Agency for Cultural Affairs, Goverment of Japan

"Coexistence with Nature"
Culture Travel

At Kansai International Airport, eight manga artists have created murals based on the theme of culture found in Kansai’s eight areas. Against a backdrop of diverse nature, the climate and ecosystems of each region have helped shape the local cultures found within, from the diets of the people to the local industries. With varied terrain and unique landscapes, the people developed their own spiritual meaning and cultivated distinctive beliefs based on their surroundings. A visit to these areas provides ample opportunity to contemplate the symbiotic relationship with nature that created these unique cultures and lifestyles.

LOCATION

At Kansai International Airport, eight manga artists have created murals based on the theme of culture found in Kansai’s eight areas. Against a backdrop of diverse nature, the climate and ecosystems of each region have helped shape the local cultures found within, from the diets of the people to the local industries. With varied terrain and unique landscapes, the people developed their own spiritual meaning and cultivated distinctive beliefs based on their surroundings. A visit to these areas provides ample opportunity to contemplate the symbiotic relationship with nature that created these unique cultures and lifestyles.

Map

SANIN COAST

This area of beautiful coastal scenery boasts varied natural featurescreated many millennia ago when the Japanese islands separated from the Asian continent. Visitors can enjoy a distinctive culture developed through trade with the Asian mainland, and delicacies of the sea only found in fishing areas along the coastline.

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HARIMA

Himeji Castle was built as the region developed as a hub for transportation, connecting the country via its port, sea routes, and roads to Kyoto. The culture of the Sengoku Warring States period and samurai still remains in the vicinity of Himeji Castle. A look at the area’s history reveals that the Sengoku culture from the middle ages has its roots in the “Tatara” iron smelting technique practiced there since ancient times.

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LAKE BIWA and HOKURIKU

With an abundance of marine resources, this region’s landscape and culture were shaped by water.In contrast, the mountains became objects of worship and the base of mountain asceticism (austere practices conducted in the mountains). Water nurtured a culture of fermented foods, such as the use of water in the manufacturing of Japanese liquor. Omi is also a province of castles, with vestiges of over 1,300 castles.

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KII PENINSULA

The Kii Peninsula is one of Japan’s mystical “hot spots”. Home to the three sacred sites of Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan, and Yoshino/Omine, it is the genesis of a variety of Japan’s native spiritual beliefs. In 2004, the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range were registered as a World Cultural Heritage property.

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ISE and NARA

This is the birthplace of Japan from the age of myths. It is home to Ise-jingu Shrine, the country’s most prominent Shinto shrine, as well as other cultural assets such as sumo, sake, mountain asceticism, and large ancient tombs. Traveling this route provides important context for the politics and culture of today’s Japan, a “can’t miss” glimpse of ancient Japan.

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AWAJI ISLAND and TOKUSHIMA

With islands dotted around an inland sea, urban areas on opposing coasts, and a unique sea panorama comprised of swift straits, visitors to this area can see the sun rise and set over the sea. This remarkable landscape gave rise to the legend of “Kuniumi”, Japan’s Creation Myth, as well as the unique worldview of the Japanese people. Visitors to this area can relax while gazing languidly at the sea.

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TAMBA

Forested villages are the quintessential, traditional landscapes of Japan. Among those that remain today, the Tamba area deserves a look for the unique farm products still being harvested there. The town of Tamba-Sasayama is an important transportation hub, developing as a base for trade. Through remnants that remain today including a castle town, nature, and pottery, visitors can get a glimpse of Japan from 400 years ago.

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Fukui, east Lake Biwa, and Mie

Samurai, ninja, and the warrior code known as bushido - this area still retains the culture and numerous historical sites associated with the Sengoku Warring States period. It also has a long history of trade with the capital, and many handicrafts have been handed down over the generations.

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