World Heritage Site, “Cool Japan” Anime-themed Park and Japanese Cuisine in a 3-day Trip

You must have heard about Cool Japan or already visited Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, i.e. major tourist destinations in Japan. For those who would like to venture into “old” Japan and its origin, a trip to experience one of the World Heritage Sites and the island known to be the first one created according to a Japanese myth in western Japan (Kansai area) is the one not to be missed!  

For this 2-night/3-day trip, you wouldn’t need a car. Japanese trains are operated without any delays, not even one minute unless there is bad weather! They are very clean, safe, and very convenient, especially going from one major city to another.

Itinerary of the Trip:

Day 1: Visit Himeji Castle

Kansai Airport

            ↓  JR; 50 min.

Shin-Osaka Station

             ↓ Shinkansen (Sanyo Shinkansen Line); 30 min.

Himeji Station

              ↓ By walk; 20 min.

Himeji Castle

Himeji Castle, a World Heritage Site, is also called Shirasagi (white heron) castle because it looks like a beautiful white heron spreading its wings. These white walls of this castle against the blue sky will be one of the best scenes that you will encounter in Japan! 400 years after the castle was built, now you can actually see the inside the castle and imagine how samurai warriors and their lord lived.

Day 1: Stay at Grand Chariot in Nijigen no Mori

Grand Chariot

Himeji Station

             ↓  JR Kobe Line; 25 min.

Akashi Station

              ↓ 10 min. walk

Akashi Port

              ↓ Ferry (Jenova Line); 10 min.

Iwaya Port, Awaji Island

              ↓ Free Shuttle Bus; 13 min.

Nijigen no Mori

Click here for reservations

Adress 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
Located at Nijigen no Mori in Hyogo Prefecture Awajishima Park
Tel 0799-64-7090
Website https://awaji-grandchariot.com/
Reservations https://go-grandchariot.reservation.jp/en
Click here for details of GRAND CHARIOT

Located on the 135th meridian east where the mystical power dwells, Grand Chariot is a luxurious glamping facility. In the rooms, named “Cocoons” after their shape where privacy is ensured, the starry skies can be seen from the skylight window of more than 5m high. In the morning, sunlight comes pouring in and engulf the room in the nature of the Island. An anime-themed cocoons like Naruto and Dragon Quest Cocoon are very popular and it is highly recommended to reserve early.

Grand Chariot is located on a hill at Nijigen no Mori, an anime-themed park, and its shuttle bus will pick you up from the parking area at Nijigen no Mori.

A dinner is a Japanese cuisine using locally grown produce, freshly caught seafood, and beef.

From the observation area on top of the hill, you will be able to see an amazing sunset over beyond Akashi Kaikyo (Strait).

Day 2: Explore Nijigen no Mori

Experience 2-dimentional popular Japanese anime contents in a real world of the beautiful nature of Awaji Island. Each attractions and rides are independent making it possible to buy an individual ticket of your favorite anime character.

Nijigen no Mori


“Dragon Quest Island Daimaou Zoma and the Island of Beginning”

“Dragon Quest Island” is an outdoor field RPG attraction, which is a fusion of real and digital world, where you can explore the world of “Dragon Quest”, with your own feet as the main character of the story.

Godzilla Interception Operation-National Godzilla Awajishima Research Center

Based on the theme of the Godzilla that landed on Awaji Island, it is the world’s only entertainment attraction with the world’s largest life-size Godzilla where you can fully experience the power of Godzilla. You can do so by trying the Theater, Zip Line, Shooting Game, and Godzilla Museum.

Naruto & Boruto Shinobizato

“Hokage Rock” and life-size dolls of characters appearing in the anime are set up to recreate the world of Naruto and Boruto. Have fun with “Ten no Maki (Heaven Scroll)” which is a 3-story maze, “Chi no Maki (Earth Scroll)” which is an athletic course and puzzle solving, and “Chi no Maki Gaiden (Supplementary Earth Scroll)” which is a puzzle with hints in the Shinobizato setting.

Day 2: Lunch at Nijigen no Mori

Ramen Ichiraku

A ramen restaurant based on the concept of NARUTO & BORUTO’s world.

Mori no Terrace

A restaurant situated deep inside Nijigen no Mori’s forest, offering delicious meals utilizing

ingredients produced locally on Awaji Island.

Click here for reservations

Address 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
TEL 0799-64-7061
Website https://nijigennomori.com/
Reservations https://ticket.nijigennomori.com/en/
Operation Hours Everyday10:00-22:00
*Each attraction has a different last reception time and closing time.

Click here for details of NIJIGEN NO MORI

Day 2: Stay at Auberge,” French Forest”

Nijigen no Mori

              ↓ 3 min by free shuttle bus

Auberge, “French Forest”

La Rose

The Auberge offers a comfortable stay after you have fully enjoyed your dinner and drink. You can certainly enjoy your drinks during dinner without any concern about driving or going somewhere else. A room is just like the one in an Auberge in a French village. You will be able to start a refreshing morning with a healthy breakfast prepared by the chef.

While three different styles of French cuisine are offered at each of three restaurants, we recommend La Rose where you can enjoy a French cuisine with Japanese essence. Chef Ryotaro Murakami creates such a master piece with his own technique, using local produce, seafood and meat from Awaji Island. Your dining experience is highlighted with various selection of wines and tranquil nature around the restaurant.

Click here for reservations

Name Auberge “French Forest” La Rose
Address 2593-8 Kusumoto Aza Banaka, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-2301
TEL 0799-70-9062
Official Web Site https://frenchnomori.jp/la_rose/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/french-larose/reserve
Operation Hours Lunch – 11:30~15:30 (Last Entry: 13:00)
Dinner – 17:30~21:30 (Last Entry: 19:00)
Closed Tuesdays

Click here for details of Auberge “French Forest”

Day 3:Check out and Lunch

Auberge, “French Forest”

          ↓ Free Shuttle Bus; 7 min. to Harusansan (need to transfer at Aman no Shokutaku) /
11 min. to SEIKAIHA

Harusansan or SEIKAIHA

         ↓ Free Shuttle Bus

Iwaya Port

        ↓     Jenova Ferry; 10 min.

Akashi Port

          ↓    10 min. walk

Akashi Station

Lunch Recommendation 1: Harusansan, A Farmer’s Restaurant


Having a field right in front of the restaurant, it is a “circular” restaurant based on the concept of SDGs. Lunch uses all local produce freshly harvested and you will be amazed how tasty all these vegetables are!

Designed by Shigeru Ban, a world-known architect, a restaurant has a thatched roof and wooden interior, using only those materials that will decompose and be returned to nature.

So good to the environment and healthy to your body!

Click here for reservations

Name Farmer’s Restaurant – Haru San San
Address 1510-4 Nojima-tokiwa Aza Genpachi, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1726
Tel 0799-70-9082
Operation Hours 11:00-18:00(L.O.17:00)
Closed Wednesdays
Website https://www.awaji-nlr.com/harusansan
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/noukarestaurant-haru-sansan/reserve

Click here for details of Haru San San

Lunch Recommendation 2: Aonoya at SEIKAIHA


For sushi and tempura lovers, Aonoya located right in front of the ocean is perfect! “Aonoya Gozen Set” with sushi and tempura with freshly caught seafood and local produce as well as side dishes cooked with dashi broth, is highly recommended.

All the seats are on tiered counters, facing the ocean and you can savor your lunch, watching how chefs prepare Japanese cuisine.

Click here for reservations

Name SEIKAIHA - Aonoya
Address 70 Nojima-okawa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1723
Tel 0799-70-9020
Website https://awaji-seikaiha.com/aonoya/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/awaji-seikaiha/reserve
Operating Hours 11:00~15:00 (Last In 14:00, L.O. 14:00)
17:00~21:00 (Last In 19:30, L.O. 20:00)
Closed: Thursdays

Click here for details of SEIKAIHA - Aonoya

Lunch Recommendation 3: Uminoya at SEIKAIHA

Western food interpreted in a Japanese way such as Omelet Rice, Hamburg Steak and Fried Prawns, that you have often seen in Japanese anime, can be experienced at Uminoya.

The interior of the restaurant is the of Meiji and Taisho era, when Japan was highly influenced by western cultures. It is also located right in front of the ocean and you can enjoy your lunch while relishing a beautiful ocean view and a live music.

Click here for reservations

Name SEIKAIHA - Uminoya
Address 70 Nojima-okawa, Awaji City, Hyogo Pref. 656-1723
Tel 0799-70-9020
Operation Hours 11:00~15:00 (Last In 14:00, L.O. 14:00) 14:00~17:00 (Café time) 17:00~21:00 (Last In 19:30, L.O. 20:00) Closed: Thursdays
Website https://awaji-seikaiha.com/uminoya/
Reservations https://www.tablecheck.com/en/shops/awaji-seikaiha/reserve

Click here for details of SEIKAIHA - Uminoya


Enjoy your trip!