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Plan the Ultimate Kansai Escape for 2021 With Kintetsu Railway

July 29, 2020 Rail No Comments Email Email

With Australia’s cherry blossom season almost ready to come into bloom, visions of the soft pink petals have us dreaming of our next Japan escape. While our 2020 travel plans might be on hold, it is the perfect time to plan the ultimate Kansai escape.

Kintetsu Railway’s Blue Symphony is a luxury sightseeing train that takes travellers from the hustle and bustle of Osaka to some of Kansai’s most spectacular cherry blossom destinations. Here’s how you can plan the ultimate three-day spring escape from Osaka-Abenobashi to Yoshino using Kintetsu Railway’s Blue Symphony.

  1. Immerse yourself in Japanese countryside at Inabuchi Tanada Terrace Rice Fields

    Just 40 minutes from Osaka-Abenobashi onboard Kintetsu Railway’s Blue Symphony lies the ancient Japanese capital Asuka. Famous for its endless terrace rice paddies and shrines, one of Asuka’s most stunning destinations is Inabuchi Tanada Terrace Rice Fields.

    At Inabuchi Tanada Terrace Rice Fields there are close to 300 paddies and rice plots spanning vast fields. In spring, visitors will witness sparkling flooded fields as locals prepare for the next rice planting season.

    The Asuka area is perfect for cycling, with the Inabuchi Tanada Terrace Rice Fields easily accessible by bike from Kintetsu Asuka Station. Bikes can be rented from Asuka station from as little as 900yen per day.

  2. Unwind and discover hot spring culture at Dorogawa Onsen

    Following a day exploring Asuka’s rich countryside a 20-minute trip on Kintetsu Railway’s Blue Symphony will take you to Shimoichiguchi station.

    The short journey provides ample time to enjoy Blue Symphony’s relaxed atmosphere. The navy-blue train boasts large windows, comfortable seating and a lounge car, designed for guests to take in the seasonal scenery along the railway line.

    From Shimoichiguchi station visitors can take a bus to Dorogawa Onsen, a sacred hot spring resort town deep in the southern mountains. The town is a popular destination for relaxation and renewal, famous for its pure mountain spring water and hot springs from sacred Mt. Omine.

    At Dorogawa Onsen visitors will be able to experience a very traditional side of Japan and indulge in local specialities. The town is lined with quaint souvenir stores, restaurants, inns and of course, steamy onsens.

    After an evening onsen soak visitors can wander the town’s main street in traditional yukata robes and sandals, guided by flickering lanterns.

  3. Explore Mount Yoshino and Japan’s most impressive Cherry Blossom display

    After rejuvenating at Dorogawa Onsen, it is a short ride on the Blue Symphony to Yoshino. Blue Symphony’s first-class lounge serves a wide variety of local specialities including sweets, wine and sake, the perfect way to travel.

    Mount Yoshino (Yoshinoyama) has been one of Japan’s most famous cherry blossom viewing destinations for centuries, with around 30,000 wild cherry trees and 200 varieties covering the mountain.

    Yoshinoyama is divided into four main cherry blossom viewing areas: lower, middle, upper and inner. Visitors who choose to explore the mountain by foot will be greeted by small towns, temples and shrines and parks for picnics under the cherry trees (hanami) as they ascend the mountain. Yoshinoyama can be accessed directly from Kintetsu Yoshino station, with a ropeway and buses available to ascend the mountain.

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