Rollicking Kansai is a dynamic, lively part of Japan that doesn’t stand on ceremony

Kansai, sometimes known as Kinki to the amusement of English speakers, includes the prefectures of Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Hyogo, Shiga, Kyoto and Osaka. It's considered one of the friendliest, most rambunctious regions in Japan, as evidenced by the fact that many off the nation’s top comedians hail from Kansai. Visitors come for the traditional feel and famous temples of Nara and Kyoto, for the rollicking nightlife and delicious food in Osaka, and for a peek at a pine-covered sandbar called Amanohashidate, one of Japan's famous Three Scenic Views. Of course, there’s a lot to discover off the beaten track, too. Mt Koya offers misty mountain temples. Kobe is a modern harbour town risen from the ashes of a major earthquake in 1995. And archeologists consider the Asuka region to be the cradle of Japanese civilisation.