Chubu Region Culture & history

Our most recommended Chubu Region Culture & history

Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

1. Nara: Private Tour with Private Guide

Discover Nara on a fully customizable tour. Nara is in close proximity to Kyoto and Osaka, and its rich collection of traditional sites make it an ideal destination for a day trip from either of its larger neighbours. Start your day by meeting your guide at your hotel or chosen location, then choose sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at the designated meeting point you chose and let the tour begin. First visit Kofuku-Ji temple, a historic site that has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Discover several designated National Treasures here including the Buddhist sculpture masterpiece, the Statue of Ashura. Next, head for Todai-Ji temple, a World Heritage Site that is Nara’s most famous landmark. Admire the statue of Kongo Rikishi at Nandaimon Gate and Japan’s largest Great Buddha statue. Stroll through Nara Park which is famous for its wild deer species. Enjoy the verdant natural setting of Nara while taking part in the popular activity of feeding the deer inside the park. Then discover Kasuga Taisha temple, another World Heritage Site with an impressive red main shrine. Explore the Kasuga-Taisha National Treasure Hall which contains valuable works of Buddhist art.

Kyoto: Private Tour with Local Licensed Guide

2. Kyoto: Private Tour with Local Licensed Guide

Discover Kyoto’s historical sites, favorite local spots, and hidden gems on a private walking tour with a nationally licensed guide. Choose from a 6 or 4-hour tour, whose itinerary can be customized to fit your interests. See both the modern and traditional sides of this dynamic and ancient city as well as some of the best sightseeing areas, restaurants, and shops. Visit places like the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for the Torii Gate Corridor. Explore the filming location for the film “Memoirs of a Geisha”, displaying a colorful crimson scenery with a mysterious atmosphere. Walk through the shrine’s corridors that were erected as a symbolic continuing gate from the current world to the world of the dead inhabited by the gods. Go to the Kinkaku-ji Temple (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), which was given its name from the golden color of its reliquary hall. Admire its simple yet bold structure that features beautiful mountain views in the background. Enter the ancient Kiyomizu-dera temple to get panoramic city views from its large veranda. Walk from the path from the temple to Gion, to find many Kyoto-esque shops filled with unique souvenirs. Grab a snack or enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in the Gion district. Your guide will give you dining recommendations that are sure to delight your palate.

Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

3. Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

Explore the Gion district by night with an experienced English, German, French, or Spanish-speaking tour guide who knows everything there is to know about the area. The tour starts near Kamo river, where you’ll learn about how the tradition of Geishas came to be. After a short stroll along a busy commercial street, you’ll slip into a calm, quiet area to visit the Yasaka Jinja shrine. After that touch of education, it’s off to the Gion.   The Gion has secrets and history scattered across its narrow streets, but this is also a modern entertainment district—so it’s time for a deep dive into what goes on here. Your guide will keep it light and fun, and explain some of the more interesting cultural mores of these parts. Step into a restaurant and graze from a multitude of small plates at a sort of Japanese-style tapas experience. Enjoy a drink as well before continuing on.   Between restaurant stops, there will be an exploration of Kiyamachi, Ponto-cho, and some other commercial and nightlife streets. Your guide will show you both modern and historical Kyoto, painting a well-rounded picture that gives you a real sense of the place. This tour keeps the groups small and includes your food and drinks, so that you can have a carefree night like you’re simply hanging out with someone who knows the neighborhood. A delicious Kobe (or nearby sourced) Beef option is available on top of the usual food and drink. This option is for bookings at least 10 hours in advance.

Kyoto: Tea Ceremony Ju-An at Jotokuji Temple

4. Kyoto: Tea Ceremony Ju-An at Jotokuji Temple

Start your tea ceremony experience by entering through the main gates of the Jotoku-ji Temple. You will pass the entrance to the Grand Tearoom on your left and a shop next to it and meet at the nearby red benches where your guide awaits. Whilst walking through the temple you are free to admire the architecture and stand by the purification fountain. Weather permitting, you are free to sit at the red benches and for a break. In the event of rain you can stand outside under the gable of the shop or wait in the Grand Tearoom. Once you have finished perusing the temple or sitting on the red benches taking in the atmosphere you are able to enter the Grand Tearoom where your instructor waits for you.  Start your tour of the Temple with a traditional purification ritual, a completely unique and insightful experience for Western visitors. Afterwards you will remove your shoes at the entrance of the Grand Tearoom and in your group, proceed inside to take your seat. Get the chance to sample matcha tea at its best. The Tea Master will guide you throughout, showing and explaining every step of the way. Throughout the ceremony you will be taught the fine art of drinking matcha tea and learn about the importance of the ceremony.

From Tokyo: 1-Day Private Mt. Fuji Tour by Car

5. From Tokyo: 1-Day Private Mt. Fuji Tour by Car

You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to important sites in the Mount Fuji area on this customizable, full day tour. This private charter is perfect for larger groups, especially for families, as it lets you see more in a day and with the utmost ease. The flexible tour schedule allows you to enjoy the day at your own pace. You can choose which sites to explore in the region, including the Sengen Shrine Complex - the gateway to the ascension of Mt Fuji, where hikers would pray for a safe climb here before embarking on their journey. You could also see the gorgeous Kawaguchiko Lake, Kachi Kachi Ropeway, and even Oshino Hakkai - a traditional Japanese style village with evergreen ponds. Along the way, you will be accompanied by an expert driver. If you wish, you can also choose to have a guide accompany you during the tour.

Miyajima: Private Rickshaw Tour to Itsukushima Shrine

6. Miyajima: Private Rickshaw Tour to Itsukushima Shrine

Explore Miyajima Island on an exciting rickshaw tour led by a knowledgable guide. Meet your rickshaw outside of the Miyajima Ferry Terminal. Cruise down Miyajima’s charming streets to the center of town. See the townhouses and old-fashioned shopping arcade. Continue along the waterfront. Take in the view of the large orange torii (gate) standing in the water in front of the Itsukushima Shrine. Select the 70-minute tour option and visit the Daishoin Temple. This 1200-year-old temple is said to be a “power spot”– a special location where visitors are charged up with good energy. Enjoy a phenomenal view over Miyajima from the temple. Select the 130-minute tour stop at the Senjokaku Shrine, which was built under the order of the former Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Learn about the temple's history and take in the sea views. Select the 190-minute option and in addition to gorgeous temples and shrines mentioned above, you’ll also travel down special scenic routes which snake through parks and along the seaside. Your tour is customizable and can be modified based on your interest and preferences. You can also choose your own endpoint.

Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

7. Kyoto: 2-Hour Gion Geisha District Tour

Explore Gion, the centuries-old entertainment district of Kyoto, which truly comes alive at night. With your guide, learn about the customs of the geisha and the apprentice maiko. You may catch a glimpse of a few of the women in full costume.  Walk through the narrow streets with the lanterns flickering on the wooden buildings. Enjoy a night visit to a Shinto shrine, with a beautifully lit pagoda. Wander through the grounds of a Zen temple in the tranquil calm of the night. Learn more about the modern history of the entertainment district from your guide.

Hiroshima Cycling Peace Tour with Local Guide

8. Hiroshima Cycling Peace Tour with Local Guide

In Hiroshima City, there are many heritage sites in the suburbs in addition to the Peace Memorial Park, each with a story connected to the atomic bombing. While at the heritage site of the bombing, we will introduce you to the power of the atomic bomb and the situation at the time. 70 years after the war, the destroyed Hiroshima has been dramatically revitalized, and now you can see it full of greenery. You can get a real sense of it through your own eyes, and cycling is the best way to do that. With the guidance of our local staff, who grew up in the city, come and experience the real Hiroshima that you can't experience through photos and books. <About the route> [11:00 / 15:00] Meeting up [11:05/15:05] Peace Memorial Park What is the Peace Memorial Park? Learn about the memories contained in the monuments and the Atomic Bomb Dome and what happened 70 years ago. [11:30/15:30] Sendamachi, Miyukibashi Bridge, Kyobashi River, etc. The guide will show you the actual townscape of Hiroshima in the suburbs away from the touristic area. You will find beautiful Hiroshima vigorously revived from the tremendous damages by the atomic bombing while visiting numerous A-bomb heritage sites and listening to the episodes handed down in Hiroshima. [13:00/ 17:00] The tour finishes at the meeting point. *You will be given data of the photos taken on the day. *If you wish, we can also guide you to the Atomic Bomb Museum. (Additional hour, plus 1,000 yen cash payment on the day. Not possible when combined with other guests, only from 11:00 to 13:00) *The timetable may change depending on the situation on the day.

From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

9. From Osaka: Kyoto Sightseeing Day Trip and Scenic Train Ride

After pickup from one of 3 locations in Osaka, head towards Kyoto, once the former capital of Japan, on the island of Honshu. The first activity of the day is a scenic and romantic railway ride from Kameoka to Arashiyama. During the 23-minute journey, feel immersed in nature as you admire the beautiful blossom trees and breathtaking mountain views. Upon arrival at Arashiyama, enjoy a delicious buffet style lunch with soft drinks to prepare you for an afternoon of sightseeing. After lunch, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Kiyomizudera Temple, one of the most celebrated temples in Japan, founded in 780 on the site of the Otowa Waterfall. The tour continues onto Fushimi Inari, world-famous for the thousands of Torii gates that line the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. Spend some free time exploring the mountain trails and the shrine buildings themselves, and learn about the fascinating culture of Japan. The tour ends after your visit to Fushimi Inari, and you’ll be dropped-off to your original pickup location in Osaka.

Kyoto Nishiki Market Food Tour

10. Kyoto Nishiki Market Food Tour

Your experience will include stops at family owned stalls and shops which have stood the test of time. At a few of the stops sample specialty products like tsukemono (vegetables from the surrounding mountains preserved in vinegar), yuuba (the world’s smoothest sashimi tofu made from the world famous Kyoto mountain water), Kamaboko (seafood preserved in fish paste), Tako (Octopus with quail egg) and Macha Warabi Mochi (a special traditional sweet covered in ground tea leaves). During the tour learn detailed information about the ingredients of different Japanese dishes, how their food is prepared and what is used to eat it. Your experience will do more than just give you a chance to taste Kyoto’s delicious food but will also give you a sense the history and atmosphere of the Nishiki Market experienced by the Japanese for generations. You will be consumed with physical and visual stimuli every step of the way and enjoy stories from the past told directly from shopkeepers and families you will spend time with. After your market exploration walk to a nearby restaurant and have a course lunch featuring beautiful and delicious local dishes.

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What people are saying about Chubu Region

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 846 reviews

Kazu Akiyama was our guide for a six hour walking and public transit tour that took us to three important shrines, two of which were UNESCO heritage sites. Kazu has lived in Kyoto for many years and taught us a lot about the Buddhist and Shinto shrines that we visited. He is very friendly and intelligent and obviously loves his city. He taught us about the public transit system and carefully guided us through it. We recommend this tour but be prepared for walking and stairs. We walked five miles which was fine for us. Just wear good walking shoes. He gave us some good restaurant recommendations. We tried Le Bouchon last night and had a very good experience with wonderful food and service. You will need a reservation if you go to this restaurant.

The tour was excellent. It was pleasant and very informative that, time (5 hours) flew by so fast. Andrew was right on time. He is amazingly knowledgeable, well mannered and cultured. The tour was relaxed yet professional. I would strongly recommend this company and will likely use them again.

So fun. Do it! Our guide was very good, nice and knowledgeable. We had two other super nice people in our group which made it more fun. The food and sights were amazing. Go for the wagu beef option. Bring layers for warmth, and good walking shoes, of course.

We had an awesome time. First our tea-master introduced us to some traditions of the temple. After she showed us how to prepare matcha tea everyone of us tried it themselves. I can highly recommend that! We are very happy and had a very good time!

Yamaguchi was an amazing guide. He was thoughtful, prompt, polite and informative. We very much enjoyed our time with him and would highly recommend!