I’ve been living in Osaka as an exchange student for almost a year. During this time, I traveled to many places in Japan. It is nearly the end of my year here. I thought that writing an article would be a great way to reflect my time here and it might give useful information to people who intend to travel in Japan.
Osaka is a great place to live. It is very centrally located, so it is easier to travel around to other cities, comparing to Tokyo. From Osaka, you can easily go on a day trip to Nara, Kyoto, Kobe etc.
Tokyo was fun – a very busy, energetic city. Nara is very ancient – the dears are just so cute. Kyoto is quiet – it seems that there is a shrine or temple at every corner. Kobe is a beautiful seaside city – the night view of the harbor is very relaxing. Hiroshima is very peaceful – this may sound ironic, but that was my true feelings.
All the above cities are very popular tourist destinations. However reflecting back, I am asking myself, where have I enjoyed most? The answer is not among those places. Rather, I prefer places that have a true Japanese atmosphere. For example, Kinosaki’s hot spring has a history of 1300 years. It is very popular among Japanese travelers, but hardly visited by foreigners. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeuSilcuWLE
My advice to foreign travelers are that don’t just go to famous travel destinations. There are many beautiful, but not so well-known places in Japan. It is worthwhile to take some time to research about small Japanese towns that will give you a real Japanese experience.
I found the website below very useful and informative. If you are looking for information about where to go in Kansai, it is a perfect website. http://www.youtube.com/user/LetsJapanCh