For most of the UK market, Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience and travel agents almost always end up selling the “Golden Route”, which covers the most famous regions and cities – places like Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. However, there’s another Japan destination that is just as cool and unique, and offers more adventurous tour extension that shows tourists something different. Go! Central Japan introduces you to one such wonderful area that’s a little off the regular tourist path, but bursting with brilliant things to see and do–Chubu.
Chubu is a historic region in the heartlands of Japan, and home to many attractive tourist attractions that guests on the Golden Route would never see. Incredible sites can be seen and experienced in Chubu, like the prosperous medieval castle town Kanazawa, the UNESCO-protected Gassho-zukuri villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, and Kamikochi, one of Japan’s most popular mountain resorts.
The whole region, which comprises nine prefectures in all, is a favourite holiday destination for the Japanese – and it’s the perfect add-on for British travellers who want to see more than just the usual. On top of that, Chubu is very accessible to other Japan destinations because it is so central and can be incorporated into existing package tours with no difficulty.
Go! Central Japan compiles three accommodations available when you plan a trip to Chubu:
1. Kurabito Stay – Nagano Prefecture
This unusual option is an inn at a working sake brewery in Saku, which has been in business for more than 300 years. These days it invites guests to stay at comfortable accommodations on the brewery grounds, where they can learn all about how Japan’s number-one alcoholic beverage is brewed. You’ll stay at the Hiroshiki, a 100-year-old dormitory where the brewers used to sleep, which has been spruced up and turned into a wonderful place to stay for a few nights. The rest of the town is picturesque and absolutely worth a few days’ stay just to stroll around.
2. WEAZER -Shizuoka Prefecture
Japanese ingenuity strikes again with WEAZER – self-sufficient solar-powered accommodation that’s perfect for the eco-conscious traveller. These hi-tech buildings are incredibly sustainable, drawing power from solar energy, and sterilizing and filtering rainwater for the plumbing. WEAZER can be set up in just a few days, and installed in areas without electricity, gas or water infrastructure. It’s the home of the future, and it makes for fantastic holiday stays too. A cluster of these have been set up in West Izu, ready for holidaymakers with a conscience.
3. Bed & Craft -Toyama Prefecture
The Inami area in Nanto City is home to Japan’s largest gathering of expert wood-carvers. This is truly a town of artisans, with more than 200 craftspeople in the area. Visitors can even experience apprenticeships under a master carver – after a lesson or two in the finer details of this ancient art, you’ll use the same tools and techniques to create your own unique masterpiece. The Bed and Craft initiative puts you up in comfortable lodgings with a local craftsman, where you can stay for as long as you want to learn as much as you want about wood-carving techniques.
There are plenty more sites, sounds and experiences to suit any traveller’s taste in Chubu. Explore them all.
Author: Deb Davad