New Spots to Visit Around Kansai

Apr 26, 2024 By Justin Hanus

The pandemic shut down everything in Japan for a while, but Kansai has now bounced back with a number of new attractions. This makes right now a great time to rediscover Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, and Nara. 1. Super Nintendo World The latest addition to Universal Studios Japan is Super Nintendo...[ Click to read more ]

Easter in Kansai

Mar 25, 2024 By Justin Hanus

Are you an expat from a Christian country living in Japan? If so, you may have noticed a lack of general excitement each year around the Easter period. Although the Japanese have taken Christmas to heart in recent years, they’ve been slower to adopt Easter traditions. That said, you can...[ Click to read more ]

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Best Hanami Spots in Kansai

Feb 29, 2024 By Justin Hanus

Hanami is an annual event unique to Japan. The word means “flower viewing” and it relates to the springtime blooming of the flowers on cherry blossom trees (sakura) across Japan. Every year around late March to early April, regions all across the country have their Hanami season that is the...[ Click to read more ]

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New Year Celebrations in Kansai

Dec 27, 2023 By Justin Hanus

New Year (Shogatsu) is a time for big celebration in Japan. Seen as a period of cleansing and renewal as well as an opportunity to welcome in the New Year, festivities tend to last from January 1-3, with many people taking this period off work. There are various ways that...[ Click to read more ]

How to Get an ETC Card in Japan

Oct 19, 2023 By Justin Hanus

To pay the expressway tolls in Japan, it helps to have an Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) card. This allows you to make automatic cashless payments instead of needing to stop at tollbooths and pay in cash. There are even special lanes at the tolls for holders of ETC cards, which...[ Click to read more ]

Mountain Treks in Kansai

Aug 28, 2023 By Justin Hanus

Japan is well-known for its vibrant and colorful city life, but beyond its urban sprawl, there is some magnificent natural scenery that makes the place a hiker’s paradise. The Kansai region, home to cities such as Osaka and Kyoto, has an abundance of mountains across its districts. With autumn fast...[ Click to read more ]

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Fascinating Towns Near Kyoto: Otsu, Uji, & Fushimi

Jul 24, 2023 By Justin Hanus

As the former capital of Japan, Kyoto is a huge city with plenty of things to see, but sometimes you may want a change of scenery and perhaps a bit of peace! There's no need to go far — you can visit the smaller towns nearby. The three top choices...[ Click to read more ]

Boat Trips in Kansai

By Justin Hanus

With so many picturesque waterways spread across the region, Kansai is the perfect Japanese location for a boat trip. Whether you fancy a relaxing cruise or a white-knuckle downriver jaunt, there are no shortage of boating opportunities. Here is a choice selection of trips guaranteed to provide a winner of...[ Click to read more ]

Fruit Picking in Kansai

Jul 23, 2023 By Justin Hanus

Picking fresh fruit is a popular – and refreshing – pastime in Japan. In the Kansai region, there are many farms and orchards where you can roam around and pluck produce straight from the plant. You pay either by weight or time slot, depending on the farm. Some farms, in...[ Click to read more ]

Seeing Noh Theater in Kansai

Jun 28, 2023 By Justin Hanus

A combination of music, dance, and poetry, Noh theater dates back to the 14th century, making it the oldest dramatic form in Japan. The performances are based on ancient myths and often feature a supernatural being who has taken human form to narrate the story. Many performances are technically nogaku,...[ Click to read more ]