The Kansai Region

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Kansai Region - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Horyu-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple is the jewel in the crown of classical Japanese architecture. In the morning, elderly locals on their way to work pray in front...Read More

  • 2. Kasuga Taisha

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Famous for the more than 2,000 stone mantoro (lanterns) that line its pathways, Kasuga Taisha is a monument to the Shinto tradition of worshipping...Read More

  • 3. Todai-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Completed in AD 752, this temple complex was conceived by Emperor Shomu in the 8th century as the seat of authority for Buddhist Japan. An earthquake...Read More

  • 4. Chugu-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple was originally the home of Prince Shotoku's mother in the 6th century and is now a Buddhist nunnery. It houses an amazing wooden...Read More

  • 5. Kai

    Nara-machi | Store/Shop/Mall

    Rooted in tradition, Kai houses a collection of shops with new takes on traditional Japanese arts and crafts. In addition to a café and gallery...Read More

  • 6. Kobaien

    Nara-machi | Industrial Site/Mill/Factory

    Nara accounts for about 90% of Japan's sumi ink production, and for 400 years Kobaien has made fine ink sticks for calligraphy and ink painting...Read More

  • 7. Kofuku-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The Kofuku-ji Temple's Five-Story Pagoda dominates the skyline. Built in 1426, it's an exact replica of the original pagoda that Empress Komyo...Read More

  • 8. Koshi-no-ie

    Nara-machi | Museum/Gallery

    This well-to-do merchant's house has been thoroughly restored, making it a quick trip through the Edo period. English pamphlets are available. ...Read More

  • 9. Nara National Museum

    Nara Koen | Museum/Gallery

    One of the earliest examples of Western-style Meiji architecture, the Nara National Museum was completed in 1889 to much controversy over its...Read More

  • 10. Naramachi Museum

    Nara-machi | Museum/Gallery

    So just what are those red cloth animals on pieces of rope outside houses in Nara? Called migawarizaru (substitute monkeys), they are hung...Read More

  • 11. Shin-Yakushi-ji Temple

    Nara Koen | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple was founded in 747 by Empress Komyo (701–760) in gratitude for the recovery of her sick husband, Emperor Shomu. Only the Main Hall...Read More

  • 12. Toshodai-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The main entrance to Toshodai Temple, which was built in AD 751, is called the Path of History, since in Nara's imperial days dignitaries and...Read More

  • 13. Yakushi-ji Temple

    Western Nara | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    The two pagodas that tower over Yakushi Temple are an analogy of past and present Japan. Yakushi-ji's East Pagoda dates from 1285, and has such...Read More

  • 14. Yu Nakagawa

    Nara-machi | Store/Shop/Mall

    This shop specializes in handwoven, sun-bleached linens, a local specialty known as Nara sarashi. This shop sells noren (two-panel curtains...Read More

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