Six Japan’s original scenery Spots, Just a Few Hours Away from Osaka and Kyoto 

Are you planning a trip to Japan and eager to visit various tourist destinations? But, wouldn’t you also like to see Japan’s authentic scenic views, the landscapes that are considered the essence of Japan? 

Actually, the areas around Osaka and Kyoto have a well-developed railway network, allowing you to reach rural countryside areas with rice fields and rivers in a short time. 

In this article, we will introduce six places in Japan where you can experience authentic scenic views, all accessible by train from Osaka and Kyoto. 

Six Japan’s original scenery Spots, Just a Few Hours Away from Osaka and Kyoto 

Let us now introduce you to the authentic scenic spots in Japan that you can easily visit on a day trip from Osaka and Kyoto. We have narrowed down the list to places accessible by train for your convenience. 

While there are deep countryside areas if you go deep into the mountains, you will need a car. Driving on unfamiliar narrow mountain roads in Japan can be dangerous. In this article, we will introduce places where you can easily go and still enjoy authentic rural landscapes. 

A 30-minute Valley Adventure from Osaka: Near Takedao Station on the JR Takarazuka Line. 

Let’s start with the scenic valley located just a short walk from Takedao Station on the JR Takarazuka Line.

In about 30 minutes from JR Osaka Station, you can encounter such beautiful views. Among the authentic rural landscapes, this valley scenery is truly captivating. 

While not a major tourist destination, several facilities cater to hikers who visit the area. Additionally, there are hot springs nearby, and if you head west from Takedao Station, you’ll find a free footbath. It’s a recommended spot for those who want to enjoy the footbath while admiring the scenic views of the Japanese valley. 


From JR Osaka Station:  

  • [G] JR Takarazuka Line Local (bound for Shin-Sanda) 
  • [G] JR Takarazuka Line Regional Rapid (bound for Shin-Sanda) 
  • [G] JR Takarazuka Line Regional Rapid (bound for Sasayamaguchi) 
  • Get on any of these trains.  


[G59] Get off at Takedao Station *Approximately 40 minutes from Osaka Station 

One Hour from Osaka: Scenic Countryside near JR Takarazuka Line’s Aimoto Station 

The second spot is the scenic countryside near Aimoto Station on the JR Takarazuka Line.

The area around the station is dotted with expansive rice fields, offering a different kind of authentic rural landscape from the valley we introduced earlier. 

Moreover, if you take a short walk south from the station, you’ll find “Sakatare Shrine.”

Even though it’s not a tourist destination, this locally cherished shrine adds to the essence of Japan’s original landscapes. It has a unique atmosphere distinct from the shrines and temples you’d find in tourist spots like Kyoto.  

Also, Aimoto Station is on the same JR Takarazuka Line as Takedao Station, which we introduced as the first spot. If you have time, why not visit both places? You can enjoy both the scenic countryside and the valley views. 


 At JR Osaka Station:  

・[G] Local Train to Shin-Sanda  

・[G] Rapid Train to Shin-Sanda  

・[G] Tambaji Rapid Train to Shin-Sanda  

・[G] Regional Rapid Train to Shin-Sanda  

Get on any of these trains. 


Disembark at Aimoto Station [G65].  

Approximately 1 hour from Osaka Station. 

Just an hour away from Osaka, you’ll find a picturesque town nestled at the foot of the mountains: Myoken-guchi Station, near the Nose Electric Railway. 

Next, let me introduce you to Myoken-guchi Station, which is just an hour away from Osaka on the Nose Electric Railway.

This charming town is nestled at the foot of the mountains and has a different vibe from the previous one. You’ll find scattered houses and shops here, surrounded by lush greenery and steep slopes, offering a unique atmosphere different from the city center. 

Moreover, you can enjoy the authentic rural scenery with traditional Japanese houses scattered around.

Take a look at this old postbox in front of Myoken-guchi Station; it adds a nice touch to the area. You’ll feel the nostalgic charm of old Japan here.  


At Hankyu Osaka-Umeda Station:  
・Local Train bound for Hibarigaoka-Hanayashiki  

・Local Train bound for Kawashinoseguchi  

・Express Train bound for Takarazuka  

Get on any of these trains. 


Transfer at Kawanishi-Noseguchi Station [HK50/NS1].  

Get on the Myoken Line Local Train bound for Nissei Chuo. 


Transfer at Yamashita Station [NS10].  

Get on the Myoken Line Local Train bound for Myoken-guchi. 


Get off at Myokenguchi Station [NS14].  

Approximately 50 minutes from Osaka Umeda Station. 

A Natural Scenic Spot just 15 minutes away from Kyoto: Near Kintetsu Kyoto Line’s Mukojima Station. 

For those traveling based in Kyoto, we’d like to share some easily accessible places from Kyoto.

Let’s start with the area near Mukojima Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line. It’s just a short 15-minute ride from Kyoto Station. 

On the east side of the station, you’ll find a typical urban residential area, but as you head west, you’ll be greeted with picturesque views like the ones in the images. While the landscapes we introduced so far were mountainous, this place offers a rural scenery of flat plains. The area is quite vast, so if you plan to explore deeper, make sure to calculate the distance to find your way back. 


At Kintetsu [B01] Kyoto Station:  

・Local train to Shindenobe  

・Local train to Kashiharajingu-mae  

・Local train to Yamato-Saidaiji  

Get on any of these trains. 


Get off at Mukaijima Station [B09]. 

Scenic Countryside just 30 minutes from Kyoto: Near JR Sagano Line’s Umahori Station. 

A countryside landscape spreads near JR Sagano Line’s Umahori Station, just 30 minutes away from Kyoto.

The southern side of the station is a residential area, while the northern side offers scenic views like in the picture. It’s somewhat similar to the second spot we introduced, but you can reach here faster from Kyoto. 

Moreover, this location is close to the station where the Torokko (scenic train) departs and arrives from Kyoto’s Arashiyama area. After enjoying the scenery here, taking the Torokko back could be a great option. Conversely, if you plan to ride the Torokko from Arashiyama, you can also savor this landscape after your scenic train journey. 


At JR Kyoto Station:  

・[E] Local Train to Kameoka  

・[E] Local Train to Sonobe 

Get on any of these trains. 


Get off at Umahori Station [E10].  

Approximately 25 minutes from Kyoto Station. 

Riding the local train through Shiga’s rural landscapes: Ohmi Railways. 

Finally, let me introduce you to the scenic train views. It’s the “Ohmi Railways” that runs through Shiga Prefecture, located right next to Kyoto.

Ohmi Railways travels through the tranquil countryside of the eastern part of Shiga Prefecture, offering picturesque rural landscapes to enjoy from the train window. 

The train stations and their surroundings often preserve the charm of old Japan from the 1900s.

Along the railway, you’ll also find traditional Japanese architecture, townscapes, and Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, allowing you to experience the essence of Japanese culture. If you want to relax and take in the beauty of Japan’s landscapes while riding the train, this is a highly recommended option. 


Connected to the following stations on the JR Biwako Line:  

Maibara Station  

Hikone Station 

Omihachiman Station 

*These stations are approximately 90 minutes from Osaka and about 60 minutes from Kyoto. 

Please enjoy your sightseeing in a way that respects and doesn’t disrupt the local residents. 

We’ve introduced spots where you can experience Japan’s authentic rural landscapes accessible from Osaka and Kyoto. While popular tourist destinations are undoubtedly enjoyable, exploring places less frequented by tourists can also lead to exciting discoveries. 

However, it’s important to note that the places we mentioned are where locals live their daily lives. Since these are not typical tourist spots, locals might not be accustomed to encountering travelers. If you plan to take photos or videos near their homes, it’s essential to be mindful of their privacy. Please follow proper etiquette and respect the local community during your sightseeing. Thank you!