The Chubu Region is located in the central part of Honshu, and includes Toyama, Yamanashi, Aichi, Niigata, Ishikawa, Fukui, Nagano and Shizuoka Prefectures. This region is home to Mt. Fuji, the symbol of Japan. This area occupies a very mountainous region which is full of 3000 meter-class mountains, and for this reason it is sometimes called the “Japan Alps.” This beautiful mountain scenery is the primary attraction of this region.
In Ishikawa Prefecture there is the Kanazawa area where the old townscape that remains is commonly called “Sho-kyoto” (Little Kyoto), as well as the Kaga Onsen area which is one of the most popular hot springs locations in Japan. There is also the Noto Peninsula area that juts out into the Sea of Japan, which is famous for traditional lacquerware called ‘Wajima- nuri’ as well as its fresh seafood. We recommend Shiroyone Senmaida where you can see continuous rice terraces going all the way to the ocean.
Mt. Fuji crosses two prefectures, and on its southern side is Shizuoka Prefecture. In the Shizuoka area there are many interesting things to see such as the Fujisan Hongu Sengen-taisha Shrine where the object of faith is Mt. Fuji, the Fuji Safari Park where you can see various animals up close, and Japan’s largest-class outlet “Gotemba Premium Outlets.”
The north side of Mt. Fuji belongs to Yamanashi Prefecture. In the Mt. Fuji area, there are numerous lakes called ‘Mt. Fuji lakes’ such as Lake Yamanaka and Lake Kawaguchi, and all of them are beautiful for gazing at Mt. Fuji over the lake. Another noteworthy area is the Minami Alps which has lots of gorgeous nature spots.
Gifu Prefecture is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, including the Shirakawa-go area which is a World Heritage Site and the Takayama area where the cityscape of the Edo period remains. Aside from those, you can also enjoy the Furukawa and Gujo Hachiman areas where the good old townscapes remain.
Aichi Prefecture is famous for Nagoya Castle in Nagoya, as well as the Mikawa area which has Okazaki Castle where the Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first generals of the Edo Shogunate, were born. Aichi is also the founding place of the Toyota Motor Corporation, a global automobile manufacturer. For this reason the region has many Toyota-related facilities, such as the Toyota Kaikan and Toyota Museum.
In Toyama, the Kurobe area is famous for the Kurobe Gorge. The Tateyama area’s most famous spot is the Valley of Snow where 20m walls of snow tower on both sides of the road. There is also the Nanto area where you can experience the beautiful scenery of Japan through the many Gassho-zukuri style houses, which are registered as World Heritage sites.
In Nagano Prefecture there is the Nagano area which has the Zenko-ji Temple, said to have been founded 1,400 years ago, the Matsumoto and Kiso areas where you can enjoy historical townscapes, the Karuizawa and the Kita Alps area which is famous for its summer and ski resorts.
Among all the areas of Chubu, the one facing the wide Sea of Japan is Niigata Prefecture. This area has the Uonuma Area which is famous as a rice production area, as well as the Niigata and Joetsu areas which have many sake breweries. Hot springs like Echigo Yuzawa Onsen and Senami Onsen are also popular.
In Fukui Prefecture there is the Eihei-ji Temple which is related to the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), and the Fukui area where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the scenery from Tojimbo Cliffs. There’s also Echizen Ono Castle in the Ono/Katsuyama area; in this area a ‘sea of clouds’ phenomenon happens from fall to winter, so visitors can enjoy the fantastic scenery like a castle floating in the clouds.