We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

Which Kyoto hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Eastbourne, United...
Level Contributor
996 posts
296 reviews
Save Topic
Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

Hi,

When we visited China last year, some of our most enjoyable times were at places off the tourist trail.

We will be in Kyoto from 23rd March for 5 days and on one of the days would like to visit somewhere which has some interestig sights but has fewer Western Tourists visiting it than say Nara or Kyoto. Would Uji fit the bill or can you suggest alternatives. (we will have a JR pass, but only speak a few words of Japanese)

Thanks Paul

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8,926 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

How about Kinosaki Onsen? There are direct trains, but it seems you would have more choices if you can get to Osaka or Shinosaka first (more direct trains from there)

www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/english/english.html

SF
Destination Expert
for Fukuoka, Kyushu-Okinawa
Level Contributor
2,909 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

I agree. Too many people become just cookie cutter tourists visiting well beaten paths carried by an isolated reserved seat trains and staying at regular ryokans/hotels while yearning for something different, exciting or discovering for memory. It is like going to a motor car race but hoping secretly some accidents to happen during the race. In traveling, you can still experience without adventuring out too much & without language skills if you go off the main streets a little anywhere and vigilant, even in Tokyo, Kyoto, etc.

But come to Kyushu.

Cambridge, UK
Level Contributor
346 posts
125 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

The Tennoji area of Osaka gets few Western tourists but is well worth a look. It's quite a run down area (as far as Japan goes) but has a lovely Japanese garden and temple complex:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenn%C5%8Dji-ku,_Osaka

A couple of train stops away from there, you'll also find Sumiyoshi Taisha:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiyoshi_Taisha

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
48,852 posts
127 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

While still touristy, the Arashiyama area of Kyoto gets fewer Western tourists. If you don't mind a train ride of close to 3 hours, you can take the train down the coast towards Shirahama. The last 1/3 of the ride is very scenic with ocean view. Shirahama itself, has some breathtaking coastal views, a footbath in the streets, and various natural onsen houses you can visit.

Aoyama Dori and San...
Level Contributor
9,424 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

The thing that I recommend is to pick a local train that heads out of the city center and get off at a suburban station where there appears to be a residential neighborhood with some vitality. You will typically not see western tourists. In fact, I am sure you will not see western tourists doing this unless there is some sort of attraction there. It doesn't cost much to do this and the time you spend in transit is entirely up to you. Just look out the train and when you find an interesting looking neighborhood, get off and go for a walk. If you see hotels, department stores or a shopping mall wrapped around the station area then you haven't ventured out far enough. What you are looking for are some narrow, crowded streets that look like they have some vitality and activity to them. Look for streets with shops and small restaurants where locals might be. Think of this activity as suburban exploration.

<<<you can still experience without adventuring out too much & without language skills if you go off the main streets a little anywhere and vigilant, even in Tokyo, Kyoto, etc.>>>

Nashville, TN
Destination Expert
for Himeji, Kobe, Osaka
Level Contributor
1,845 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

Ditto Kinosaki; it's a great onsen and is well worth the trip. You could do a two day trip there. I suggest going from Kyoto to Himeji in the morning; visit the castle, Kokoen, and Mt. Shosha (the latter can have surprisingly few tourists). In the early afternoon head to Kinosaki; the train ride is pretty nice. Try to arrive in Kinosaki around 5 pm. Get a decent ryokan if you can; visit the shops and a couple of the onsen, then eat dinner. Then relax by visiting some more onsen. Do more onsen in the morning, visit the temple, you can hike or take a cable car up the mountain, boil an egg in onsen water, and then head back to Kyoto.

Another option is Wakayama. Despite being relatively close to Kyoto/Osaka, there will be many places where you'll be the only foreigner. You could do a trip to Mt. Koya, Shirahama, Nachi Falls, Kumano, and on around to Ise.

http://www.kippo.or.jp/isan_e/kii.html

Good luck!

John W.

Oz
Level Contributor
1,095 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

When we travelled in both Sept/Oct and March/April, we seemed to be the only caucasians at the majority of the 'tourist' spots. The tourist market seemed to be mostly the Japanese on holiday, Japanese school excursion groups and Chinese tour groups.

Although the word is out and many are making plans for these timeframes with good reason.

I understand your question but it is easy just to leisurely get lost between the streets and alleys and stumble upon the locals going about their daily business...

enjoy :-)

japan
Level Contributor
136 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

Ok, visit Fushimi area in Kyoto if you are coming around that time. Very few western tourists come here though handful of westerners live around here though.

Sakura is everywhere and you will enjoy local life of the city around here.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Tohoku, Hokkaido
Level Contributor
5,933 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

If you're looking for a daytrip from Kyoto, consider Amanohashidate:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3990.html

tripadvisor.com/…14063238

Palo Alto...
Level Contributor
1,552 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Places to visit which get fewer Western Tourists

For day trips, consider Mt. Takao or Kurama/Kibune. Both are in the hilly areas in the outskirts of Greater Kyoto. Both are scenic spots for foliage watching in fall and should be pretty during sakura season too. Both are great if you enjoy hiking.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3933.html

japan-guide.com/blog/schauwecker/061118.html

In fact, if you do more digging, you'd be able to find hidden, off-the-beaten-path locations everywhere in Japan. Japanese nationals have a fetish for finding ultra secluded hangout spots, cafes, and restaurants. It's not uncommon to find restaurants and ryokans serving one or two groups of customers per day. You'd be surprised to find that a good number of these are in downtown!