Three major railway companies in the Kansai region are collaborating to promote an in-depth travel experience along the railway lines

OSAKA, Japan, February 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Kansai region of Japan has always been a popular travel spot for foreign tourists. In addition to taking measures against the pandemic, three railway companies, Keihan Holdings Co., Ltd., Kintetsu Railway Co., Ltd. and Nankai Electric Railway Co., Ltd., are working together to widely introduce sightseeing spots suitable for in-depth travel experiences along railway lines to foreign tourists. This is in preparation for the day when foreigners will be able to visit freely Japan again in the future.

This collaboration is part of the Visit Japan program. In addition to the already popular tourist sites, the program covers in-depth travel courses that are not yet known to many people and will not be crowded – sites that are attracting attention due to the pandemic. These new spots are easily visited by boarding a Keihan, Kintetsu or Nankai train.

Left: Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, a World Heritage Site. Top right: The Keihan train is a convenient way to get to Uji from Osaka or Kyoto, or to Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture. Middle right: In Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture, the birthplace of matcha green tea where many teahouses stand along Byodoin Temple, where you can also enjoy matcha green tea sweets. Bottom right: Tourists can learn about the history of sake and how it is made at the Gekkeikan Ōkura Memorial Museum.

Uji City (Kyoto Prefecture)

In the city of Uji, Kyoto Prefecturethe home of matcha, there is a world-famous world heritage site known as Byodoin where you can enjoy the different scenery of the four seasons throughout the year, including cherry blossoms in spring, wisteria in early summer and autumn leaves in autumn.

Many valuable national treasures are also kept at the Hoshokan Museum, located in the area. At Taihoan Tea House operated by the city of Uji, you can experience the spirit of ichi-go ichi-e (one time, one meeting) in Japanese tea ceremony aesthetics by brewing matcha green tea in front of tourists and serving it with seasonal Japanese dishes. sweets for a reasonable price.

Uji Historical Tea and Town Park, located next to Keihan Uji Station, was fully opened on October 1, 2021. In addition to a garden and a rest area, there is a museum where visitors can learn about the history of Uji tea and a restaurant that serves matcha sweets, making it a place where people can interact on Uji tea and promote tea culture.

Otsu (Shiga Prefecture)

Located in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, east of Kyoto Prefecture, is the sacred site of Japanese Buddhism, Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, a World Heritage Site opened in the 8th century by Saichō (Dengyō Daishi), covering an area of ​​1,700 hectares. The Sakamoto cable (car) takes you to the top of the mountain, and along the way you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding forest and Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. At Enryakuji Temple, you can also enjoy fine Buddhist (vegetarian) cuisine that uses local ingredients and no animal ingredients. Additionally, you can experience the life of a monk by participating in Zen meditation, sutra copying, and shukubo (temple accommodation).

In Otsu City, there is Ogoto Onsen, which has an excellent location. The nearby area is full of ryokans (Japanese inns) that have rooms with private hot spring baths (including open-air hot spring baths) where you can enjoy the peaceful scenery of Lake Biwa while bathing in the hot spring without stepping outside. With a history of 1,200 years, Ogoto Onsen is known as one of the best hot springs in Japan with beneficial effects for the skin, and is particularly popular with female visitors. The hot spring is highly alkaline with a pH of 9.0. After bathing in the hot spring, you can experience benefits such as skin smoothing, muscle pain relief, and fatigue recovery.

High :

Above: “Kinpusenji”, the symbol of Mount Yoshino. Bottom left: “Blue Symphony”, Kintetsu’s tourist train offers a comfortable ride between Yoshino and Osaka. Bottom middle: The interior of Blue Symphony’s luxurious design. Bottom right: Miyoshino Sake Brewery’s brand sake “Hanatomoe” has been deeply accepted by sake lovers in Japan and abroad for its natural acidity and powerful flavor brought by nature.

Yoshino (Nara Prefecture)

The Yoshino area in Nara is famous for Mount Yoshino, a sacred cherry blossom spot, where you can fully enjoy the shiroyamazakura cherry blossoms. Besides the cherry blossom scenery every spring, local industries related to Yoshino culture are closely connected with the surrounding nature. Sake brewing is booming, and Miyoshino Sake Brewery uses a traditional brewing method using natural yeast placed in vats made from local Yoshino cedar wood. Local sake brand Hanatomoe, which is brewed in a wooden tank, is popular with sake lovers in Japan and abroad for its woody fragrance, natural acidity and powerful flavor.

Kinpusenji Temple, the symbol of Yoshino, is the central training ground for the traditional Japanese ascetic tradition of Shugendō, and the main hall of Zao-do enshrines the Buddha Zao Gongen there. Zao-do is currently under renovation and will be completed around March this year to welcome visitors. If you board the Blue Symphony, a sightseeing train operated by Kintetsu, you can travel between Yoshino and central areas of Osaka at a leisurely pace. On the luxuriously designed train, you can admire beautiful scenery along the train route and taste locally made sake and exclusive cakes.

To the left :

Left: “Mount Koya”, a World Heritage Site. Tourists can feel the solemn and sacred atmosphere of the religion by staying in a shukubo (temple dwelling) and attending a monk’s morning service. Top right: “Danjo Garan”, one of Mount Koya’s sacred places. Middle right: Nankai Electric Railway’s “Tenku” sightseeing train provides a comfortable ride from Osaka to Mt. Koya. Bottom right: Sakai knives made in Sakai City are highly valued around the world. At the knife factory, tourists can experience the craftsmanship up close.

sakai (Osaka Prefecture)

sakai City in Osaka Prefecture is known for its tea ceremony culture and industries such as traditional cutlery with renowned brands like sakai knives. The World Heritage Site of Mozu and Furuichi Mounds of Mounds includes Emperor Nintoku’s Tomb as well as Kami Ishizu Misanzai Kofun’s Tomb. The visitor center showcases the history and culture of the burial mound groups, and aerial footage is shown in a 3D theater located inside the center. After being inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2019, the Mozu and Furuichi burial mound groups have attracted the attention of Japan and abroad, and related organizations plan to use gas balloons to provide tourists with a comprehensive aerial view of sakai The city and the tombs.

Koyasan (Wakayama Prefecture)

Kōyasan (Mount Kōya), located in Wakayama Prefecture, is the main temple of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, founded by Kukai (Kobo-Daishi), and has a history of over 1,200 years. Of the 117 temples starting with Kongobuji Temple, Danjō-garan and Okunoin are the most popular among tourists. In Kōyasan, where there are many scenic spots and historic architecture, there are shukubo (temple lodging) where guests can spend the night. You can experience the solemn and sacred feel of the religion and the simple lifestyle of the monks by enjoying Buddhist (vegetarian) cuisine in the morning/evening and participating in the morning service of the monks.

If you board the Tenku (Nankai Electric Railway) tourist train, which travels through mountainous terrain with a maximum drop of 443 meters between Koyasan and Osakayou can enjoy the ever-changing landscape of the surrounding forests and valleys and the beauty of the four seasons from the windows of the train.

Details of these activities and the region can be found in the February 11, 2022 issue of Hong Kong’s “U Magazine”.

Currently, measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, except in certain regions. Preparations are continuously being made in tourist places to make foreigners feel safe and to provide a new travel experience when foreign tourists return to Japan.

SOURCE Keihan Holdings Co., Ltd. ; Kintetsu Railway Co., Ltd. ; Nankai Electric Railway Co.,Ltd.

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