There are seemingly endless opportunities for exploration in the area surrounding Osaka. Just a 30-minute train ride away, Kyoto is home to stunning architecture and Japanese gardens, as well as 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Japan’s first capital city, Nara, is full of rich history, like the Horyu-ji temple, which is famous for hosting the country’s rarest treasures. High up in the Kii mountains sits Koyasan, a major pilgrimage destination for Buddhists, and a beautiful destination all its own. Hiroshima’s Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima that is home to several buildings and landmarks that have been declared national treasures. Be sure to purchase a Shinkansen train and bus ticket to cover as much ground as possible.