Located in the south-central part of Japan’s main island, Honshu, the Kinki or Kansai region of Japan is considered to be at the heart of the country’s history and culture. Five UNESCO World Heritage Listings put Kansai at the top of any Japanese region. Kansai, specifically the city of Osaka, is the food centre of Japan with popular dishes that include kitsune udon, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu.
In terms of golf courses, the Kinki region boasts around 350 facilities but, without a shadow of doubt, the premier golf course in Kansai is the venerable Hirono Golf Club which was laid out by Englishman Charles H. Alison in 1932. Hirono has headed most Japanese ranking lists since ratings began and it’s unlikely to be knocked off the top spot any time soon. Naruo Golf Club dates back to 1920 and it too was shaped by the intrepid English architect and has occasionally appeared within the World Top 100 rankings.