Add dates
Osaka Prefecture

Religious & Spiritual Activities

Our most recommended Osaka Prefecture Religious & Spiritual Activities

Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

1. Nara: Big Buddha, Bambi and Backstreets Cultural Tour

Accompanied by your tour guide, head straight to one of Nara’s top historical sites and one of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the Todaiji temple. Its famous centerpiece is the 15-meter bronze statue of the Great Buddha, Vairocana. On our way, you will be greeted by the friendly deer of Nara. The deer are divine protectors of the ancient capital living in perfect harmony with the locals. Next stop is the second of the seven great temples of Nara, Kofukuji. Make a brief stop at the Sarusawa pond, well known for its turtles and the pretty scenery surrounding it; this is considered a perfect spot for a romantic evening walk in Nara. Move forward into the quiet alleys and backstreets of Nara-machi, the well-preserved former merchant's district, where you will be able to see and experience unique traditional arts and crafts. As the best way to experience a city is through its food, you will get the chance to test some of our favorite local delights. The last stop of your journey will take you to a shopping street, where you can find colorful and diverse shops, perfect for souvenir hunting.  Both the JR Nara station and the Kintetsu station are within comfortable walking distance from the finishing point of the tour. Your guide will be happy to help you with directions to your hotel or to provide a restaurant recommendation for lunch. Do not forget to ask for more hints and tips on what else there is to do in Nara during your time here. 

From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

2. From Osaka : Private Full-day Tour to Kyoto

Start the tour with pick up from central Osaka and travel to historic Kyoto. Over the course of the day, you'll be presented with a balanced view of this historic city and its surroundings. The Arashiyama district is the first stop, and it is here where you'll be introduced to Japanese garden and temple design. Tenryu-ji Temple has one of the most outstanding, timeless examples of Japanese gardens surrounding it's simple-but-majestic temple buildings. Then it's time for a walk up through the famous bamboo grove - a photo opportunity not to be missed - before arriving at the entrance to luxurious Okochi Sanso. Here you will try some matcha (Japanese green tea), before exploring the winding paths that connect the buildings, views, and garden areas. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a stroll alongside the river, then have free time for lunch and even a bit of shopping, if you wish. Next, enjoy the atmospheric streets of the Goin district, complete with a gurgling stream and rows of traditional tea house and restaurant buildings.  Not far from the Gion is Fushimi Inari-taisha, arguably the most famous Shinto shrine complex in the entire region. After having a look around you'll end your tour with a visit to the famous Torii gate.

Himeji: Private Customized Tour with Licensed Guide

3. Himeji: Private Customized Tour with Licensed Guide

Explore Himeji in your own way with a private licensed guide. Choose the 6 or 4-hour option depending on what fits with your schedule. Let the guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. All guides hold the nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification. It is issued by the Japanese government and requires a good understanding of Japanese culture and history. This tour features a morning pickup at your hotel in Himeji, then a visit to any number of possible sites. You can customize your itinerary according to the places you want to visit. See a suggested itinerary below: The first stop is Himeji Castle, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Himeji Castle dates back to 1333, and has survived natural disasters, WWII bombing, and the wear of the weather. In 2015, it underwent restoration works, which helped return its facade to a brilliant white. Visit the castle with a local knowledgeable guide and learn about the castle's architecture. Next is Mt. Shosha, a picturesque temple area located in the mountains behind Himeji Castle. Take the ropeway cable car up to Mt. Shosha. Alternatively, if you’re feeling extremely energetic, you could hike up the mountain in an hour or less. Then stop by the Engyo-ji Temple. With so much to explore on the temple grounds, plan to spend around an hour here to see the main structures. The trails that lead through the grounds reveal Mt. Shosha's gorgeous flora, and little details that create a magical atmosphere. For lunch, you enjoy delicious local food around Himeji Station, such as amen, gyoza, tonkatsu, and sushi. The local shopping street arcade is another charm of Himeji, and your guide will pick out the best shops for you to visit.  Other popular places to visit on this tour could be the Himeji City Museum of Literature, the Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, or the Hiromine Shrine.

Kumano/Tanabe: Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail Private Tour

4. Kumano/Tanabe: Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail Private Tour

Discover Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails on a private tour alongside a licensed local guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour option and receive a meet-and-greet service at your accommodation or from the main train station in Kumano or Tanabe. Let your guide know what special requests you have for the day and they will tailor your itinerary accordingly. You can also pre-plan your itinerary in advance. Benefit from a guide that holds a Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter Certification issued by the Japanese government, which certifies that your guide holds good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history. Explore an ancient network of pilgrim trails dating back more than 1,000 years connecting historic shrines and temples running through the mountains of the Kii Peninsula. The most popular route, Nakahechi, along which past emperors traveled, crosses the width of the Peninsula from Tanabe town on the west coast to Shingu and Nachi-Katsuura towns on the east. Hikers of all levels can enjoy quiet mountain hamlets and onsens. Popular 6-hour itinerary - Hossinmon-Oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha: Experience a route that is a good mixture of ridge-top settlements and forest trails. Walk through Kumano Kodo to Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine and learn about its history and cultural importance. After lunch, visit the Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, one of the three grand shrines, standing on a small ridgeline in the north of the Hongu village. Admire the 800-year-old austere pavilions that are made of wood with impressive cypress bark roofs which architecture style.

Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

5. Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

Meet your knowledgeable guide at the meeting point and begin your cultural half-day walking tour of Japan's first historical capital. As you walk by the shopping arcade, explore a Japanese old town extremely different from a metropolis like Tokyo. Walk between the historical buildings, and go inside a traditional merchant's house to see how people around here live in the past. Next, take a break from walking to observe the mysterious pyramid-shaped structure in the middle of the quiet town. Admire the view of the city of Nara from the hill, then visit Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn about the distinct Japanese religious culture as you see a huge temple with a great Buddha statue, then explore a beautiful shrine housing hundreds of lanterns. In this area, meet and feed the wild deer living in Nara Park. For over 1,200 years, locals have believed that deer are sacred divine messengers. Interact with them and see how polite they are. At the end of the tour, savor a delicious Japanese lunch dish made only using local Nara vegetables and fresh meat.

Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

6. Kyoto: 4-Hour Early Bird World Heritage Tour

This experience is perfect for natural early-risers, and for those who are seeking a unique experience and don't mind getting up early for it. The tour takes you to three of the most famous sites in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shirine, Kiyomizu Temple, and Arashiyama bamboo forest. Start at the world-famous Fushimi Inari Shrine before the crowds arrive. Marvel at the thousands of red gates that line the path up the hillside. This is a magical time to see the amazing temple complex and get a view of the city coming to life below you. Proceed then across town to Arashiyama, where you'll get to see the beautiful bamboo grove, which will still be relatively quiet and thus a great setting for snapping some fantastic photos. Before leaving Arashiyama, if time allows, visit one of the most beautiful zen temples in Kyoto and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tenryuji Temple. Explore its radiant garden to round off the four-hour experience. Along the way, pick up insights into the history of Kyoto, Buddhism, Japanese garden design, and more. Your friendly guide will also answer any other questions you may have regarding the rest of your stay in Japan.

Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

7. Kyoto: Cultural and Spiritual Tour with Zen Meditation

Stumble upon Nonomiya Shrine, a sacred site for the purification and preparation of the priestesses of the Ise Grand Shrine. Wander through pretty Kameyama Park and stop on Togetsukyo Bridge, from where you can admire the swooping cormorant birds. During the summer months, trained cormorants are used in a method of fishing called ukai, where the birds catch the fish for the fishermen. Continue your way up the ancient stone steps of Daihikaku Senkoji Temple, located on the side of a scenic mountain with panoramas of the Hozu River valley, Arashiyama area, and Kyoto City on the horizon. Here you will have the unique opportunity to engage in an authentic Zen meditation under the guidance of a resident monk. Partake in a traditional matcha green tea ceremony, one of the hallmarks of Zen Buddhist culture. Head back along the Hozu riverside to the lively main road of Arashiyama where your tour ends, outside the Randen Keifuku Arashiyama station. The station area provides an assortment of eating and shopping options for you to indulge in. There is also a glowing display of beautiful Kimono fabric patterns in transparent tubes, known as the Kimono forest. We also recommend the foot spa, where natural spring water can soothe your weary feet.

Kyoto: 4-Hour Arashiyama Walking Tour

8. Kyoto: 4-Hour Arashiyama Walking Tour

Start the tour from the JR Saga-Arashiyama station North Exit. Skip the regular and crowded route which leads directly to the bamboo forest, and make your way to the lesser-known Saga-Toriimoto area.  Visit the local gift shops and beautiful local temples and shrines. Learn about the local stories and legends of the area from your guide. Enjoy the beauty of the bamboo forest and learn about its significance for the locals.  Next, visit Tenryu-Ji temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous its beautiful Sogenchi pond and garden which was once owned by local aristocrats. Walk towards Arashiyama's iconic Togetsukyo bridge. Then, enjoy a traditional lunch with typical Kyoto cuisine. Enjoy the views over the Togetsukyo bridge from the restaurant while you are eating.

Kumano Kodo: Private Full-Day Pilgrimage Trip

9. Kumano Kodo: Private Full-Day Pilgrimage Trip

Embark on an adventure to see all the key sights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in a single trip. Admire all three shrines and pause at the beautiful Nachi falls to watch water crashing down from 133 meters in the air. After pickup from your hotel, start with a visit to the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. Learn about the sun goddess Amaterasu at a location which is the head of over 3000 Kumano shrines across Japan. Admire the biggest torii gate in the world which, at 33 meters tall, dwarfs visitors passing under it. Next, head to the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, located in Shingu City. This shrine has occupied the same spot on the Kumano Riverbank since at least the 12th century. Learn about the Shinto creation myth which claims how three deities descended to earth nearby. Head back in the vehicle for the drive to Kumano Nachi Taisha, located near the coastal hot spring Katsuura. Admire the fusion of Buddhist and Shinto influences that is particular to the Kumano region. Finish your pilgrimage with a stop at Nachi Falls, Be awed by Japan's tallest waterfall with a single uninterrupted drop of 133 meters. Feel the power of a sacred site where a ton of water drops down the cliff every second.

Kyoto: Private Driver Full-Day Temple Tour & Bamboo Grove

10. Kyoto: Private Driver Full-Day Temple Tour & Bamboo Grove

Make the most of your day in Kyoto with a private driver. Stop at the stunning Kiyomizu-dera temple and pass by Yasaka Shrine though Gion to reach the Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji temples. Stroll among the stalks of bamboo at the Arashiyama Grove and finish at Tenryu-ji. Get picked up from your accommodation in Kyoto and get ready to spend an unforgettable day in the ancient city. Meet your friendly, private driver and cruise through the streets taking in local life. Arrive at the picturesque Kiyomizu-dera Buddhist temple, part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site, and spend time admiring the pagoda, beautiful in every season. Continue on towards Kinkaku-ji and drive through Gion, the geisha district of Kyoto. Look out for hostesses in colorful kimonos on wooden bridges and be alerted by your driver when you pass by Yasaka Shrine. Visit your second and third temple of the day at Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji to learn about Zen Buddhist tradition and wonder at the fascinating architecture. Relax in the peace of the stone gardens and meditate on life. Wander through one of the most popular sites in Kyoto at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, immersing yourself in another world of towering stalks. Make sure to take some photos and listen to the rustling wind. Ranked first among Kyoto's five great Zen temples, finish your trip at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Tenryu-ji, where Zen Buddhism is practiced. Step into the garden created by Muso Soseki and watch the shimmering reflections in the Sogen Pond.

Frequently asked questions about Osaka Prefecture Religious & Spiritual Activities

What are other things to do than Religious & Spiritual Activities that are worth visiting in Osaka Prefecture?

The other unmissable things to do in Osaka Prefecture are:

What are the best Osaka Prefecture Religious & Spiritual Activities?

Which Osaka Prefecture Religious & Spiritual Activities are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Other Sightseeing Options in Osaka Prefecture

Want to discover all there is to do in Osaka Prefecture? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Osaka Prefecture

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 104 reviews

Really very good ! My guide spoke enough English to explain everything to me and above all she took me to little places not touristy at all (traditional house, making motchi etc.) in addition to the big sites. She was also very interested in where I came from, we talked about our two cultures, what we liked and what we didn't. Very pleasant ! I recommend !

Very nice the tour. Deer, the great Buddha and the guardians, temples, and ends in a commercial area with restaurants. 4h tour The guide very attentive and walking at our pace.

This tour was very informative and so much fun I truly enjoyed it however, be aware that there is so much walking involved so please stay hydrated and wear something comfy!

We really learn more about zen meditation, it was a wonderful journey. We fully recommended.

Fumiko great guide excellent person

Wonderful place and Fumiko's explanation very good