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Recommended season: Anytime
This course will take you by train around northern Kyoto, where you can enjoy beautiful views of Kyoto by the Sea and delicious dishes from the Japan Sea. The scenic views of Amanohashidate, one of Japan's three most famous scenic views, and the funaya boat houses of Ine are not to be missed. Unwind from your travels at a hot spring spa in Amanohashidate. In "Kyoto in the Forests", take a tour of Fukuchiyama Castle, built by the famous Japanese warrior Akechi Mitsuhide. Enjoy beautiful views on the Hozugawa River boat ride from Kameoka as you wend your way to Arashiyama in Kyoto. Arashiyama is Kyoto's archetypal spot for beautiful views of the ever-changing seasons.
Enjoy the finest of the Japan Sea in the port town of Maizuru
Take the Kansai Airport Express Haruka from Kansai International Airport to Kyoto, where you'll transfer for the Maizuru Limited Express train bound for Higashi Maizuru.
By Kansai Airport Express Haruka (JR Kansai Airport Line)/Maizuru Limited Express (JR San'in Line): 3 hrs 30 mins
Iwagaki rock oysters grown in Maizuru Bay are typical summer fare in Maizuru. Iwagaki oysters have more meat than normal oysters, and there are plenty of restaurants in the city where you can enjoy seafood dishes using Iwagaki oysters and other seafood.
Accommodations (in Maizuru/around Higashi Maizuru Station)
Enjoy views of historical red brick warehouses and Amanohashidate, one of Japan's three most famous scenic views
On foot: 20 mins, or 10 mins by bus and on foot
These red brick warehouses are historical buildings built by the former Japanese Navy and are important Japanese cultural heritages. They have often been used as a backdrop for movies. You'll also find a café and museum housed here.
Red Brick Warehouses → (On foot: 20 mins, or 10 mins by bus and on foot) → Higashi-Maizuru Station → (By train (JR Line): Approx. 10 min) → Nishi-Maizuru Station →
By train (Tango Akamatsu): 50 mins
Go by Tango Akamatsu, a scenic train where you can enjoy beautiful views from your carriage window.
Amanohashidate View Land is representative of Miyazu and an excellent spot to see Amanohashidate. The view from here is called hiryukan because it looks just like a dragon taking flight when looked at from between your legs. Enjoy a stroll in the sky on the dragon-shaped veranda.
Amanohashidate Station→(On foot: Approx. 5 min) → Amanohashidate View Land Chairlift/Monorail Boarding Point → Amanohashidate View Land → Amanohashidate View Land Chairlift/Monorail Drop-off Point → (On foot: Approx. 5 min) → Amanohashidate Station →
Accommodations (around Amanohashidate Station)
Travel around traditional Japanese scenery and a castle town
By bus: Approx. 1 hr
Get a bus from Amanohashidate Station and get off at Ine bus stop.
Even today, Ine still looks like a Japanese traditional fishing village. The first floors of funaya boat houses here are to moor the boat, while the second floors are the actual house. These houses stand right on the end of the water, so from a pleasure cruise they look just like they are floating on the sea. Around 230 funaya stand surrounding Ine Bay.
By bus: Approx. 1 hr
Get a bus from Ine bus stop and get off at Amanohashidate Station.
A famous dish made with fresh clams caught at Amanohashidate. Amanohashidate clams are thick and huge. Their flavor seeps into the rice and is delicious.
By rapid express on the Kyoto Tango Railway Miyafuku Line: 40 mins
Fukuchiyama Castle was built by Akechi Mitsuhide, a famous Japanese warrior. You can get a view of Fukuchiyama from the tower, and the castle is famous in Spring for cherry blossoms.
Fukuchiyama Station → (On foot: Approx. 15 min) → Fukuchiyama Castle → (On foot: Approx. 15 min) → Fukuchiyama Station →
By rapid express (JR San'in Line): 1 hr 10 mins
Accommodations (Yunohana Onsen/around Kameoka Station)
Move to Yunohana Onsen from Kameoka Station by free shuttle bus from the spa
Travel down to Arashiyama while enjoying the beautiful scenery by the ravine
Move to the Hozugawa-kudari Boarding Site by shuttle bus from the spa (20 mins)
The Hozugawa River boat ride is a thrilling 1.5 hour boat trip through the ravine from Kameoka to Arashiyama. From cherry blossoms in Spring and verdant green in summer to changing leaves in fall and snowy vistas in winter, the boat trip offers a beautiful scene in every season.
Hozugawa-kudari Boarding Site → (By boat: Approx. 1 hr 30 min) → Hozugawa-kudari Arrival Point →
On foot: Approx. 5 min
Arashiyama is Kyoto's archetypical tourist spot. It's famous for cherry blossoms in the Spring and changing leaves in the fall, and sees numerous tourists. You can gaze out at the beauty of Arashiyama from Togetsukyo Bridge over the Katsuragawa River. The beautiful path through the bamboo forest spreading north from Tenryu-ji Temple is also highly recommended.
By train: 15 mins from Saga Arashiyama Station (JR Line)
Tofuku-ji Temple is Japan's oldest and largest temple. It features a beautiful dry rock garden and is famous as a primary spot for fall leaves in Kyoto. You can see fall leaves from Tsutenkyo Bridge over the ravine.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is a famous temple in Kyoto. Enjoy a seasonal view of the city from the wooden veranda of the main shrine, it stands as high as a four story building.
Kyoto Station → (By train (JR Line): Approx. 5 min) → Tofukuji Station → (On foot: Approx. 10 min) → 1. Tofuku-ji Temple → (By bus and on foot: Approx. 40 min) → 2. Kiyomizu-dera Temple →
By bus and on foot: Approx. 30 min
Accommodations (in Kyoto City/around Kyoto Station)
Enjoy sightseeing and shopping in Osaka
By train (Special Rapid Service train to Osaka Station (JR Tokaido San'yo Line)): 30 mins
Osaka Castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a famous Japanese warrior. You can see Osaka City from the castle tower. Abeno Harukas stands at 300m and is Japan's tallest building. You can see all the way to Kyoto and Kobe from the building's observation deck. Enjoy a stroll along the waterfront or shopping in Dotombori, a symbol of Osaka's bustling Minami quarter.
By train (JR Kansai Airport Express Haruka from Tennoji Station): 30 mins
Arrive at Kansai International Airport