If you do through research in advance and use your knowledge instead of your wallet, it’s possible to have a fun saving trip. Let us give you a suggestion for 1 day & 2 nights model course that’s creative and fun!
① Explore Sannomiya without spending a lot 10:30-
〈Access Get to Sannomiya station from Kansai International Airport on a train around 8:30〉
The first destination is the central part of Kobe, Sannomiya. Let us give you a list of 3 spots where you can have fun without spending a lot.
【Ijinkan & Kobe Muslim Mosque】
Head North from Sannomiya. This area; Kitano is also called “mountain side”. It is famous for Ijinkan (former residences of early foreign settlers). There are markets that sell foreign foods and condos that are for foreign residents. This is an area where you can see how foreign culture and Japanese culture co-exist.
Besides Ijinkan, in the area, there are also the nation’s oldest Muslim Mosque that was built in 1936 and other buildings with foreign influences. A great area also to adore architecture.
|Address||2-25-14 Nakayamate-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo|
【Kobe Overseas Chinese History Museum】
“Kobe Overseas Chinese History Museum” is located in Motomachi & Nankinmachi, which is about 10 minutes’ walk from Sannomiya. This museum is packed with the history of Kakyo (Chinese who migrated from China) with long and deep relationships with Kobe. There are various historical documents regarding Kobe on a display including the structure of Nankinmachi (China Town in Kobe) 140 years ago.
|Address||KCC Building 2nd floor, 3-1-1 Kaigan-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo|
【Kobe East Park (Farmers Market) 】
Kobe East Park is located near the central part of Sannomiya, and it is a great place to take a break. In this park, a fun event known as “Farmers Market” is held periodically. From all over Kobe City, famers, fishermen and eateries come join the event and offer gourmet food at reasonable prices. The event is held every Saturday between 9:00 and 12:30 (may change), so if it fits your schedule, put it on your destination list.
|Address||6 Kanocho, Chuo-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo|
②Explore history at reasonable price in Himeji 14:30-
〈Access from ① Head to Himeji station on a train around 13:30 from JR Sannomiya station〉
Next we will head to Himeji City. There are lots of places in Himeji that will fulfill your intellectual desire. We will tell you about 3 spots where you can have a great time at a reasonable budget.
【Himeji Castle & Koko-en】
Himeji Castle; “the” Himeji destination. It is one of the World Cultural Heritages. There are countless sites to visit including the large keep, roof tiles, gates and stone walls. If you purchase a joint admission ticket for the castle and Koko-en that we will tell you more about later, you will get a great deal for ¥1,040 (for an adult)!
|Address||68 Honmachi, Himeji City, Hyogo|
“Koko-en”; a Japanese-style garden lies in the Southwest side of the Himeji Castle. The garden has approximately 3.5 ha stunning area and it is made of 9 different gardens that are each unique. Please do go visit the garden where you can enjoy splendid sceneries that change every season!
|Address||68 Honmachi, Himeji City, Hyogo|
【“Kawanosato” where you can experience leather craft】
The history of leather industry in Hyogo Prefecture is long. In fact, it is said that it started about 1,700 years ago. Then, in the Edo period (time when there were samurai in Japan), the leather industry bloomed and Himeji became the central location of it. “Kawanosato” is a leather product shop in such historical Himeji. They offer leather craft experience to make various works including accessories and bags. The event is held only on third Mondays between 10:00 and 16:00 and it takes about 1 hour for an entire process. You will need to pay about ¥500 to ¥1,000 for materials, but you won’t have to pay for anything else! Let’s make your very original leather work!
|Address||1180-1 Ogawa, Hanada-cho, Himeji City, Hyogo|
|Hours||10:00 – 17:00|
【Nagoyama Reien (Cemetery Park) 】
“Nagoyama Reien” is a hidden-gem in the City. It’s in the walking distance of about 1km from Himeji Castle. In the center, there is a huge white architecture and in the building, there is a golden zushi (miniature shrine with double doors). In this shrine, busshari (Buddha’s ashes) that was gifted to Himeji City by the then Indian Prime Minister back in 1954 is stored. Everything is breathtaking here including the canopy in a shape of lotus flower petals hung at the center of the 27m high ceiling, and beautifully drawn Chinese Phoenix. With the spray pond and the garden, you will be able to savor gorgeous and sacred exotic atmosphere of the park. What’s more, the admission for the stupa is very reasonable at ¥200 for an adult.
|Address||14-1 Nagoyama-cho, Himeji City, Hyogo|
|Admission for the stupa||¥200 for an adult, ¥100 for a child|
③Get to Kinosaki Onsen and stay overnight. Enjoy onsen reasonably using a pass with unlimited access.
＜Access from ② Get on a train at Himeji station around 16:30 to get to Kinosaki Onsen station＞
Tonight, you are going to stay in Kinosaki Onsen. From Himeji station, it takes about 3 hours on a train. Depending on a period of time, you can take a train called “Limited Express Hamakaze” and by this train, it takes about 2 hours to Kinosaki station.
After arriving Kinosaki, get relaxed and have fun strolling around the town. Kinosaki is a wonderful travel destination where you can enjoy great onsen and charming town-scape at the same time. Lined willow trees along Otani River and Taiko Bridge over the river. Just walk around as you like and you will feel relaxed.
By the way, one of the characteristics of Kinosaki Onsen is the existence of “sotoyu (onsen you can visit without staying at an inn)” that are spotted around the town. Each sotoyu has its own charm, and each of them is known to bring good fortune such as good luck, academic success, successful relationships, prosperous business and safe delivery of a child etc. So it’s up to you to take time and go visit all sotoyu, or choose some of them after learning each of their atmosphere and benefit. To go visit multiple onsen, a visitor’s pass called “Yumepa” offers a great deal of unlimited access for a day, so it’s something you should not miss. Also, when you go visit sotoyu, let’s get dressed in Japanese traditional costume, yukata and geta and get soaked in the unique atmosphere of the area.
Departure from Kinosaki Onsen
After savoring onsen in the morning, let’s get moving to return. To get back to Kansai International Airport, you can use a train again, or take a bus to experience different views from a window. Leave Kinosaki Onsen before 10:00 and walk to “Jizoyu” bus stop for 20 minutes. From there, you can take an express bus to Sannomiya. Get on a train at JR Sannomiya station, and you will arrive at the airport after 15:00.