AT#540 – Travel to the Kansai Region of Japan

Travel to Kansai Region of Japan - What to do, see and eat in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and more


Transcript

Hear about travel to the Kansai Region of Japan (Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, etc) as the Amateur Traveler talks to Amanda Kendle from the Thoughtful Travel Podcast about one of her favorite parts of the world. Amanda originally came to Kansai to teach English and fell in loved with it.

“If you think about Japan, the two biggest cities, Tokyo and Osaka, both have their regional areas. For Tokyo that’s Kanto and for Osaka that’s the Kansai region. It should be better known. I am trying to make it better known because I love it. That includes a lot of famous cities like Kyoto and Nara as well as Osaka itself. It’s about the same size as Australia in terms of population but it’s a very tiny geographic area. It includes so much history culture and amazing food.”

We could start talking about the rich imperial cities of Kyoto and Nara with their thousands of temples and shrines as well as a palace or two, but Amanda starts us with the food which is appropriate because Osaka is sometimes called the “nation’s kitchen”. “The food is typically Japanese but not what you get in a Japanese restaurant. My favorite there is okonomiyaki.” Okonomiyaki means “how you like”. “It is made of a lot of cabbage, eggs and flour, often pork or seafood and it is made in the shape of a pancake. They then smother it in the most amazing sauces and Japanese mayonnaise and then ground up green seaweed on top and it is the most devine taste you will ever experience.”

There are over 1600 temples in Kyoto alone (many are a part of a UNESCO site) so we pick out some of our favorite spots like the colorful Fushimi Inari-taisha with its thousands of torii extending up the hillside. Amanda also recommends a visit to Monkey Park Iwatayama to see the snow monkeys.

In Nara we visit one of the largest Buddhas in the world located in the world’s largest wooden building. We also feed the deer at Nara Park and visit the Kasuga Shrine with its many moss covered stone lanterns.

In Osaka, we visit the wooden Osaka castle (only one of 8 remaining castles in Japan) as well as the colorful shops of Japan’s second largest city.

We also talk about nearby Kobe, including the famous beef as well as a wonderful museum about the Kobe earthquake.

Hear why the Kansai region is such a beautiful, culturally and historically significant and delicious region of Japan.

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Show Notes

Not a Ballerina

Kansai Tourism

Kansai Region

Okonomiyaki

Kobe

Osaka

Kyoto

Nara

Nara Park

Tōdai-ji

Fushimi Inari-taisha

Monkey Park Iwatayama

Kasuga-taisha

Nara National Museum

Osaka Castle

Aqua Liner

Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan

Shitennō-ji

Sakai

Arima Onsen

Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Museum

The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Community

Japan Trip June 2017

Cindy wrote about Travel to North Dakota – Episode 523

Chris, just thought I’d give you a few more reasons to visit ND (and return to MN too, of course). While the Plains Art Museum isn’t the Louvre, you’ll leave the Plains Musuem understanding Fargo a little better. The Louvre is great, but it doesn’t really help you understand Paris. The Plains Art Museum does some lovely shows. Also, since you seem to like stav churches, you should know that there is a a full-size replica of one in Moorhead. Ok, it’s not ND, but the church is by the river so you can see it from ND – and if you cross the river into MN you can tour it, as well as a homemade Viking ship a college friend sailed to Norway in one summer many years ago.

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Travel to Kansai Region of Japan - What to do, see and eat in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe and more

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