Fushimi inari-taisha

Also known as “O-inari-san”, Inari shrines are the most familiar shrines to Japanese people. There are said to be some thirty thousand throughout the country, frequented by people of all ages. Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine with which all the others are affiliated. In the 1300 years since its establishment in 711AD, people have gathered here to pray for bountiful harvests, business prosperity, the safety of their home and family and the fulfillment of all kinds of other wishes. In recent years, the shrine’s Japanese worshippers have been joined by overseas visitors coming to pray or tour the shrine. Fushimi Inari Taisha is now known worldwide as one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto, and in Japan as a whole.

Fushimi temple. Rows of red poles with Japanese writings on it.

Cherry Blossoms

Osaka Castle Park

Constructed in the late 1500’s, the Osaka castle is a beautiful piece of architecture that was burnt down in the mid-1600’s and rebuilt in 1931. Its white, gold and soft green colors make it an easily recognizable figure that every visitor wants to see. The castle is surrounded by over 4,000 trees spread out around the gardens. It is free to visit unless you wish to go into the Nishinomaru Garden which comes at a cost of 350 yen. the castle’s perimeter is quite enough for the casual visitor who simply wants beautiful photos of the castle surrounded by the cherry blossom trees.

Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018
Region City Estimated Peak Bloom Date
Kyushu Fukuoka (Fukuoka) March 27
Kumamoto (Kumamoto) March 25
Shikoku Matsuyama (Ehime) March 26
Chugoku Hiroshima (Hiroshima) March 31
Kinki Osaka (Osaka) March 30
Kyoto (Kyoto) March 31
Kobe (Hyogo) March 31
Cherry Blossoms in front of the Osaka Castle

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

The 6,000m² Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama is a monkey paradise where approximately 120 Japanese macaques roam freely in natural surroundings. Get up close to the monkeys in their natural habitat. The feeding area at the top of the hill also provides a great view of Kyoto. Every season offers a different view, with the cherry blossoms in spring and autumn foliage being especially gorgeous. Get away from the hustle and bustle and spend some time with the monkeys!

Two monkeys sitting beside a viewfinder in Arashiyama