Getting to know Japan’s Chubu Region

I am back from Japan, missing the cold weather and my daily dose of Hot Lemon. The trip was a great way to cap my year, as I turn 34 tomorrow.

By the riverside at Takayama
By the riverside in Takayama

The Chubu region lies in the center of Japan, with Nagoya as its main domestic and international gateway.

Colors of Autumn in Shirakawa-Go
Colors of Autumn in Shirakawa-Go

Takayama and Shirakawa-go, two places that I was able to visit last year’s Japan trip, was included in our itinerary. For this, I was so grateful, as I really liked both and wanted to visit them again. Though it was also cold when we visited last Sunday, Shirakawa-go wasn’t blanketed in snow this time, and it was equally amazing to see the village with a splash of Autumn colors.

The neighborhood at Gujo City
The neighborhood at Gujo City

We also visited Gujo City, also in the Gifu prefecture. This was another stroke of luck, as I had been wishing to visit the quaint towns that the Wide View Hida train passed through on the way to and from Takayama on my trip last year. It was a lovely little city, and our brief stay was made memorable by the adorable dance teachers at the Gujo Hachiman Kinenkan Tourist Center.

View from Shin-Hotaka Ropeway
The view from the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

Living in a tropical country, we are all fascinated with snow. Though it did not snow during our trip, there enough snow in the Japanese alps to excite everybody in the tour. We were able to get close to the snow and view the surrounding mountains at the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway, which features a double decker cable car. It is certainly the best (and easiest) way to get up the mountain, and enjoy an amazing view at the same time.

Obuse Town
Pretty Obuse town

If you’re like me who love wandering around small towns and cities, there’s no shortage of those in Chubu. We were also taken to Obuse, said to be next big destination in the region. It is one of those towns that is just too pretty. Its rising popularity among the local tourists is marked by the souvenir stalls by the side of the road, giving samples of the best products and local delicacies in the area, including Fuji apples, and (oddly enough), cooked locusts.

Magome Town
Wandering through Magome Town

There is also the mountain town of Magome, which is so beautiful, you would feel so inspired to continue walking up the side of the mountain just to see all the old houses and buildings. Though I balk at the mere sight of an incline, walking up Magome was a delight.

Matsumoto Castle
The majestic Matsumoto Castle

Though it is bustling city, Matsumoto has one beautiful ancient treasure: the Matsumoto Castle. Built in the 17th century, the castle has been restored and visitors can go inside for a tour. Let me tell you, it’s not the castle of your fantasies, but it’s not to say it’s not impressive! It is a very beautiful structure, and judging by the number of sakura trees around, it’s gorgeous to visit during the cherry blossom season in mid-April.

Zenzoji Temple Gate
One of the gates of Zenzoji Temple

Of course, the trip would not be complete without a visit to a Buddhist temple. We went to the Zenzoji Temple in Nagano City, a huge and imposing structure. It is one of the most important temples in Japan, and houses the first Buddhist statue brought to Japan.

Meitetsu Department Store
Inside Meitetsu Department Store in Nagoya

There were also visits to the wasabi farm, some apple picking, and of course, plenty of souvenir shopping! Our trip culminated at the Meitetsu Department Store in Central Nagoya, which was connected to the train station, where we took the Myu Sky Limited Express train back to Central Japan Airport.

RELATED:   Nagoya: Your gateway to Japan

More about the trip in the coming days!

Japan. Endless Discovery.Japan National Tourism Organization

Great hotel deals in Takayama via Agoda


Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 5 Comments
  1. dementedchris says:

    This region sounds awesome, Nina! I hope I can get to visit it soon. I would love to see (and maybe stay a bit) in some small Japanese town. Did you guys enter Matsumoto Castle?

  2. hi. can i know which period in nov did u visit to catch the autumn colors?

  3. Harvind says:

    Hi Nina,

    May I know when dos you do ur trip to Chubu region during Autumn? We are planning for a self drive from Nov 8-11 via this route – Nagoya/Takayama/S-Go/Matsumoto/Hakone.

    I’m jus very curious on the do ability of driving this route early November.

    Thanks!
    Harvinder

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