The City of Uji (宇治) and Fushimi (伏見) in Kyoto Prefecture

On the 4th day of my trip to Kansai during the winter school vacations in 2012, on January 3, 2012, I went to the city of Uji (宇治) and Fushimi (伏見) which is just south of the city of Kyoto.

Kyoto is one of my favourite cities to visit in Japan because a lot of the nice traditional city atmosphere of "old Japan" still remains, unlike most other cities in Japan. Because I had basically visited most of the attractions in Kyoto at least once, I wanted to find another area near Kyoto that I had not been to before. After looking at some tourist guides, the city of Uji and Fushimi looked like an interesting place to visit.

In Uji, the main attraction is the Byodoin Temple (平等院) which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto".


Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka (宝塚), Nishinomiya (西宮) and Ashiya (芦屋)

On the 3rd day of my trip to Kansai in 2012, I went to the area of Kansai between Osaka and Kobe. I visited the cities of Takarazuka, Nishinomiya and Ashiya. Previously I had gone to Kobe and Koya-san on December 31, 2011 and January 1, 2012 respectively.

There were a couple of reasons why I choose to visit these un-touristy areas. (1) Due to my interest in railway plus property urban planning and development, I wanted to see what the areas along the Hankyu Railway lines looked like since Hankyu Railway was considered a pioneer of this urban development model in Japan. (2) Since the Hankyu lines went through Takarazuka, I could also make a visit to the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum on the way. (3) Because of the New Years, Hankyu was selling its 1 day unlimited pass as the "New Year Ticket" for only 1000 yen (US$10) compared to the normal price of 1200 yen (US$12).

The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum in Takarazuka.