What is Kansai?


Most foreign tourist to Japan visit two major destinations, Kanto and Kansai. In Kanto, attractions are the capital city of Tokyo, Nikko and Hakone. Mount Fuji is located to the west of Kanto. On the other hand, Kansai has many historic sites such as temples, Shinto shrines, and castles. Kanto region has about 40 million population and Kansai has 20 million, the sum of which make up about half of Japan’s population.

The following map shows the broader Kansai area also known as Kinki region. Both two railways are Japan Railways (JR) company’s, one is fast Shinkansen, and the other is slow regular train. These two lines meet at Nagoya, Kyoto, Shin-Osaka, and Himeji stations. There are also other JR lines and other private railway company’s lines. Most historic sites and UNESCO’s world heritage sites are located in Kyoto and Nara, but Mt.Koya and Ise Shrine are located far away.