The Kansai region is also referred to as ‘Kinki’, and was once Japan’s main political hub. Here, you’ll find the ancient cities of Kyoto, Osaka and Nara, and a total of seven prefectures: Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Hyogo, Shiga, Wakayama and Mie.

While most visitors know of the deer of Nara, the ornate Geisha of Kyoto and the fascinating street foods of Osaka, the stunning feudal castle of Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture could rival any of Japan’s most popular sites when it is cloaked in cherry blossoms during sakura season, and the rich history of the Ninja that surrounds both Mie and Shiga Prefectures would fascinate any eager traveller.

One of the true jewels of Kansai is that of Wakayama Prefecture. Here, it’s possible to spend the night in an ancient temple on the mysterious and atmospheric Mount Koya and take part in the authentic morning rituals of monks, or to walk along the world-famous Kumano Kodo pilgrimage paths and follow in the footsteps of history.

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