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Visit Kinosaki Kinosaki Onsen Travel Guide


Nagasaki Peace Park

Nagasaki Peace Park commemorates the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1924. In the park stands the massive Peace Statue vigual at the park with its eyes gently closed in prayer for those who lost their lives. A monument around a black pillar marks the epicenter of the atomic bomb’s explosion and stores the names of the bomb victims. There are more statues commemorating those who died and also calling for peace located throughout the park, all donated by various countries. There is also the Fountain of Peace built for the victims who wandered in search of water.

From Nagasaki Station take the tram line 1 or 3 to Matsuyamamachi or Hamaguchimachi.

Beppu Onsen

One of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan with 8 different springs, together producing more hot spring water than any other resort in the country. Beppu Onsen also offers less conventional baths, such as: sand baths, where visitors are buried in naturally heated sand and mud baths, which are basically muddy hot water baths.

From Hiroshima take the Tokaido/Sanyo Shinkansen to Kokura Station. Transfer to the Sonic Limited Express train for Beppu.


A town in northern Miyazaki Prefecture steeped in Japanese mythology. It is the supposed site of legend where Amaterasu, the Shinto sun goddess, hid herself in a cave because of her brother’s cruel jokes, taking away the life giving powers of the sun with her. All the other gods gathered to try to convince her to come out again. She finally came out after hearing all the other gods cheering in excitement over a dance one of the gods performed. Takachiho is a known “power spot”, a place of profound religious importance and natural beauty. The best spots for a spiritual experience are Amano Iwato Shrine (where the sun goddess hid herself) and Takashiho Gorge. At Takashiho Shrine a short reenactment of Takachiho Yokagura (the story of when the sun goddess hid herself) is performed for tourists every night throughout the year.

From Hiroshima take the Tokaido/Sanyo/Kyushu Shinkansen to Kumamoto Station. From Kumamoto Station take a bus to the Takachijo Bus Center.

Okayama Castle

Okayama Caste, also known as “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior, was built in 1597. The original building was destroyed during World War Two, the current building is a museum to the history and development of the caste. However, one of Okayama Castle’s original building did escape destruction, the Tsukimi Yagura (Moon Viewing Turret).

From Okayama Station take the Higashiyama Tram Line to Shiroshita. It is then a 10-15 minute walk to the castle.


Near Okayama Castle is Korakuen, ranked as one of Japan’s three best landscaped gardens and is Okayama’s main attraction. The garden was constructed on orders by the local feudal lord in 1687, he wanted a place of entertainment for the ruling royal family and a place to receive important guests. The garden itself has suffered repeated damage from floods and wars but has always been restored to its original state thanks to well kept accurate records by the garden’s designers.

From Okayama Station a bus can be taken to Korakuen Mae bus stop, right beside the garden’s main gate.

Koga Ninja Village

This was one of the leading ninja training centers and school during Japan’s feudal age. The current village serves as a tourist spot and informative museum about ninja, spies of feudal Japan. There are ninja residences with revolving walls, trap doors and hidden compartments, There is a also a demonstration zone with spectacular shows featuring ninja skills and real weapons. Visitors have the chance to dress up as a ninja and hone their own ninja skills.

From Kyoto take the JR. Nara line to Kizu. Then transfer to the JR. Kansai line and take the train to Kamo Station (about 5 min.). Once again transfer to the Iga Tetsudo Iga Line to Ueno-shi. It is then a 5-10 minute walk north of Ueno-shi Station.

Ise Shrines

Ise Shrines and Shinto’s most sacred shrines and consist of the outer shrine, Geku built in the 5th C. and dedicated to the Shinto god of clothing, housing, and food. There is also the inner shrine, Naiku built in the 3rd C. which enshrines Amaterasu, the sun goddess. Unlike most other Shinto shrines, Ise Shrines are built in purely Japanese architecture style. Both shrines are rebuilt every 20 years according to ancient Shinto tradition. Because the Ise Shrines are so sacred no pictures may be taken near the main halls.

From Kyoto take the Kintetsu Limited Express to Yamatoyagi Station and transfer trains to the train going to Iseshi Station. From Ise-shi station the shrines can be accessed by bus.

Meoto Iwa

Meoto Iwa, the “Wedded Rocks”, are two sacred rocks in the ocean near Futami, a small coastal town of Ise City. The rocks represent husband and wife and are connected by a shimenawa (sacred rope). The are best seen during high tide at sunrise or sunset. If you have good timing and a bit of luck you might be able to see Mt. Fuji silhouetted in the background.

From Kyoto take the Kintetsu Limited Express to Yamatoyagi Station and transfer trains to the train going to Iseshi Station. From Ise-shi station the rocks can be accessed by bus.


Eiheiji is the head temple of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism. Founded in 1244 by Dogen Zenji in the wooded hills, consisting of over 70 building and structures connected by covered walkways. Eiheiji is a currently active monastery with around 150 practicing Zen Monks. Like Mt. Koya, it is also possible for foreign visitors to stay at the temple and follow the monk’s daily routine. It costs JPY 8000 per night and includes a bath, dinner and evening meditation on the first night. The next morning there is also an early (3:30a.m.) meditation session, morning service and breakfast. Visitors to the shrine can witness the monks moving about the temple and conducting their daily routines and prayers.

From Osaka or Kyoto take a Limited Express JR. train to Fukui Station. From Fukui Station it is easiest to catch a direct Keifuku bus to Eiheiji (Only 4 buses available per day).

Old Town

Old Town has been beautifully preserved with its many building and whole streets of houses dating from the Edo Period. The shops in the southern half are particularly well preserved with many old homes, shops, coffee houses and sake breweries, some of which have been in business for centuries.

From Takayama Station its about a 15 minute walk to the Old Town area. Walk up the street that runs perpendicular to the front of the station.

Hida Folk Village

Hida Folk Village is an open air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional Japanese farmhouses with steep straw thatched roves. Inside you can see typical utensils used by the previous home owners during the Edo Period and in the mornings the fireplaces are lit, adding to the old world feel.

From Takayama Station its about a 30 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride in the opposite direction of the city center and Old Town.

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama

Shirakawa-go and Gokayama were declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995. Famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some being over 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri means “constructed like hands in prayer”, because the steep thatched roves resemble the praying hands of Buddhist monks. The roofs architecture is designed to withstand the area’s heavy snow fall and also provides spacious attic space, sometimes used for cultivating silkworms. It is always a fun experience to stay overnight at one of these traditional houses in Ogimachi, Shirakawa’s largest village. Many of the farmhouses now serve as minshuku (family owned and operated Japanese bed and breakfasts).

From Takayama Station take a Nohi Bus to Ogimachi, about a 50 minute ride. (8-9 buses operate per day.)

Gero Onsen

Gero Onsen is rated one of the best hot springs in Japan. The name Gero means “lower bath”. A great way to sample the hot spring baths is by purchasing a Yumeguri Tegata (spa pass) in the shops of a wooden tablet from the tourist office, ryokan, souvenir shop and convenience stores for JPY 1200. This gives you admission into any three of the participating hot springs and ryokans.

From Takayama Station take the Limited Express or local train to Gero.

Great Buddha

The Great Buddha is the second largest in Japan and use to be housed in a large temple hall until the hall was washed away by typhoons and a tidal wave in the 14th and 15th century. The statue is so large that for an extra fee you can climb to the top from inside the statue.

From Tokyo take the JR. Yokosuka Line to Kamakura Station. Transfer to the Enoden railway line and get off at the third station, Hase Station. It is about a 5-10 minute walk from there.


Engakuji is one of the leading Zen temples in eastern Japan. It was built one year after the second invasion attempt by the Mongols and also as a way to pay respect to the fallen Japanese and Mongolian soldiers. Further into the temple grounds is the beautifully decorated Sharidan that enshrines a tooth of Buddha.

From Tokyo take the JR. Yokoska Line to Kita-Kamakura Station, just one station before Kamakura. The temple is just a few steps from the station.

Zeniarai Benten Shrine

Zeniarai Benten Shrine is an interesting shrine because of the custom of visitors to the shrine washing their money in the cave next to the shrine. It is said that if you wash your money here it will double. The shrine is also a rare surviving example of Buddhist and Shinto fusion. Many other shrines were stripped of their Buddhist connections when the Meiji government attempted to emancipate and separate Shinto from Buddhism.

The shrine is located along the Daibutsu hiking tail that connect Kita-Kamakura with the Great Buddha. The shrine is accessible only by foot, about a 25-30 minute walk west of Kamakura Station.

Toshogu Shrine

A mountain town most famous for Toshogu Shrine, Japan’s most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which is the third and last of the shogunate governments in Japanese history. There are three famous carvings to look for at this shrine: Three Wise Monkeys, The Sleeping Cat and an elephant carving. There is also the Sacred Stable where a white imperial horse is kept, a gift of New Zealand).

From Tokyo station take the JR. Chuo Line to Shinjuku Station. Transfer to the direct Shinjuku-Nikko Limited Express to Tobu-Nikko Station. The shrines and temples are located a 30-40 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride from Tobu and JR. Nikko Stations.