Minatogawa Shrine, Historic Kobe

Right in front of Kobe station is Minatogawa Shrine [湊川神社]. Although this shrine is the most famous shrine in Kobe, few know why a shrine is near such a big station like Kobe. The truth is that this very shrine

Engyo-ji Temple, Himeji’s Best Kept Secret

When people think of the city of Himeji, their first thought is of course Himeji Castle. However, Himeji definitely has more than just its castle! Another one of Himeji’s most popular sites among Japanese natives is Engyo-ji Temple [円教寺]. While

Akashiyaki, the Predecessor of Takoyaki

Everybody seems to agree: Osaka is the place for takoyaki. Sources indicate that the origin of this very popular snack is akashiyaki. A local favorite of the city if Akashi in Hyogo Prefecture, akashiyaki features the city’s specialty, octopus.  

Himeji Castle, the White Heron Castle

Along with Horyu-ji Temple in Nara, Himeji Castle [姫路城] was one of the first Japanese World Heritage sites. Though this castle is a bit far from central Kansai and takes at least an hour from Osaka, it is well worth

Striking and Colorful! Nakayama-dera Temple

Just 20 minutes from Osaka City is Nakayama-dera Temple. Located in Takurazuka, Nakayama-dera is a huge, historic temple and is part of the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Popular as a temple for safe birth, Nakayama-dera is also a very popular place