Explore old Japan: visit Yao City, only a stone's throw away from Osaka's city center.
Osaka remains a popular destination for tourists, but many fail to notice the contrasting landscape and atmosphere awaiting exploration just around the corner. Introducing Yao: a city located east of central Osaka, close enough to the city center for a day trip. Surround yourself with countless picturesque sights—both natural and manmade. Nature-abundant Mt. Takayasu, the ancient burial mounds, and old temple towns are not to be missed. You can even take in the magnificent scenery from above via a sightseeing flight!
① Yao Tourist Information Center
After arriving at Yao Station via the Kintetsu Railways, you'll want your first stop to be the Tourist Information Center. This is where you can access a wealth of information about local sightseeing spots, as well as rent a bicycle.
Address:Pent Plaza #20, 2-1 Kita-Hommachi, Yao-shi
With brochures in hand, I urge you to head to the Kawachi-ondo Museum first. Only a minute away by bicycle, the museum promotes kawachi-ondo (a narrative style of Bon dance originating in Yao City) by displaying a large collection of related music and memorabilia.
This original hand towel makes a great souvenir and is available for purchase for 477 yen (excl.tax)
Address:7-12-24 Hommachi, Yao-shi
Closed:No regular holidays (Closes for New Year’s holidays and to change displays)
After enjoying the Kawachi-ondo Museum, you may find yourself starting to get hungry. But don’t worry, Kusuki, a delicious soba/udon house is only 1 minute away. This shop is renowned for their smooth and aromatic soba (buckwheat) noodles. You’ll need to come in the spring, however, for the chance to try their soba made with the leaves of Yao young burdock.
Address:5-3-11 Hommachi, Yao-shi
Fueled with a full stomach, you’ll be ready to explore the next stop: Kenshoji Temple, which is only a 7 minute bicycle ride away. Kenshoji was previously a jinaichou/jinaimachi. This refers to the self-governing communities built within the compounds of a Buddhist temple and its training seminaries. The well-preserved town provides an opportunity for a meaningful glimpse into Japan's past.
Address:4-4-3 Kyuhoji, Yao-shi
⑤Former Yasunaka Shinden Kaisho/Former Residence of the Ueda Family
Cycle for another 14 or 15 minutes and you’ll find yourself at the Former Yasunaka Shinden Kaisho/Former Residence of the Ueda Family. The main building, storehouse, etc. were built in the Edo period (1603-1868 CE) and are now Yao City designated cultural assets. Experience old Japan through their regular events and exhibitions which make use of the structures, history, and folk materials.
Address:1-1-25 Uematsu-chou, Yao-shi
Business hours: 9:00~17:00 (Last admission: 16:30)
Admission fee:200 yen
Closed:Tuesday, the day after public holidays, and Year-end and New Year’s holidays
⑥Nagomi no Hitotoki Cocoro Jyuku
Your last stop might be a quick rest at Nagomi No Hitotoki Cocoro Jyuku, another 5 minute ride away. Features specialty sweets made from rice flour and other all natural ingredients as well as creative cuisine. Their highly nutritious menu can't be recommended enough! It’s also conveniently situated only 10 minutes away from Kintetsu Yao Station, making your return a breeze.
Address:2-6-33 Youkouen, Yao-shi
Just a stone's throw away from Osaka's city center, the townscape of old Japan awaits you. Why not take a day trip in between shopping tours? If you find yourself in Osaka, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit this wonderful city!