Chubu - The Heart of Japan

A journey of many facets. Experience the charms of the ancient Nakasendo Way with its rustic feudal post towns, the rejuvenating hot springs of Matsumoto, Takayama & Yamashiro Onsen and refined architecture of Kanazawa. Savour the finest kaiseki cuisines in three different regional styles. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in the finest ryokans in Matsumoto, Takayama & Yamashiro Onsen

Experience and savour probably Japan's finest cuisines

Witness stunning and spectacular natural landscapes

Meet local artisans and organic producers

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE NAGOYA / NAKASENDO WAY / MATSUMOTO

On arrival at Nagoya Chubu Centrair Intl Airport, be met and set off on the "Nakasendo Way" - an ancient road that connects Kyoto and Edo (present-day Tokyo) during the Edo Period. Visit the towns of Magome and Tsumago - two of 69 stations along the Nakasendo and witness charming ancient architecture, idyllic settings and an ancient vibe that traces Japan's feudal past. We then arrive into the Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture and visit the magnificent Matsumoto Castle, considered to be the finest and best-preserved castle in Japan. Take a stroll along the Nakamachi merchant district with traditional houses, shops and restaurants before we retreat to the stunning surroundings of Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Overnight: Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, Matsumoto

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2: MATSUMOTO (ESSENCE OF NAGANO)

Today we begin an excursion of Nagano Prefecture. A short drive takes us to Nagano city where we first visit the Zenkoji Temple, founded before Buddhism in Japan was split into several different sects. We then continue our journey to Yudanaka Onsen where we take a lovely hike through the forest to visit the Jigokudani Yaen Koen - home to the famous snow macaques where they enjoy the comforting hot springs. Thereafter, spend some time strolling the atmospheric streets of Shibu Onsen before returning to Matsumoto. 

Overnight: Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, Matsumoto

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 3: MATSUMOTO / TAKAYAMA

A picturesque day begins with as we depart Matsumoto across the central alps of Chubu witnessing the snow-capped peaks of Mount Hotaka and stunning scenery of natural beauty. Arrive into the charming city of Takayama in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. Takayama retains the traditional atmosphere with its beautifully-preserved old town and architecture. We first visit the Sanmachi area adorned with many teahouses, sake breweries, some of which have been around for centuries. Worth visiting is the Takayama Jinya which served as the local government office from the Edo Period till 1969. We also visit the Yatai Kaikan for a glimpse of the beautiful festival floats used during Takayama Matsuri (Spring and Autumn Festivals). Finally, retreat to the beautiful Wanosato, a 160 year-old ryokan built in traditional "Gassho-zukuri" thatched roof nestled in the quaint forest along the Miyagawa River. 

Overnight: Wanosato, Takayama

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 4: TAKAYAMA / SHIRAKAWAGO / KANAZAWA / YAMASHIRO ONSEN

Today, we travel to the secluded mountain villages of UNESCO-listed Shirakawago where we will witness a collection of traditional "Gassho-zukuri" thatched roof farmhouses, built according to ancient lifestyles where the steep roofs resembles the shape of two hands in prayers, called "Gassho" in Japanese. Thereafter, continue to Ishikawa Prefecture where we visit the beautiful city of Kanazawa. Visit the beautiful Kenrokuen Garden, reputedly one of Japan's three most beautiful landscape gardens. Next, visit the Omicho Market where locals regard as the "Kitchen of all Kanazawa People". See, smell and taste the freshest seafood caught from the Sea of Japan. We then visit the charming Higashiyama Geisha District. Built in 1820, it still preserves an ambience of feudal times with wooden lattice fronts of old geisha houses. Worth a visit is Kaikaro to discover the teahouse and learn the cultures of geishas. Finally, we transfer to Yamashiro Onsen where we retreat to the beautiful environments of Beniya Mukayu

 

Overnight: Beniya Mukayu, Yamashiro Onsen

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5: YAMASHIRO ONSEN 

Spend a wonderful day as we visit the wonderful environments of the Kakusenkei Gorge, alongside the murmuring Daishoji River, one of the most beautiful natural environments in Japan. Explore the quaint Yamanaka Town and later, we have a lesson in traditional soba-making while also visiting some local organic producers in the area specializing in shoyu-making, pottery and sake. 

 

Overnight: Beniya Mukayu, Yamashiro Onsen

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6: DEPART YAMASHIRO ONSEN 

Our journey ends as you are transferred to Kagaonsen Station for your onward journey. 

 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Discover the secret charms of Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, a luxurious hotel opened in 1931, tucked away in the calm and serenity of the mountains, between the snowy peaks and fine traditional hot springs. Tobira Onsen Myojinkan offers a divinely serene atmosphere in the forest, relaxing baths in the heart of nature and sophisticated Kaiseki cuisine of French and Japanese styles. 

Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, Matsumoto

Wanosato is a pastoral luxury retreat with only 8 rooms in truly natural surroundings, tranquility nestled in the countryside in Takayama. The beautiful Miyagawa River runs through the inn's premise, old thatched roof house, old mill wheel and iriori fireplace contributes to the nostalgic atmosphere. 

Wanosato, Takayama

Founded in 1928 in the spa town of Yamashiro, Beniya Mukayu is located on the road from the revered Kyoto to the UNESCO World Heritage sites Shirakawago-Gokayama, close to Kanazawa. Every room has its own private open air bath and wonderful views of the authentic garden. Be treated to the finest Kaga style Kaiseki cuisine.

Beniya Mukayu, Yamashiro Onsen

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