21 Japan Highlights in the Kansai region

21 Japan Highlights

This covers 21 Japan highlights for me. I haven’t included the most famous tourists spots in Kyoto because I’ve been there before. Otherwise, everywhere else was new for me. I spent two weeks travelling around Kansai with train passes. I spent quite a lot of time preparing for the trip. And Japan can be costly, so here area few tips to save.

You’ll see there is some overlap between the 21 Japan Highlights. For example, both 1. and 2. involve food. And they are not in order of priority. Rather, they are in order of relevance to the previous highlight.

Places visited

Given the restrictions of Google Maps, here is a rough idea of where I visited and the routes I took. These restrictions also require that I use two maps.

route map 1


9 tips to save money visiting Japan

It’s quite expensive compared to many countries, but there are ways to save money visiting Japan. Consider the following tips.

  • Train passes. Transport in Japan is expensive. Trains can be very fast and take you to almost everywhere you might like to visit. Or at least very near. This is one site which offers several passes for the Kansai region, in western Japan. Here is another very different pass. And here is yet another pass for the Kansai region. There are many passes – depending on where you would like to visit.
  • Use bicycles for local transport where that is safe and convenient – and these are provided free with some train passes. You can pick them up at the station.

save money visiting Japan

Japanese Melonpan in Penang – ペナンのメロンパン

あなたは、Queensbay Mallでメロンパンを見つけることができます

尊敬的客户我们已经到了Queensbay Mall.三楼Queens食品市场,GSC电影院旁边或荣寿司楼上噢~~~~

For any and all Melon Pan fans, you can find it in Queensbay Mall, 3nd floor Queens Food Market beside GSC Cinema or Sakae Sushi on the northern end of the food court.  It has custard in it, but Mrs Tropical Expat enjoyed it, and so did I.

And if you want to hear the Melon Pan song

Japanese note / 日本のノート; 盆踊り

Checking my blog statistics I was very surprised to note that I had such a large number of visitors today. And the majority were from Japan.


I don’t know why. I haven’t written about Japan, or in Japanese. I did write about Korean food, though.

So, I will mention a couple of things concerning Japanese. Tomorrow, Sunday 25th March there is a Japanese theme at the monthly Upper Penang Road market.

A lot of Japanese do live in Penang.  More Japanese took up the MM2H visa than any other nationality last year. And many live here on tourist visas for part of the year, and live in Japan for the rest of the year.

Otherwise, my favourite Japanese restaurant here is Miraku, in the G Hotel on Gurney drive. Miraku details. But for all you can eat salmon sashimi, then the E&O lunch buffet is probably impossible to beat.

And my favourite Japanese event of the year is the Bon-Odori festival, held around mid- July.

A couple of photos from last year’s event.

Bon Odori