A journey of history and culture surrounded by nature in Western Japan

Travelling to scenic landscapes and tracing roots of Japanese culture, such as Zen, folk tales, and even hot springs will bring you a pleasant time. Here are routes for you to experience the traditional life surrounded by nature of Western Japan that changes through spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

Walk through the bamboo grove to imagine the spirit of Zen: Kyoto Arashiyama

Saga Arashiyama Station is the nearest station to Kyoto Arashiyama : 6 stops from Kyoto Station on the JR Sagano Line (San’in Line). Spreading to Sagano on the northern side of Togetsukyo Bridge is Bamboo Road (Chikurin no Michi). You can go for a walk through the 200-meter bamboo grove from Okochi Sanso to Nonomiya Shrine. Through all seasons, the sunshine through and the rustling leaves of the bamboo groves refresh your mind and body.Nearby Tenryu-ji Temple is registered as a World Heritage Site, with a garden where guests can experience the spirit of Zen. In Arashiyama, you can enjoy a tour on a sightseeing rickshaw and walking in Kimono using rental service.

Experience the world of old tales in historical settlements: Gifu Shirakawago

Gifu Shirakawago is famous for the village of the Shirakawago with a steep rafter roof, registered as the World Heritage. It takes about 3 hours by bus from JR Nagoya Station, and about 1 hour 30 minutes by bus from JR Kanazawa Station. There remains more than 100 houses with a steep rafter roof and they are designated as traditional buildings in preservation districts.

What is surprising is that inhabitance of the village, originated from the early Kamakura period in the mid-13th century, still continues. Especially, the famous Wada House is open to tourists, allowing them to see traditional tools and hearths. This is a perfect spot to discover a fantastic village living that appears in old Japanese stories.

You can also find campgrounds, a ski resort in the neighborhood, and, of course, hot springs looking over the sacred Mountain Hakusan. You can also enjoy activity programs to experience traditional Japanese cultures such as plant dyeing, straw making, and making Soba (buckwheat noodles).

Enjoy the stage of novels, anime, and art: Ehime Dogo Onsen

Ehime Dogo Onsen is located about 40 minutes away by train and bus from JR Matsuyama Station. This is a famous place for Soseki Natsume’s novel “Botchan” as well as one of the “Abura Ya” that appears in the movie “Spirited Away”. The location is also said to be the oldest hot spring in Japan with its great histories narrated in the Nihon Shoki and the Tale of Genji.

In Dogo Onsen Main Building, you can soak in the hot springs called “God’s hot water (Kamino Yu)” and “Spirit hot water (Tamano Yu)”. Relax yourself in the mystically named hot springs. What is more, there is the bath, “Yushinden”, for the exclusive use by the Emperor and his family in Japan, in which you can see the gorgeous and divine space.

Furthermore, you can feel the world of Shiki Masaoka, a poet and a baseball lover in the Meiji period, in “Shiki Memorial Museum”. The contemporary art festival, “Dogo Onsenart 2018” (held by the end of February 2019) will also make your travel more attractive.

Visit the special site for your journey of history and culture in Western Japan

Western Japan is the place where you can enjoy nature and also get in touch with history and culture. There are many more attractive spots in addition to Kyoto Bamboo Road, Gifu Shirakawago, and Ehime Dogo Onsen. On our special site, we recommend various trips such as attractive natural landscapes and unique cultural experiences.Please check them out on this special site .