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Chubu Region

Culture & history

Our most recommended Chubu Region Culture & History

Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park: One-Day Pass Ticket

1. Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park: One-Day Pass Ticket

The Fuji-Q One-Day Pass (includes Fuji-Q and Thomas land) will get you all day access to Fuji-Q Highland and unlimited access to rides. Get ready to feel your heart to race as you explore Fuji-Q Highland where you can enjoy four top major roller coasters with the iconic Mount Fuji in the background. Get your thrills on Fujiyama, the tallest and fastest roller coaster, the 10th fastest, 8th tallest, and 5th longest ride in the world. Check out Do-dodonpa’s new vertical loop and the world's fastest acceleration of any roller coaster, at a speed of 111.9 miles per hour in 1.6 seconds. Takabisha is famous for having a drop angle of 121-degrees, the steepest coaster in the world. On Eejanaika, you can experience life in 4-D. When you’re not on an exciting coaster ride, check out the Labyrinth of Fear, anime-themed rides, and kid-friendly rides.

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.

From Tokyo: Mt. Fuji Full-Day Sightseeing Trip

3. From Tokyo: Mt. Fuji Full-Day Sightseeing Trip

Experience the most famous sightseeing spots around Mount Fuji. Learn about Japanese history and culture while soaking in the dramatic views around Mount Fuji. Depart from Tokyo by bus and arrive at Kawaguchiko Oishi Park where you can capture beautiful photos with lake Kawaguchi and Mount Fuji in the background. Head to Oshino Hakkai, one of the most famous spots in the Fujisan area, and see the 8 different lakes located there. Taste the water from Mount Fuji. Continue to Arakura Sengen Park, located halfway up Mount Arakura in Fujiyoshida in the Yamanashi Prefecture. Take in the panoramic views of the city with Mount Fuji in the background and admire the cherry blossoms. Then, explore Gotemba Premium Outlets or Gotemba Heiwa Koen (Peace Park). Enjoy time to shop or visit the Peace Park in Gotemba City with beautiful views of Mt. Fuji. See the chalky stupa which contains some of the Buddha's ashes. Visit the Buddhist Monastery of Nihonzan Myohoji Temple where 33 Kannon, goddess of mercy, images are housed. Stroll around this authentic Japanese garden before being be dropped back at the Shinjuku Subaru.

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

4. 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.

Takayama: Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

5. Takayama: Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

Located in Gifu Prefecture on the main island of Honshu, Takayama (or Hida-Takayama) is filled with historic charm and is also renowned for its natural beauty. Explore this ancient city with a local guide and see the best of what it has to offer on a private walking tour. Below are some things included as part of a typical itinerary that can be customized based on your wishes. Sanmachi Street has many houses and stores that date back to the Edo period (1603-1868). The area is lined with shops carrying local specialties and has a lively atmosphere with many people stopping to shop and eat here. Hida Folk Village is an open-air museum exhibiting over 30 traditional houses from the Hida Region, the mountainous district of Gifu Prefecture around Takayama. The houses were built during the Edo period and were relocated from their original places to create the museum in 1971. The Takayama Jinya served as the local government office headed by the officials dispatched from Edo (present-day Tokyo). The building complex was in official use until 1969 and is now open to the public as a museum. Hida-Takayama Miyagawa Morning Market is held daily in Takayama between 7:00 AM (8:00 AM in winter) and 12:00 AM. The Miyagawa Market along the Miyagawa River in the old town and the Jinya-mae Market in front of the Takayama Jinya sell local crafts, snacks, and produce. Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall shows key aspects of the Takayama Festival. The festival takes place for two days each spring and autumn and, along with Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and the Chichibu Yomatsuri, is considered to be one of Japan's three most beautiful. Hida Kokubunji Temple is a Buddhist temple. Its iconic three-storied pagoda was constructed in 1820. A Buddhist statue thought to have been made in the Heian period is enshrined in the main building. Be sure to check out the huge gingko tree on the grounds. It is over 1260 years old. Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in Takayama is the venue for the Takayama Festival in the autumn. Next to the shrine is the Takayama Festival Floats Exhibition Hall, or Yatai Kaikan, where four of the actual floats used in the festival are on display. The Kusakabe Folk Museum is a historic private residence that has been opened to the public. The building was constructed during the Meiji period in an Edo architectural style. The entire building is designated important cultural property of Japan.

Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

6. Kyoto: 45-Minute Tea Ceremony Experience

You will take you place on the tatami, the traditional Japanese floor mat and be met by your English-speaking host, who is a licensed tea master from Urasenke, the biggest school of tea ceremony in Japan. Watch as the host carries out the ceremonial preparation of matcha, powdered green tea. Then, you will have the chance to make tea yourself, while the host informs you about the history and spiritual role of the tea ceremony and the effects each tea-making method has on its flavor. Afterwards, savor some traditional Japanese sweets Once the ceremony has come to a close, you will have the chance to take photos and see examples of kimonos and beautiful woven textiles made in the Nishijin district of Kyoto. If you'd like to wear a kimono during the experience, you can select it as an add-on during booking and take photos to remember the experience.

Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

7. Nara: Half-Day UNESCO Heritage & Local Culture Walking Tour

Meet your knowledgeable guide at the meeting point and begin your cultural half-day walking tour of Japan's first historical capital. As you walk by the shopping arcade, explore a Japanese old town extremely different from a metropolis like Tokyo. Walk between the historical buildings, and go inside a traditional merchant's house to see how people around here live in the past. Next, take a break from walking to observe the mysterious pyramid-shaped structure in the middle of the quiet town. Admire the view of the city of Nara from the hill, then visit Todai-ji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Learn about the distinct Japanese religious culture as you see a huge temple with a great Buddha statue, then explore a beautiful shrine housing hundreds of lanterns. In this area, meet and feed the wild deer living in Nara Park. For over 1,200 years, locals have believed that deer are sacred divine messengers. Interact with them and see how polite they are. At the end of the tour, savor a delicious Japanese lunch dish made only using local Nara vegetables and fresh meat.

Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

8. Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

On this special 2-hour activity, learn about the life and art of the maiko, or apprentice geiko. Maiko are female performing artists who wear traditional makeup, hairstyles and costumes. They work in the Gion area and perform various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games. The maiko are apprentices and are between 15 and 20 years old. You don’t have to be in this age range to participate in the Yumeyakata Maiko Makeover project, however! The professional staff will apply your makeup, use a wig, and dress you extravagantly to look like the real thing. They'll also show you the proper maiko poses for beautiful pictures.  The package includes studio photography, so you’ll have souvenir photos to show your family and friends.

Kyoto: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

9. Kyoto: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

Discover the highlights of Kyoto with a same-day or 2 day ticket on this convenient hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Admire the panoramic views from onboard the open-top double-decker bus, and hop on or off at any of the stops along the route. Enjoy informative audio commentary on board the bus, available in 7 languages. Choose this efficient way of exploring the must-see places and attractions in Kyoto. The bus takes you past many of the city's top attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Buses run every 30 minutes, and you can enjoy unlimited rides for the duration of your ticket's validity.  Bus stops along the route:  • Kyoto Station • Nishihonganji ( Kyoto Tokyu Hotel) • Shijo Karasuma / Nishiki-ichiba Market • Nijo-jo Castle • Kitano-tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) • Daitokuji Temple • Kyoto Imperial Palace (Doshisha University) • Ginkakuji Temple (Silver Pavilion) • Heian-jingu Shrine / Okazaki Park • Gion (Kotowa-Kyoto Yasaka) • Gojozaka (Kiyomizu-dera Temple / Gion) • Sanjusangendo / Kyoto National Museum (Hyatt Regency Kyoto)

Kyoto: Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class

10. Kyoto: Morning Japanese Bento Cooking Class

Experience an authentic Japanese food tradition and prepare your own bento box at a morning bento cooking class in Kyoto. Learn about typical Japanese dishes, such as sushi, tempura and miso soup, and hear about the cultural background of the well-known Japanese "bento" takeaway meal. Traced back to the late Kamakura Period (1185 to 1333), the bento box has now become a staple of Japanese cuisine. Arrive for your 2.5 to 3-hour class and collect your ingredients, apron and utensils. Then, watch and follow your chef as they demonstrate the art of bento and explain the tricks to making beautiful Japanese dishes often found in a bento box. Once you have finished cooking your dishes, enjoy the fruits of your labor and tuck into your bento lunch.

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What people are saying about Chubu Region

Overall rating

4.0 / 5

based on 846 reviews

The tour guide, a female whose name I don't remember, was great. I don't speak Japanase so she explained how the tour worked while on the bus, because her English is limited. The destinations have signs in English so I got by on my own just fine. This is not a fully guided tour, meaning; the tour guide doesn't lead you throughout the locations, every one sets off on their own. She said the most important information to me in English before getting off the bus, so I knew when and where to be back. The biggest part of this tour is the aquarium. I found the 3 hours were plenty of time to see the highlights of the aquarium and have lunch. The food at the aquarium isn't great, before the aquarium we stopped by a beach that had shops and I wish I had eaten there instead because it had better options, so keep that in mind. The bus was comfortable and had wifi. Later in the tour there were places that I wasn't interested in, it was fine to stay in the bus, as others guests besides myself did.

Shirai-san is a local guide that speaks English well and was very knowledgeable about her home city. We learned a lot about how the Kenrokuen gardens were created, and could easily imagine how things were like in the Samurai era. Highly recommended.

I gave this experience as a gift for my dad and he loved it! Nik was fantastic and took him to so many places, even if the language barrier was present it was overcome without problems!

If you ever get the chance, of going to Kyoto, use a guide called Noriko, She is outstanding, knowledgeable, kind and accommodating.

Great tour! Knowledgeable guide with very good English, who answered all of our questions.