Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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

Eating and shopping around Shin-Osaka and Osaka/Umeda Stations

The north of Osaka is a sprawl of massive stations packed alongside one another with all the amenities and entertainment needed to accommodate the more than two million people who pour into the area daily. Shin-Osaka is the home of Osaka’s bullet train, while Osaka Station and Umeda Station to the south are the hub for all local transportation.

Don't Miss

  • Getting lost in the neverending maze of shopping centers and train stations in Umeda
  • A leisurely walk along the river in Nakanoshima
  • Eating in Tenma—Osaka's favorite place to dine

How to Get There

As the main transportation hub into Osaka, this area is easily accessible by train.

It’s confusing for locals and tourists alike to distinguish Shin-Osaka, Osaka Station and Umeda Station. There are a handful of major stations in the north of Osaka with similar names or similar locations.

Shin-Osaka is the station where the shinkansen stops. Osaka Station is the main hub for all local commuter trains and subways. These two stations are four kilometers apart. Adding to the confusion, Umeda Station is right next door to Osaka Station and is where all the other train companies' trains stop.

If arriving via shinkansen, exit the shinkansen turnstile and head for the JR train bound for Osaka Station (on the Tokaido Line). Exit Osaka Station to find yourself in the city’s central transportation and business hub. Every other destination and attraction in Osaka can be easily accessed via an Osaka/Umeda Station train line.

Osaka is the kitchen of Japan, and Tenma is the kitchen of Osaka

Everyone loves a good meal, but Osakans take dining to a whole other level. The sheer concentration of restaurants and izakayas, which at times seem to outnumber housing and offices should be a testament to this. Tenma is the pinnacle of this obsessive dining culture.

Nakanoshima—the municipal center of the city

The center of government in Osaka, Nakanoshima is a well-designed and beautifully manicured slice of the city. This thin strip of land stretches four plus kilometers east to west. Nakanoshima is home to the city hall, a handful of museums and historically preserved buildings, and a beautiful promenade and park for walking. Come in temperate weather to enjoy a leisurely stroll stopping at the museums and various points of interest along the way.

Planning a trip

With the crowds of people flowing from one path to the next, Umeda and the surrounding northern area of the city can seem a little overwhelming but is certainly worth experiencing, particularly if you are a fan of urban spaces and efficient development.

The essence of urban Japan

Given the number of people who come through the station everyday, it’s incredible that the trains manage to stay on time, the streets manage to preserve their clean appearance and pedestrians maintain a generally calm composure despite the seeming chaos erupting from all directions.

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