Tag: Kansai


The small former merchant district of Naramachi does its best to preserve its Edo-period atmosphere and charm to this day. When I first walked along the main streets in Nara, it seemed that not much remained of its past—apart from its temples—as most residential buildings had been torn down to make room for today’s modern concrete multi-story buildings. That was until I accidentally stumbled into Naramachi.

Rising above Mt. Torafusu lies the architectural beauty Wakayama Castle. Travel southeast and cherry blossoms engulf Kimiidera, a temple overlooking the sea on one side and the town on the other. All of this one hour away from Osaka, making Wakayama the perfect spring day trip.

Buddhist temples in Japan always tend to leave quite an impression. They house some of the finest traditional art and architecture in the world and are maintained with the greatest care. Yet there is a catch for us cheapos: they tend to always ask for an admission fee. But what if I told you you can visit Japan’s most important Buddhist temples for free?