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Kansai by Rail -
Sacred peaks and historical towns

Experience tradition, history and local cuisine near Osaka and Kyoto by train

Closely associated with spirituality and religion, sacred mountains are places that have been recognized to encompass special energy since ancient times. They could be the main object of worship, where a religion was established or a resting place for great religious leaders. The Kansai Region in western Japan, where Osaka and Kyoto are located, is home to a number of sacred mountains.

Hieizan, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama are three well-known, important and sacred mountains in the Kansai Region, and they each have at least a millennium of history as a "working" mountain. The three mountains are fundamental sites of the religions they represent and are where the monks and priests live their everyday lives devoted to their religion.

Those planning a visit to the sacred mountains of Hieizan, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama should consider staying overnight on the mountain itself or in a neighboring city to have a full experience. Hiking trails used by pilgrims centuries ago remain in use today, and one can follow in their steps. Additionally, the seasonal flora like cherry blossoms and autumn leaves make these three sacred mountains even more popular when they are in season.

Kansai International Airport is the main international airport in the Kansai Region and is directly connected to central Osaka. The three sacred mountains of Hieizan, Koyasan and Yoshinoyama can be easily accessed by train from the major cities of Osaka and Kyoto as shown in the map above. Detailed transport information can be found on each individual mountain's page below.

In addition to the sacred mountains, the surrounding historical cities and towns offer additional sightseeing opportunities and can round up the experience with local delights like tea and sake. Suggested itineraries can be found on each individual mountain's page.

Learn more about the three sacred mountains below