Kansai
UNESCO Sites

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Our most recommended Kansai UNESCO Sites

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

1. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting. Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

Kansai-Hiroshima JR & Bus Pass

2. Kansai-Hiroshima JR & Bus Pass

Explore the Kansai region, the spiritual heart of Japan which is home to some of the country's most interesting cities. Once you’ve picked up your pass, you’ll be able to ride the JR West railways and buses throughout the Kansai region down to Hiroshima.  Discover the vibrant city of Osaka and its amazing food scene. Visit the ancient temples and shrines of Kyoto. See Nara's natural beauty, try the beef in Kobe, visit Himeji castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or connect with nature in the forests and waterfalls of Wakayama. Walk the UNESCO Kumano Kodo in Kishi, admire the best dunes in Tottori, relax in the Kinosaki Onsen's hot spring, or take amazing photos in the top Japanese garden of Okayama's Korakuen.  Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Atomic Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine in Miyajima by ferry. Take the road-less traveled and use the JR West bus network to see cities such as Kyoto, Shiga, Tsuruga, and Iga-Ueno.

Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

3. Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

Meet your knowledgeable guide at the meeting point and begin your cultural half-day walking tour of Japan's first historical capital. As you walk by the shopping arcade, explore a Japanese old town extremely different from a metropolis like Tokyo. Walk between the historical buildings, and go inside a traditional merchant's house to see how people around here live in the past. Next, take a break from walking to observe the mysterious pyramid-shaped structure in the middle of the quiet town. Admire the view of the city of Nara from the hill, then visit Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn about the distinct Japanese religious culture as you see a huge temple with a great Buddha statue, then explore a beautiful shrine housing hundreds of lanterns. In this area, meet and feed the wild deer living in Nara Park. For over 1,200 years, locals have believed that deer are sacred divine messengers. Interact with them and see how polite they are. At the end of the tour, savor a delicious Japanese lunch dish made only using local Nara vegetables and fresh meat.

Himeji: Private Guided Walking Tour

4. Himeji: Private Guided Walking Tour

Meet your expert private guide at JR Himeji station to begin the tour. With your guide, learn more about some of Japan's most significant historical sites. First, stop by the Castle View Deck and enjoy fantastic views of Himeji Castle from afar. Continue by walking down Otemae Street before arriving at the foot of Himeji Castle, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest and most visited castle in Japan. After some time to admire its exterior, wander through the tranquil Koko-en gardens located beside the castle. Take a bus to the Mount Shosha Ropeway which brings you to Engyo-Ji Temple Complex. Discover a serene place of pilgrimage for those of the Tendai Mahayana Buddhist faith. Enjoy the serene atmosphere and scenic views of the city from the summit of Mount Shosha.

Kyoto: 4-Hour Arashiyama Walking Tour

5. Kyoto: 4-Hour Arashiyama Walking Tour

Start the tour from the JR Saga-Arashiyama station North Exit. Skip the regular and crowded route which leads directly to the bamboo forest, and make your way to the lesser-known Saga-Toriimoto area.  Visit the local gift shops and beautiful local temples and shrines. Learn about the local stories and legends of the area from your guide. Enjoy the beauty of the bamboo forest and learn about its significance for the locals.  Next, visit Tenryu-Ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous its beautiful Sogenchi pond and garden which was once owned by local aristocrats. Walk towards Arashiyama's iconic Togetsukyo bridge. Then, enjoy a traditional lunch with typical Kyoto cuisine. Enjoy the views over the Togetsukyo bridge from the restaurant while you are eating.

Frequently asked questions about Kansai UNESCO Sites

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Which Kansai UNESCO Sites are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

These Kansai UNESCO Sites are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:

Other Sightseeing Options in Kansai

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What people are saying about Kansai

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 43 reviews

Really very good ! My guide spoke enough English to explain everything to me and above all she took me to little places not touristy at all (traditional house, making motchi etc.) in addition to the big sites. She was also very interested in where I came from, we talked about our two cultures, what we liked and what we didn't. Very pleasant ! I recommend !

Very nice the tour. Deer, the great Buddha and the guardians, temples, and ends in a commercial area with restaurants. 4h tour The guide very attentive and walking at our pace.

Fumiko great guide excellent person

Wonderful place and Fumiko's explanation very good