Aioi Travel Guide

Discover Aioi's culture, activities, food scene, and safety tips with this helpful travel guide.

Introduction to Aioi

Aioi is a small city located in the Hyogo prefecture of Kansai, Japan. The city has a rich history, dating back to the Jomon period. It is a popular tourist destination due to its cultural significance, natural beauty, and outdoor activities. In this travel guide, we will take you on a journey through Aioi and its surrounding areas. From museums and historical landmarks to scenic views and outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in Aioi.

List of Places to Visit in Aioi

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Aioi offers an array of culturally significant museums and historical landmarks. Here are some of the top attractions to visit:

  • Aioi Castle Ruins: Explore the remains of an ancient castle that dates back to the Edo period.
  • Aioi Bridge: The iconic Aioi Bridge offers stunning views of the city and the Akashi Strait.
  • Aioi City Museum of Art: A creative hub that showcases local contemporary art and culture.
  • Senshu Turuoka Hachimangu Shrine: A significant shrine located in the heart of Aioi.

Natural Attractions of Aioi: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Aioi is blessed with natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some of the best places to explore:

  • Futaba Mountain Park: Offering scenic hiking trails and a breathtaking view of Aioi from the top of the mountain.
  • Kakogawa River: Take a leisurely boat ride or a romantic walk along the banks of this picturesque river.
  • Kakogawa Park: A popular park in Aioi which is perfect for a picnic, jogging, or spending time with family and friends.
  • Tatsuno Park: Home to a beautiful Japanese garden and a natural hot spring.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Aioi

For fitness enthusiasts, here are some of the best hiking and biking routes in Aioi:

  • Aioi to Kakogawa Course: A 24 km trail that takes you from Aioi to Kakogawa through beautiful natural landscapes.
  • Tatsuno Park Course: A 6.5 km scenic trail through Tatsuno Park and the surrounding area, ideal for hiking or biking
  • Futaba Mountain Course: A 5 km hiking trail that leads to the top of Futaba Mountain, where visitors can enjoy stunning panoramic views of Aioi City.

Best Things to Do in Aioi

There are several activities and tours to enjoy in Aioi:

  • Aioi Castle Ruins Nighttime Tour: Experience the eerie atmosphere of Aioi Castle Ruins by joining a nighttime tour.
  • Aioi City Tour: Take a comprehensive city tour of Aioi, visiting its museums, gardens, shrines, and landmarks.
  • Boat Tour of the Akashi Strait: A relaxing boat tour of the famous Akashi Strait. It is a great way to take in the stunning views of the area.
  • Kakogawa River Cycling Tour: A scenic cycling tour that showcases the beauty of the Kakogawa River.

Week-Long Itinerary for Aioi

Here’s a week-long itinerary for Aioi that will help you maximize your time while exploring the city:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit Aioi Castle Ruins and Aioi Bridge
Day 2 Explore the Aioi City Museum of Art and Senshu Turuoka Hachimangu Shrine
Day 3 Hike the 5 km Futaba Mountain trail and visit Tatsuno Park
Day 4 Take a leisurely boat ride along the Kakogawa River
Day 5 Join a nighttime tour of Aioi Castle Ruins
Day 6 Take a city tour of Aioi and visit nearby attractions
Day 7 Cycle along the Kakogawa River and explore the area’s natural beauty

Food and Drink Scene of Aioi

Must-Try Dishes

Aioi offers an array of local dishes that must be tried. Here are some of the top culinary offerings:

  • Tansan Senbei: A unique type of rice cracker made with carbonated water, popular as a souvenir among locals and tourists.
  • Awaji Chicken: A delicious regional chicken dish that is typically grilled and served with a mustard soy sauce.
  • Aioi-ohagi: A dessert consisting of small rice cakes coated in sweet red bean paste.
  • Dried Sardines: A popular snack among locals, this snack is usually eaten with sake or beer.

Local Beverages

Aioi offers an array of local beverages that must be tried. Here are some of the top drinks offerings:

  • Yamamizu: A type of fresh spring water from Futaba Mountain, believed to have healing properties due to its purity and minerals.
  • Sake: A traditional Japanese alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, available in several varieties in Aioi.
  • Shochu: A distilled Japanese beverage that is often served as a digestif in Aioi.
  • Kakogawa Craft Beer: A locally brewed beer available in several bars and restaurants in the area.

Where to Stay in Aioi: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Aioi offers an array of accommodation options for tourists, ranging from luxurious hotels to affordable hostels. Here are some of the top places to stay in the city:

  • Aioi Daiichi Hotel: A mid-range hotel located in the heart of the city, with comfortable rooms and excellent service.
  • Toyoko Inn Himeji-eki Shinkansen-guchi: A budget-friendly hotel in nearby Himeji, perfect for those on a tight budget.
  • Tatsuno Ryokan: A traditional Japanese-style guesthouse located near Tatsuno Park, offering an authentic Japanese experience.

What to Buy in Aioi: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Here are some of the souvenirs and local products you can buy in Aioi:

  • Tansan Senbei: A must-try snack that is also available in several souvenir shops in the city.
  • Awaji Chicken: You can bring home the typical mustard sauce or dried awaji chicken from the region.
  • Kakogawa Craft Beer: A locally brewed beer available in several shops in the area.
  • Yamamizu: A bottle of fresh spring water from Futaba Mountain, available in souvenir shops as a unique gift.

Local Culture and Customs of Aioi

Here are some cultural customs to keep in mind when visiting Aioi:

  • Respect cultural sites and landmarks by being mindful of your behavior.
  • Be polite and courteous to locals, especially in restaurants and markets.
  • Try to learn a few basic Japanese phrases like “hello” and “thank you” to show respect to locals.

Best Time to Visit Aioi

The best time to visit Aioi is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the temperature is mild and the landscape is stunning with Cherry Blossom and autumn colors.

Do’s and Don’ts of Aioi


  • Follow the rules while visiting cultural sites and landmarks.
  • Respect other tourists by being mindful of your behavior and cleaning up after yourself.
  • Try to learn a few basic Japanese phrases to interact with locals politely.


  • Do not litter, as Japan has strict rules on cleanliness.
  • Do not skip a bow when meeting people as it is an important tradition in Japan.
  • Do not use chopsticks to move plates, sample different foods or rub them together as it is considered rude.

Safety and Health

Safety in Aioi

Aioi is considered a safe city for tourists. However, it is always advisable to keep an eye on your belongings and dress according to the weather as Japanese winters could be harsh.

Health in Aioi

Japan, in general, is considered a healthy country. However, it’s always advisable to carry a basic first-aid kit with you, especially when venturing out into the natural attractions where there are no medical facilities in the vicinity.

Getting to Aioi: Transportation Options and Logistics

Here are the various transportation options available to reach Aioi:

Airports Near Aioi

The nearest international airport to Aioi is Kansai International Airport (KIX) located in Osaka which is about a 2-hour train ride away from Aioi.

Bus Stations Near Aioi

There are several local and intercity buses available that connect Aioi with other major cities in Japan.

Other Options

The region has a well-connected railway network that is efficient and comfortable, making it the best way to travel around. Fares for trains and buses are affordable and mostly on time.

How to Get Around in Aioi

The best way to explore Aioi is by using bicycles for hire at around JP¥400-500 (4-5 USD) per hour, which is an affordable and convenient way of touring the city. Visitors can also use a train or local bus that has services within the city and the surrounding areas.

Where to Go Next from Aioi: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Here are some popular destinations to explore that are close to Aioi:

  • Himeji: Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan, located a half-hour train ride from Aioi.
  • Kobe: Kobe, located on the coast of the Hyogo prefecture, is a bustling city with a mix of European and Asian architecture, lying just 44 km away from Aioi.
  • Awaji Island: Known for its beautiful natural landscapes and bike-friendly routes, Awaji Island is located around 50 km from Aioi.


Aioi is a hidden gem of Japan that offers an array of cultural landmarks and natural attractions, leaving every visitor enchanted with its beauty. This travel guide has provided you with all the necessary information to explore Aioi, from its must-visit attractions to popular food and drink scenes. Keep this guide handy when planning your next trip to Aioi. We hope you enjoy your stay and make unforgettable memories.