinokawa City in Wakayama Prefecture. At an altitude of 858m, the beech forests at the summit are designated as National Natural Monuments.

There are several hiking courses available. However, if you are new to the area, we recommend getting there by taking the Nankai Wing Bus South from Kishiwada Station on the Nankai Electric Railway/Nankai Line to the Ushitakisan Bus Stop.

Hike along the trails while enjoying 'shinrin-yoku,' or forest bathing. There is also the Ushitakisan Daiitoku-ji Temple, a popular spot known for its autumn colors. At the top of the mountain, there are two shrines called Hachidai-ryuo, and an observatory where you can view the foothills of Kinokawa City and the Osaka Plains. The clear, starry sky at night is recommended for stargazing.

  • Mount Izumi Katsuragi
    和泉葛城山
    • Address Osawacho, Kishiwada City, Osaka, 596-0114
    • Phone: 072‐423‐9486 (Kishiwada City Tourism and Promotion Division)
      Free Entry

7. Tondabayashi Jinai-machi: A Traditional Town to Enjoy Your Holiday

7. Tondabayashi Jinai-machi: A Traditional Town to Enjoy Your Holiday
Photo courtesy of Tondabayashi Tourism Association

If you love exploring around old towns, this is one of those day trips from Osaka that's for you! Tondabayashi Jinai-machi is a town that still retains its old buildings and townscapes from the Edo Period and early Showa Period. It is the only important traditional architectural preservation district in Osaka Prefecture.

The origin of Tondabayashi Jinai-machi dates back to the Middle Ages of the Sengoku Period (c.1558-1560). A Buddhist temple was established, and soon, so was a religious autonomous city centered around that temple. Afterward, it flourished as a commercial city.

Photo courtesy of Tondabayashi Tourism Association
Photo courtesy of Tondabayashi Tourism Association

Recently, the number of shops that have been established in these old townhouses, such as cafes, restaurants, bookstores, general stores, and workshops, has been increasing. Enjoy dining and shopping as if you had stepped back in time!

Tondabayashi Jinai-machi is about 10 minutes on foot from Tondabayashi Station on the Kinki Railway Nagano Line.

  • Tondabayashi Jinai-machi
    富田林寺内町
    • Address Tondabayashi-cho, Tondabayashi City, Osaka 584-0033
    • Hours: Varies by facility
      Admission: Varies by facility
      Regular Holidays: Varies by facility (Jinaimachi Exchange Center closed Mondays and for New Years Holidays)

8. Rinku Park: Enjoy A Refreshing View

8. Rinku Park: Enjoy A Refreshing View

Rinku Park is a vast seaside park on the opposite bank of Kansai International Airport.

On the seaside is Marble Beach, a white sandy beach where you can watch the planes fly in and out from the airport, and see views of Osaka Bay, Akashi Kaikyo Bridge, and Awaji Island, on a clear day.

Shiki-no-Izumi is a symbolic fountain of the park, and is beautifully illuminated at night. The 'LOVE RINKU' statue nearby is also popularly known as the "sacred place for lovers."

Rinku Park is about 3 minutes on foot northwest of Rinku Town Station on the Nankai Airport and JR Kansai Airport lines.

The beautiful sunset and nighttime views make this the perfect spot for a date... or even a proposal! If there is someone special in your life, this is one place you will want to bring them.

As measures against coronavirus, visitors are asked to frequently and thoroughly wash hands, as well as register with the Osaka Covid-19 Tracing System. Free use of the Utsumi Sunaba play area is also suspended until further notice.

  • Rinku Park (LOVE RINKu)
    りんくう公園(LOVE RINKu)
    • Address 1-271 Rinku Orai Kita, Izumisano City, Osaka 598-0048
    • Phone Number 072-469-7717
    • Free Entry

9. Mozu-Furuichi Burial Mounds: One of the 3 Largest Burial Tombs in the World

9. Mozu-Furuichi Burial Mounds: One of the 3 Largest Burial Tombs in the World

These grand burial mounds, located in the Mozu Area in Sakai City, and the Furuichi Area in Fujiidera and Habikino City, were registered as World Heritage Sites in July of 2019. From the latter half of the 4th century to the latter half of the 6th century, over 200 burial mounds were built in these areas.

The Mozu area is one of 3 greatest tombs in the world, and includes Japan's zempo-koen-fun (keyhole-shaped mounds), the Mausoleum of Emperor Nintoku, the Kamiishizu Misanzai Tomb of Emperor Richu, the Itasuke Tombs, the Gobyoyama Tombs, and the Mausoleum of Emperor Hanzei.

In the Furuichi area, you can visit the Mausoleum of Emperor Ojin, the Mausoleum of Emperor Chuai, and the Mausoleum of Emperor Ingyo. Each of these burial mounds are important sites of ancient Japan. There are also many parks, shrines, and temples around, so it is a great place to visit, whether you enjoy history or hiking!

The closest station to the Mozu area is Mozu Station on the JR West/Hanwa Line. For the Furuichi area, you can use either Hajinosato Station or Furuichi Station on the Kintetsu Minami-Osaka Line.

  • 百舌鳥・古市古墳群
    百舌鳥・古市古墳群
    • Address 大阪府堺市堺区大仙町7
    • Phone: 06-6210-9742 (Mozu/Furuichi Burial Mounds World Heritage Conservation Conference)
      Free Entry
      (You can see all burial mounds from outside, however not all allow inside access)

10. Boken no Mori in NOSE: A Forest Adventure Like No Other!

10. Boken no Mori in NOSE: A Forest Adventure Like No Other!

Boken no Mori in NOSE is one of the largest forest adventure parks in Japan, with 78 types of treetop activities set up over a vast site of 90,000 square meters in size (that's nearly 2 Tokyo Domes!), all of which were constructed by forestry engineers.

There are many athletic activities, such as the Tree Top Adventure, where you can walk on wires high in the trees, and the Mega Zipline Teppen, where you can glide over the pond strapped to a harness.

Take the Hankyu Nosemachi-Sukuno bound bus, and get off at Nosemachi-Sukuno. Boken no Mori in NOSE is about 60 minutes away on foot.

One of their programs lets you take an off-road ride in the forest on a Segway, which adults and children alike can enjoy (age restrictions may apply by activity). At night, live a completely different experience camping out and relaxing underneath the starry sky. Make your great adventure last all day (and night) long!

Disinfectant and hand sanitizer are available as a measure against coronavirus.

  • Boken no Mori in NOSE
    冒険の森 in のせ
    • Address 437-1 Shukuno, Nose-cho, Nose-gun, Osaka 563-0341
    • Phone Number 090-4643-4010
    • Hours: Weekdays: 10:0AM-5:00PM (Reception ends 3:00PM); Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays: 900AM-5:00PM (Reception ends 3:00PM)
      Admission (per person): Adventure Course: 3.500 yen; Challenge Course: 2,000 yen; Forest Segway Tour: 3,000 yen; Set Plan (includes Adventure Course + Forest Segway Tour): 6,000 yen (All prices include tax)
      *Advanced reservations are required
      Regular Holiday: Irregular Days

11. Koyasan: Sacred Buddhist Area and a Popular Day Trip From Osaka

11. Koyasan: Sacred Buddhist Area and a Popular Day Trip From Osaka

Finally, if you are willing to travel a little further, there is one more place you can visit, located in Wakayama Prefecture.

Mount Koya is a sacred place in Japanese Buddhism, with a Shugen Dojo opened by the Buddhist monk, Kobo-Daishi Kukai, in the 9th century. However, while Mount Koya is indeed an important place in religion, it is also popular as a tourist destination.

There are a number of famous spots in Mount Koya, including the main temple, Kongobuji Temple, Okunoin, a designated historical site, Danjo-Garan, and the Tokugawa Clan Mausoleum, an important cultural property where the generals of the Edo Period, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tokugawa Hidetada, were entombed. You can even visit the priests quarters on a day trip, and enjoy shojin-ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine), and experience Buddhist meditation practices called Ajikan.

While you can get to Mount Koya by cable car from Gokurakubashi Station on the Nankai Koya Line, we also recommend trying out the hiking course!

  • Koyasan
    高野山
    • Address Koyasan, Koyacho, Itogun, Wakayama 648-0294
    • Phone: 0736-56-2468 (Koya Town Tourism Association)
      Hours: Varies by temple and facility
      Admission: Varies by temple and facility
      Regular Holidays: Varies by temple and facility

Who knew there were so many cool spots to enjoy day trips from Osaka? Whether you want to experience culture, get lost in nature, or just get out and move, one of these 11 sightseeing spots are bound to spark your interest!

However, a final word of caution: please remember that we must still be careful to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Be cautious when going on a day trip (or anywhere!), and always follow the rules and health guidelines!

  • Written by ISSEY, Dali Corporation
    Written by ISSEY, Dali Corporation
*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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