Yokkaichi Connections

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7 Fun Places You Can Easily Visit From Yokkaichi

May 24, 2019

Being an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) can be a fun and rewarding job. But like with any other job, you will probably be looking forward to taking a break on the weekends.

 

Hanging out in the same places and seeing the same people might get old after a while.

 

A change of scenery can be great for recharging your batteries and learning more about Japan.

 

Here are 7 places you can easily visit from Yokkaichi that won't disappoint!

 

Yunoyama

Take a ride out to Yunoyama to get away from the city and chillax.

 

If you're into onsen (Japanese hot springs), there are plenty to choose from including Aqua Ignis, Shika No Yu, and the Green Hotel.

 

People have been using the onsens here for over 1300 years.

 

You can also check out Mt. Gozaisho for nice views of Yokkaichi and crisp mountain weather.

 

If you're up for the challenge, you can hike to the top. Although it only takes a couple of hours, the trail can be steep in places so first-timers or those without some hiking experience shouldn't try it alone!

 

For those who prefer a more laid-back approach, you can take the ropeway to the top and enjoy the same scenery with a fraction of the effort (but it'll cost you some yen).

 

Did you know Japan has four seasons? Of course you do!

 

All jokes aside, the fall colors here are pretty nice and you can go skiing in the winter. It's worth a few visits at different times of the year.

 

How to get there

To get here from Yokkaichi, take the Yunoyama Line from Kintetsu Yokkaichi all the way to the end to Yunoyama Station.

 

The walk to the ropeway takes about 20-30 minutes. You can also get to the ropeway by bus or taxi.

 

Osaka

Osaka is one of my favorite cities in Japan. It has a big city feel but seems a little more kick-back than Tokyo.

 

No matter what you're into, you should be able to find something worth doing here!

 

Many visitors want to check out USJ (Universal Studios Japan). My only advice here is to buy your tickets before coming to the park so you can skip the lines and try to travel in the slower seasons if you want to easily get on rides without having to buy the skip-the-line tickets. I went during Christmas and some of the rides had wait times of up to 3 hours!

 

Abeno Harukas

 

Something else worth checking out is Abeno Harukas. It's Japan's tallest building and offers stunning views of Osaka. The viewing platform is about the same height as Tokyo Sky Tree.

 

No visit to Osaka would be complete without a quick (or long) stroll around Dotonbori.

 

Every time I go to Osaka, I make sure to pay a visit to El Pancho. This restaurant has some of the best Mexican food I've had in Japan. If you can't get in, you could try Taco Bell.

 

The area is full of bars and restaurants. There are always plenty of colorful characters roaming the streets. Eat some takoyaki and take a picture with the Glico Man to round out your visit.

 

 The Gateway to Dohtonbori

 

How to get there

 

You can get to Osaka from Yokkaichi by highway bus or Kintetsu trains. If you can catch the Urban Liner at Kintetsu Yokkaichi Station, you can go directly to Osaka Namba Station without transferring. The train costs more but is generally faster and more direct.

 

Kyoto

Every year Kyoto attracts more and more tourists to its famous shrines and temples.

 

When most people imagine what Japan would be like, they're probably thinking of Kyoto.

 

It's smaller when compared to Tokyo and Osaka, but there are still a ton of things to do here.

 

Famous sights include Fushimi-inari Shrine, Gin-kakuji, Kin-kakuji, and Kyomizu-dera.

 

Since tourism has really taken off in Japan and everyone wants to come to Kyoto, attractions can become really crowded depending on the season.

 

Apart from shrines and temples, Kyoto also has a lot of restaurants and street food for you to sample. These range from cheap eats to fine dining (like at The Sodoh, one of my favorite restaurants).

 

The variety of things to do combined with the traditional feeling of Japan make Kyoto the perfect place to spend the weekend.

 

How to get there

 

You can get here from Yokkaichi via highway bus or Kintetsu train. In this case, the bus is cheaper and faster.

 

Be sure to buy your bus tickets ahead of time if you're traveling during busy travel seasons as they can sell out pretty fast!

 

Nara

Once you're in Osaka, you can easily visit Nara by train. Hop on the rapid express and you'll be there in less than an hour.

 

Nara's status as the first capital of Japan means that it's a smaller city with a lot of historical and cultural significance. It's also home to hundreds of sacred deer.

 

Major attractions include Todaiji (where you can see the large bronze Buddha) and the wooden pagodas that tower above the landscape.

 

There is also a small shotengai (shopping arcade) with restaurants and shops. It's a nice place to pick up some souvenirs or gifts for your co-workers/friends.

 

There isn't a lot to do here at night if you're looking to stay out late, but the small town feel and cozy restaurants are perfect for someone looking for a relaxing getaway.

 

There are also a few nice ryokans in the area if you want to have a traditional Japanese experience.

 

How to get there

 

You can get to Nara from Yokkaichi by train, but it's not very direct.

 

Kintetsu will get you there the fastest and is the most expensive.

 

There's a really indirect way to go via JR trains but it takes longer (although it is pretty scenic).

 

You can easily get here from either Kyoto or Osaka so I recommend visiting Nara as a part of a trip to one of these places.

 

Nagoya

Some people have said that Nagoya is one of the most boring big cities in Japan, but I disagree!

 

It doesn't have a lot of the glitz and glamour that other cities do, but there is still plenty to do in this sprawling metropolis.

 

Nagoya also has some world-class museums that are worth checking out!

 

The area around Nagoya Station (the largest train station in the world) has shopping as well as a lot of bars and restaurants. Yabaton is famous for its Miso Katsu (a local delicacy of Nagoya).

 

The Fushimi area also offers much of the same. Shooters is a favorite hangout for many expats in the area. They offer different specials depending on the day. Midtown BBQ is also fantastic (and has a great Thanksgiving dinner).

 

The most popular area for entertainment is Sakae. There are usually festivals here on the weekends and lot's of opportunities for shopping, dining, nightlife, and going out to meet people.

 

Oasis 21 in Sakae

 

Go a bit further away from Nagoya Station and you can find the Osu-kanon area. It has lots of international restaurants (like Turkish, French, and Vietnamese) as well as some unique stores.

 

How to get there

 

Going to Nagoya from Yokkaichi is really easy and convenient by train.

 

Kintetsu is faster but JR is cheaper. Just make sure you get on the last train back to Yokkaichi if you don't want to spend the night!

 

Nagashima Spa Land

If you like roller coasters, then you'll LOVE Nagashima Spa Land. Located in neighboring Kuwana, you can easily spend a day here and want to come back for more!

 

This theme park has some crazy roller coasters. The Steel Dragon 2000 holds the record for having the longest roller coaster track in the world!

 

The Steel Dragon 2000 - Enjoy the 307 ft drop

 

If you decide to visit in the summer you can try out the water slides. You can also take a dip in the large wave pool.

 

Nagashima Spa Land's gigantic pool

 

Save some time at the entry gate by buying your tickets ahead of time at a convenience store.

 

If you want to go out of the park for lunch, the Jazz Dream shopping outlets next door have a bunch of restaurants to choose from (including Egg 'n Things, one of my favorites).

 

How to get there

 

The easiest way to get Nagashima Spa Land is to take the Nagoya Line to Kuwana station from Kintetsu Yokkaichi.

 

You can transfer to a local bus that will take you directly to the park.

 

Watch out if you're using Google Maps! It'll tell you to get off at a stop that's outside of the park complex and walk to the entrance.

 

If you stay on the bus until you arrive at the Jazz Dream outlets, you'll have a much better ride.

 

Suzuka

Suzuka is the next city south of Yokkaichi. One of its major attractions is the Suzuka Circuit.

 

This city also has a large population of South American residents.

 

That means you can get a chance to sample some  Peruvian and Brazilian cuisine while brushing up on your Spanish and/or Portuguese.

 

 Suzuka Circuit

 

Many people also live in Suzuka and work in Yokkaichi so chances are that you can probably make a few friends who have homes in this area.

 

A lot of students like to visit Bell City. It's a large mall similar to those you would find the USA.

 

Depending on what you're looking for, Suzuka can be a fun place to visit. However, getting there can often take the same amount of time as visiting Nagoya so it's not always worth it.

 

How to get there

 

You can get here by taking the Kintetsu train from Yokkaichi Station. Major stations include Shiroko (for the bus to the Suzuka Circuit and a small entertainment district) and Hirata-cho (for another small entertainment district and a bus to Bell City).

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