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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

KANSAI Kyoto The old imperial capital and cultural heart of Japan

Kyoto, the former capital city, is world-famous for its refined culture and dining, while the surrounding prefecture offers the charm of rural Japan

Kyoto City attracts millions of local and international visitors seeking traditional Japanese culture. Temples and shrines such as Kiyomizu-dera and Kinkaku-ji attract throngs of tourists, as do the bamboo groves of nearby Arashiyama. But beyond the city lie Kyoto Prefecture's many rural gems, including expansive tea plantations and pristine coastline. In the north, Amanohashidate has long been considered one of Japan's three most scenic places. Nestled in the mountains, Miyama is one of the last towns with thatched-roof farmhouses, many of which are still inhabited. Enjoy delicious local vegetables and the famous green tea grown in Uji.

How to Get There

Kyoto is accessible on the bullet train from most major cities in Japan. Frequent JR trains and buses also serve Kyoto, with many commuter trains from Osaka. The nearest airports are Itami and Kansai International. Both are in Osaka Prefecture, between an hour and an hour and 20 minutes away.

Kyoto City is a prime destination for most travelers, and is easily linked to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and beyond by the Tokaido Shinkansen. Frequent commuter trains to and from Osaka may be a more convenient option. To reach other towns in Kyoto Prefecture and the Tango Peninsula, you'll need to take local trains and buses. It takes just over two hours from Kyoto Station to Miyazu on the coast at Tango, where buses take you on to Ine and the beaches. For even more fulfilling explorations of the area, it is helpful to rent a car.

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Don't Miss

    Grand temples, shrines, palaces and gardens in Kyoto City and its environs
    Sumptuous multi-course cuisine and refined traditional ryokan accommodations
    White-sand beaches and mineral-rich hot springs on the Tango Peninsula
    One of Japan's three great views at Amanohashidate

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    From late March to April is the time to enjoy cherry blossoms and the fresh green of maple leaves in shrine and temple gardens.

  • Summer

    During the hottest season, Kyotoites enjoy riverside dining, cormorant fishing performances, beach excursions, the month-long Gion Festival, and fire displays to honor the spirits of their ancestors.

  • Autumn

    Kyoto’s autumn foliage attracts visitors from the world over. Fall marks the harvest moon and its related festivals, such as the Jidai Matsuri. Cool temperatures are perfect for hiking at Mt. Ponpon and Mt. Atago.

  • Winter

    Kabuki’s biggest stars come to perform, plum blossoms emerge after the snows, and countryside onsen offer a comforting retreat from the chill. Winter festivals like Arashiyama Hanatoro illuminate the city of Kyoto.

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