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Chubu, HokurikuPage: 1/9

A day trip to visit major tourist spots in Kanazawa 《Special article to explore Chubu & Hokuriku areas from Shinjuku by express bus 3/3》

Located in Ishikawa Prefecture, Kanazawa is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains facing the ocean. The city has developed around Kanazawa Castle, which has stood for over 400 years without experiencing war or a major natural disaster. Owing to its history, many of the town's temples and tea shops have survived in good condition, lending an old-fashioned feel to its streets. Starting with 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, modern tourist spots are also being created for visitors to enjoy. Now I'll introduce a recommended 1-day course that's sure to satisfy you!

A day trip to visit major tourist spots in Takayama & Shirakawa 《Special article to explore Chubu & Hokuriku areas from Shinjuku by express bus 2/3》

Hida is an area located close to the heart of the Japan islands. Surrounding the area from the east and the west are beautiful high mountains and from the south to the north, canyons with a river also surround the area. Takayama City in Gifu prefecture, which is located at the center of the area (“Takayama” for short) is a historical castle town that flourished nearly 400 years ago. Classical townscape with historical atmosphere is still preserved in these days.

Toyama Prefecture – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, Yuki no Otani Walk

The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a 40-kilometer sightseeing route on the border between Toyama Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture. The course passes through six mountains up to 3000 meters tall.
The highest point of the Alpine Route is “Murodo,” at 2450 meters, and it is an area that receives some of the heaviest snowfall in the entire world. The snow drifts accumulate particularly heavily in the area “Otani,” located a five-minute walk from Murodo Terminal.
An enormous wall of snow, called “Yuki no Otani,” covers this part of the Alpine Route, and it takes a month to clear the path from the snow that closes it down in the winter. From mid-April through mid-June, just after the Alpine Route has reopened after the winter, an approximately 500-meter section is opened, and visitors can walk “Yuki no Otani.”
Large numbers of tourists from around the world every year come to see this unique, one-of-a-kind enormous wall of snow.

Gifu Prefecture – Spring Takayama Festival (Sannou Festival)

Hidetakayama is a place which still retains the essence of old Japan, and it is also a popular tourist location. A major event in the area is the Takayama Festival.
Takayama Festival is the general term for the “Sannou Festival,” held in spring, and the “Hachiman Festival” held in autumn. The spring Takayama Festival (Sannou Festival) has been held annually at Hie Shrine since long ago. The Sannou Festival is a traditional festival, beloved by the people, that is held to announce the arrival of spring.

UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage! Inuyama Festival

13 enormous antique floats, standing up to 3 stories tall, navigate their way through the streets during this festival. Mechanical doll performances also take place to the beat of music set by flutes and taiko drums.
In the evening, 365 paper lanterns are lit on the floats as they navigate through the streets lined with blooming cherry blossoms.

Magome-juku

Magome-juku

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On this trip I enjoyed the beautiful tourist spot of Magome-juku in the Kiso valley of Gifu prefecture. The towns Feudal-era buildings and inns have been well preserved since the Edo era.

Shizuoka Prefecture – Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Kawazu cherry trees are a type of cherry tree found in Shizuoka Prefecture’s Kawazu. Every year, they bloom for about a month from early February to early March. They have a variety of characteristics that set them apart from the usual Yoshino cherry trees that are found all across Japan: Kawazu cherry trees have larger flowers with a darker pink color, they bloom earlier, and their period of blooming long, around a month.
Many people visit Kawazu every year to see the early-blooming cherry blossoms.
As of January 22nd 2017, the cherry blossoms have already begun to bloom, even if it’s just a few so far!