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Beginners journal to Osaka

August 31, 2018

Beginners Journal to Osaka

One great destination to explore a great many places in Japan in Osaka. Make it your base and buy a Japan Rail pass, this will open up the surrounding countryside to you and give greater freedom to explore.

Though Osaka is the third largest city in Japan, it’s an urban sprawl and was known as the Manchester of the East. During WW ll, the city was heavily bombed by the Americans and the last raid was carried out just a day before Japan’s surrender. Ford Motors had a plant that operated right up until 1941.

Osaka has great nightlife and food, very modern architecture (it’s Japan’s commercial capital) and fantastic shopping. A couple of days should suffice to experience it. The remaining time can be spent exploring other neighboring cities.

Kobe, 30km from Osaka has both mountains and the sea, and this makes it a lovely destination. It was totally destroyed in 1995 by an earthquake but the resilient Japanese have rebuilt it. Famous for its Kobe Beef, it has many eateries serving it in a variety of ways. The city also has the world’s longest suspension bridge; other attractions are the Shin-Kobe Ropeway and the Earthquake Museum.

Iga city is on the route to Nagoya from Osaka. It’s quite small but it’s the hometown of the Japanese Ninjas, especially Ninja spies. It has museums and schools dedicated to the art of stealth. It’s also the birthplace of Matsuo Basho, the father of a much gentler art known as the Haiku.

Ise is another beautiful town known in Japan for its spirituality and two Shinto shrines of Naiku and Geku. The town has several natural hot spring baths, traditional restaurants, and tranquil forests. The street leading to Naiku shrine is the place to shop for handicrafts.

Kinosaki is a popular tourist town with many public baths fed by natural hot springs. It has willow-lined streets and parts of it look straight out of a typical Japanese picture postcard.

Nagoya, an Edo era castle town but during the Second World War, many of its historical buildings were destroyed. It has resurrected itself as a modern metropolis. The Tokugawa Art Museum and the world’s largest planetarium are worth a visit.

Mount Koya is a hidden gem and not much frequented by regular travelers. There are many temples and monasteries that line Mount Koya and if you can stay in one it will be the highlight of your visit. There are a beautiful rock garden and some very interesting trails for walking.

Japan is a wonderful and captivating country that will ‘Captivate” you. Book early and get many discounts and bargains. For travel expenses, get a multi-currency card from EbixCash World Money. This card comes with pin/chip security and 24 x 7 customer supports.

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