West of the Barrier is the other pole of central Japan, featuring the modern
metropolis of Osaka,
port of Kobe, the temple town Kyôto and the ancient capital Nara.
A stepping stone on the way from Honshu to Shikoku.
mighty Akashi Kaikyo Bridge
|Ise Shrine (and environs)
The holiest of all Shinto shrines, where you can see... next to nothing. Fortunately, the area is also famous for its lobsters.
Shown: Roof of
the hidden Grand Shrine, Naiku
An age-old center of Buddhism on the outskirts of Kyoto.
Portable shrine, Hiyoshi Taisha
Yet another old castle town with yet another stroll garden.
Shown: Gardener wading in the lake of Genkyu-en Garden
A famed temple complex near Nara.
Schoolgirls lining up to enter the Gojûto Pagoda
Japan's most cosmopolitan city has recovered from the ravages of the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake and is better than ever.
Shown: Restaurant atop Mt. Rokko-san, in the hills above Kobe
The mountaintop headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism.
roof in the forest
A quiet, ancient capital full of artistic treasures.
Shown: Side view of the Great Buddha, Todaiji
Tokyo's rowdy little brother.
Escalator in the Umeda Sky Building
A quiet village beside Lake Biwa.
next to the Wanihama Youth Hostel