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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
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. 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
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours 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
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders 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
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life 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 Osaka Bright, gaudy, and playful: Osaka provides ample amusements with little pretension

Osaka is a big-shouldered, welcoming merchant town with a relaxed nature that charms Japanese and tourists alike, offering food, fun and nightlife in generous portions and plenty of history and culture besides

Osaka is distinguished by its nightlife and straightforward demeanor. While Tokyo functions as a global center of commerce and Kyoto specializes in ancient traditional customs, Osaka’s primary appeal is its thriving culinary culture—the term kuidaore, meaning "eat yourself into bankruptcy," is a distinctly Osaka phenomenon—along with the unpretentious attitude of the locals and its brash, fun-loving atmosphere. Many of Japan's comedians come from Osaka, and a new style of Kabuki arose here as well. And yet this packed prefecture and city by the same name have plenty of history and culture to explore, including such sites as Osaka Castle and Shitennoji Temple. This place has been a political and economic force since the fifth century, trading with Korea and China, and powerful warlords such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi made Osaka their base of operations, with the latter unifying Japan from here.

How to Get There

From Tokyo Station, take the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka Station. The trip takes approximately two and a half hours. From Shin-Osaka Station, transfer to the JR local line and ride to Osaka Station. From Kansai International Airport, take the Nankai or JR lines to Tennoji or Namba stations.

Osaka is an excellent base for exploring the greater Kansai and Kinki region, which includes Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and Wakayama. Each of these areas is a one-hour train ride from Osaka’s central transportation hubs (Osaka Station in the north, and Tennoji Station in the south). Kansai International Airport (KIA) is rivaled only by Narita Airport in Tokyo in size and scope, and is serviced by all major airlines. Many direct flights shuttle between KIA to and from many major cities in the US and Europe.

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Don't Miss

    Dotombori Bridge and Osaka’s Minami area
    Exploring Osaka Castle Park and Expo Memorial Park—the site of Expo '70
    Seeing the city come together to partake in one of several seasonal festivals: Tenjin Matsuri, Kishiwada Danjiri and Ebessan
    Indulging in the culinary delights, particularly in neighborhoods such as Tenma and Ura Namba

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    A sea of pink fills the city’s parks and boulevards, and the city comes out in full force to celebrate the gorgeous views at Yodogawa Riverside Park, the Osaka Mint and elsewhere.

  • Summer

    Festive spirits and outdoor amusements ease the heat, and Osaka's foremost festival, the Tenjin Matsuri, thrills crowds. People head for the city's southern beaches, and summer fireworks displays brighten the night.

  • Autumn

    As summer's humidity dissipates, the leaves turn fiery and provide a pleasant impetus for outdoor adventure. The Midosuji Parade brings a vibrant procession of floats and marching bands down Osaka's grand boulevard.

  • Winter

    Warm spirits battle the cold weather, with holiday illuminations and end-of-year festivities. Runners from the world over gather for the Osaka International Women's Marathon.