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December 10, 2020

Drive From Hiroshima to Nara | Caves, Temples, & Islands

Annie Miller explores the Kousanji Temples

The drive from Hiroshima to Nara could have been even more eventful than it was. After two days in Hiroshima, we headed southeast towards Ehime, Kawaga and Tokushima, but we just didn’t have enough time.

We only made two stops, but they were JAM PACKED with goodness:

  • Kousanji Temples, cave, The Hill of Hope marble mountain
  • Kirosan Observatory Deck & Bridges

The Kousanji Temples were a task to find. We drove past the entrance twice. Which is hard to believe once you see the photos of how breath taking this location was.

The entrance fee was one of the most expensive we came across. But this is because you get temples, caves, and a marble mountain in a one stop shop.

collage from the Kousanji Temples by Annie Miller
Annie Miller visiting the Kousanji Temples
details of the Kousanji Temples
gorgeous views of the Kousanji Temples
Annie Miller walking through the Kousanji Temples

Like the entrance to the temples, we nearly missed the caves! To the right of the main temple square, there was an open doorway which lead into the caves. We didn’t have a guide, so we can’t say the significance of these carvings. But we were sure glad we didn’t skip them!

entrance and inside the caves with Annie Miller
inside the Kousanji cave with Annie Miller

As we walked down through the caves, we began making our way back up. We popped out to be greeted by, this goddess, I presume? And then it was on to the Marble Mountain.

Despite us almost missing a few entry points, the temples did flow quite nicely.

The little cafe at the top was closed when we arrived but opened by the time we were making our way back down.

We maybe spent 30 minutes at Kousanji Temples. Then it was on to the Kirosan Observatory Deck & Bridges.

These bridges are where we could have stayed a few nights if we had more than 21 days in our road trip. In the original plans, we wanted to stay near the national park, rent bikes, and do the famous ride across all the bridges.

Pit-stops at a few viewpoints is almost the same, right?

Kirosan Observatory Deck & Bridges by Annie Miller
Annie Miller on the Kirosan Observatory Deck & Bridges
Nate Miller on the Kirosan Observatory Deck & Bridges in Japan

Seeing the island side of Japan definitely made us want to explore further. We’ll just have to come back another time. You could likely visit here from Kobe or Okayama as well.

Japan truly does have so much to offer. Everywhere you look there is a new location, mixing human craftsmanship with natural beauty.

After visiting the bridges, we arrived in Nara – the town of the bowing deer. Our second to last stop in our 21 day Japanese Road trip adventures.

Planning a future Japan trip? Then pin this post for later!

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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