A Bit of Europe in Kansai, Japan

A Bit of Europe in Kansai, Japan


Whether it's for the photos, the experience, or if you’re missing home, you will find that some areas of Kansai, Japan have unique areas that evoke a European feel. This is due to historical factors like foreign trade, diplomatic relations, and cultural exchange, as well as deliberate efforts to preserve or recreate European-style architecture and landscapes. Visitors to these destinations can experience a special  fusion of Japanese and European cultures while exploring the beauty and charm of these locales.

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Kitano, Kobe

The Kitano-cho district in Kobe is famous for its Western-style houses, many of which were built during the Meiji era when Kobe was opened as a treaty port. These houses were once residences of foreign diplomats and merchants and feature architectural styles ranging from English Tudor to French Renaissance. Enjoy a stroll on the wide streets overlooking the city and admire the architecture and vibe.

Otsuka Museum of Art on Awajishima, Hyogo

Visit one of the largest exhibition spaces in Japan. It sits on a small island between Awajishima and Tokushima. It is on a A Museum with accurate reproductions of masterpiece arts from across the world.The museum houses more than 1000 works, ranging from antiquity to the 20th century and collected from over 190 museums in 26 countries. The full-size faithful replicas were created using a special technology on ceramic plates.

Nakanoshima, Osaka

Nakanoshima Park, an island oasis amidst flowing rivers in Osaka, features European-style architecture on its west side, including the historic Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library. As the city's oldest public park, it adapts to changing expectations of public spaces. The park offers a grassy lawn for various activities like morning exercises, family picnics, and sunbathing. Visitors can enjoy recreation on the water, with tour boats and standup paddleboarders frequenting the area. Notable attractions include the Museum of Oriental Ceramics and the Children’s Library, both designed by architect Ando Tadao.


Porto Europe, Wakayama

Porto Europe is a theme park resembling a medieval Mediterranean port town. Featuring charming European architecture with cobblestones and bricks, the park offers water rides and an amusement park zone, including a thrilling 22m drop slide. Visitors of all ages can enjoy attractions like the Italian port city, streets of France, and the Spanish Castle.

Dreamton, Kyoto
Nestled in the mountains of Kyoto, is a charming town of Kameoka is Dreamton Village. Dreamton is not like these other places of historical interest on this list at all. Dreamton is the complete creation of a Japanese Anglophile, and it is this point that makes it so fascinating. The buildings are made to look like very old buildings that you would find in a typical village somewhere in the UK and very charming. Not only are the buildings decorative, but theres a gift shop, restaurant (that serves British foods and sweets!), bed and breakfast, and even provides wedding services.