Osaka Station City: Trains, transfers and getting around

Second only to Tokyo, Osaka is one of the largest cities in Japan. It is divided into several distinct districts. The Umeda District, located in the Kita ward, is home to Osaka Station City, a recently renovated and beautiful train station and shopping complex featuring an open floor plan and glass ceiling.

Why is this busy transportation hub referred to as Osaka Station City rather than just Osaka Station? One reason is that the Station City houses Osaka Station, along with five other railway stations, including the non-JR Umeda Station. Don’t let names confuse you – check out all that Osaka Station City has to offer.

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Kyoto Station: Getting around, transfers and train lines

Kyoto is a city with a long history – more than 1,000 years, in fact. The construction of its primary train station, Kyoto Station, took place during the city’s 1200th anniversary and opened to the public in 1997.

Designed by acclaimed architect Hara Hiroshi, Kyoto Station is futuristic and modern. It is one of the largest buildings in Japan. Filled with interesting restaurants, shops, and attractions, a visit to Kyoto Station is a miniature vacation in itself.

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The 7 best temples in Japan

Thousands of Buddhist temples dot the Japanese countryside and inhabit its cities. According to one resource, “virtually every Japanese municipality has at least one temple, while large cultural centers like Kyoto have several hundred.” Many are hundreds of years old, others well over one thousand.

Temples typically consist of a number of halls and structures. Gates mark the edges of the temple grounds. The main hall of each temple is used to display sacred objects, such as statues of Buddha, gods, or goddesses; pagodas are used in a similar manner. Lecture halls are used as places of meeting and teaching. Some temples are still used as monasteries, home to Buddhist monks.

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The 7 best aquariums in Japan

As an island nation, Japan is, not surprisingly, culturally and historically tied to the oceans and seas. For countless centuries, the waters along Japan’s shores have provided its people with foodstuffs and the transportation necessary to connect with the rest of the world in trade and commerce. Today, this connection to the sea lives on in Japan’s numerous modern aquarium attractions.

Have you ever seen a whale shark, one of the largest fish alive today? What about orcas, polar bears, and penguins? You can see these amazing animals and more in Japan’s aquariums.

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The 7 best castles in Japan

Japan is a land rife with history and relics of the past. In nearly every city and town, you will find landmarks, museums, and historic sites that display the country’s culturally rich past. In fact, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared more World Heritage Sites in Japan than in any other country.

One of the most interesting and breathtaking elements of Japan’s history is its castles. Unique architecture and fascinating family stories accompany each site. Consider the following list of Japan’s most visited castles.

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The 10 best National Parks in Japan

The world over, national parks are popular tourist destinations. What is a national park? By one definition, it is “a park in use for… the conservation of ‘wild nature’ for posterity and as a symbol of national pride.” Japan is home to 33 national parks in addition to 50 similar parks.

Japan’s first national parks were dedicated in 1931. These parks allow you to experience the full range of the country’s rugged beauty—beaches, forests, mountains, and volcanoes—with locations ranging from the cool northern reaches of Hokkaido to the subtropical islands of Okinawa.

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