Aside from the usual Universal Studios Japan, temples in Kyoto visit, I’ll share my experiences, favourite places to-go (and even some new places I want to visit) as a local in Kansai area (Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto).
Kobe is actually one of my favourite places (there are a lot) in Japan. It’s actually hard to pick a favourite since Japan is Japan, everything is just beautiful. But I swear Kobe is something, it’s actually 45 minutes away via local train / 10 minutes away via JR Line from our house but I still can never get enough of it.
- Visit Cat Café Nyanny with a friend just like what I did with Annika
- Shopping at Kobe Harborland especially in Mosaic (and Canal Garden) – you can also walk to Meriken Park, Kobe Port Tower (the red one), and Kobe Maritime Museum.
- Starbucks at Injikan – it’s actually an old residential house owned by Americans in 1907 and now it is turned into an establishment. You can find lots of similar houses turned into museums in Injikan.
- Try Yamagen cheesecake and Kobe Rokko Farm ice cream still at Injikan road
- For cafe lovers like me: Greenhouse Silva, Caffera, and Triton Cafe
- For some reason, I always bring my friends into the Rhine House
- Check out Kobe Luminarie in December – it’s too pretty
- Mother Moon Cafe if you like shabby chic aesthetic
- Sucre cachette cafe in Sannomiya is also cute plus I liked their food
- If you’re already in the area, why not visit Awajishima (Japan’s flower island)?
Most of Osaka guides are all about visiting Osaka Castle and Universal Studios Japan, even the ones that I’ve written before so I’ll just suggest not-so common cafes to visit since most of the places I can suggest are also kind of mainstream now.
- My friend Allie recommended Interior Bookworm Cafe – it became a perfect hideout when it rained
- For cafe lovers: Granknot coffee, All Day Coffee, The Grand Cafe, Cafe Absinthe
- Shinsaibashi is great but shopping around Orange Street is another level
- Visit Biotop Osaka for plant lovers (hashtag feed goals on instagram)
- Although it’s an old mall, I did really enjoy going to Namba Parks
- I’ve tried a lot of kushikatsu places in Japan but Kushikatsu Daruma in LUCUA won my heart
- There’s a good okonomiyaki restaurant at Keihan Mall in Kyobashi (I forgot the name though)
- Elk Restaurant for 3d coffee and pancakes – I’ve heard about this thru Laura, Allie and Kaila
- Why not visit Wakayama as well? They have a beautiful beach and onsen!
When in Kyoto, I often go to Arashiyama and Fushimi Inari area. I must say, Kyoto is the real heart of Japan. Sorry Tokyo, I still love you.
- At the middle of your hike up at Fushimi Inari Taisha, there’s an ice cream store that sells sesame flavoured soft-served ice cream – Noms!
- Vermillion Expresso Bar is a good stopover after
- %Arabica has the best cafe latte (I miss it so bad) – I went to the branch near Kiyomizudera
- There’s a soba restaurant inside Kiyomizudera, they serve my fave cold soba
- On your hike up to Kiyomizudera, there’s a Ghibli store that I can’t get enough of
- Philosopher’s path / walk is still my favourite area for cherry blossom viewing
- Tofuku-ji is my favourite spot for fall, I swear it’s like heaven on Earth
- Try Yojiya for their trusted cosmetics and Yojiya cafe for all matcha goods
- Fujinomori Temple for some hydrangeas
- Go to Amanohashidate if you’re feeling adventurous – I’ve been there twice but I forgot to blog about it
This post makes me miss Japan so much. I cry! Hopefully I can go back soon.