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WATCH: Kyoto? Osaka? Find Other Gems in Japan’s Kansai Region





If you ask friends who have travelled to Japan, chances are the two places which come up as must-visit-destinations are: Tokyo, for the fun and games; and Kyoto, for the history and beauty. They might also recommend Osaka, perhaps saying that on the way they stopped by Japan’s second largest city for the delicious food.


It works because it’s a good summary of what Japan has to offer in the popular imagination: Kanto Region versus Kansai region, the modern and the traditional, the culture and the cuisine. 



As far as Kansai goes, Kyoto is full of historical landmarks, beautiful landscape, and traditions which go back hundreds of years. Osaka, with its bombastic quality and food culture, offers a different take on the metropolis experience compared to Tokyo.


But many forget the Kansai region in general is so much more varied than just Kyoto and Osaka.


To showcase this, the KANSAI Tourism Bureau has teamed up with a group of creators and filmmakers to show off the best of the entire region, from local delicacies and crafts, to stunning temples and nature. Editing, filming, acting, and directing by Japanese and foreign filmmakers like Kenichi Watanabe and Rudy Von Os come together in a quick, aesthetic, travel blog-style video. 


Peppered with awe-inspiring time lapses and drone footage, the video, in only 3.27 minutes, takes you at a full blast whirl of color through 72 locations throughout the whole of Kansai, some of which Japanese themselves might have not visited. 



You are transported in seconds from the sand dunes in Tottori to the Toba Amakoya festival in Mie, the Hieizan Enryakuji Temple in Shiga, the National Treasure and World Heritage site Himeji Castle, as well as a Nadagogo Sake Brewery in Hyogo, the iconic World Heritage site Koyasan (Mt. Koya), and the Shirasaki Beach in Wakayama prefecture.


The video is a compelling invite to tourists, but goes beyond that. With its quick, pop style, it almost nudges young explorers and would-be video makers to take a look at the amazing beauty you can find in this region. 


In 2018, out of the 31 million visitors to Japan — the highest number ever recorded — approximately 11 million visited the Kansai region. Clearly, there is room to grow.


With the government announcing an expected 40 million visitors in 2020, the KANSAI Tourism Bureau is riding the wave and preparing to show off the region’s attractions to those who want to visit Japan. 



If you have caught the travel bug and are interested to explore the road less trodden in your next visit to Japan, or even if you just wish you could, make sure to check the full video here. You will surely be inspired in your next Kansai adventure! 



Author: JAPAN Forward