Chubu is the central region of Japan's Honshu island and includes Mount Fuji. The region is often further divided into three more areas, namely Tōkai (東海) for the southern Pacific coast, Kōshin'etsu (甲信越) for the northern Sea of Japan coast and Hokuriku (北陸) for the rest.
Aichi Prefecture is in Chubu Region on the island of Honshu. The capital of Aichi Prefecture is Nagoya. Aichi Prefecture is famous for being the home of Toyota Company. In addition to the many attractions in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture also features Inuyama Castle, which is thought to be the oldest Japanese Castle and one of the four best preserved.
Fukui Prefecture is on the coast of the Sea of Japan in Chubu Region. Fukui City is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture. Fukui Prefecture attractions are the Ichijodani Asakura Family Historic Ruins, Fukui Castle, Kitanosho Castle and cherry blossom along Asuwa River.
Gifu Prefecture is close to the center of island of Honshu in the Chubu region. The capital of Gifu Prefecture is Gifu city, however the prefecture includes two cities which are popular with tourists: Takayama, a historic town hidden in the Japanese Alps which features many old buildings and Shirakawa-go which is a historic village and World Heritage Site.
Ishikawa Prefecture is in the Chubu region on Honshu island, Japan. Ishikawa is on the Sea of Japan coast. The northern part of the Ishikawa Prefecture consists of the narrow Noto Peninsula, while the southern part is wider and consists mostly of mountains, with the prefecture's capital city, Kanazawa, in the coastal plain. Ishikawa Prefecture has many great attractions focused around Kanazawa including one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, Kenrokuen Garden and several still active Geisha districts.
Nagano Prefecture is a mountainous region, in the Chubu region of central Japan. The capital of Nagano Prefecture is Nagano City. Other major cities include Matsumoto and Azumino. Nagano Prefecture attractions include some of the best ski resorts in the world at Hakuba and Shiga Kogen. Other attractions include the "snow monkeys" which are at Jigokudani Monkey Park, Matsumoto Castle and Zenkoji Temple, a famous 7th century Buddhist temple.
Niigata Prefecture covers the area of central Japan from the Sea of Japan coast inland into the Japanese Alps within the Chubu region. The capital city of Niigata Prefecture is Niigata city. Niigata Prefecture features many historical sites and buildings with Niigata city still having an active Geisha district. Niigata Prefecture attractions include many ski resorts including the world class Naeba Ski Resort.
Shizuoka Prefecture covers the area from the Pacific Ocean coastline inland to the Japanese Alps including part of Mt Fuji in the Chubu region. The capital city of Shizuoka Prefecture is Shizuoka city, which features views of nearby Mt Fuji. Shizuoka Prefecture attractions include the coastal and onsen resort town of Atami and Fuji Speedway.
Toyama Prefecture is along the coastline facing the Sea of Japan in the Chubu region on Honshu island. The capital of Toyama Prefecture is Toyama City. Toyama Prefecture attractions include the World Heritage Site of Gokayama, Toyama Castle, Museum of Modern Art (Toyama), Botanica Gardens of Toyama, ski fields and Onsen.
Yamanashi Prefecture is near Mt Fuji in the Chubu region on the island of Honshu. The capital city of Yamanashi Prefecture is Kofu. Yamanashi Prefecture includes Fujiyoshida, the largest city on the northern slope of Mt Fuji. Fujiyoshida makes a great base for viewing Mt Fuji and exploring the Fuji Five Lakes system.
CHUBU PREFECTURE CAPITAL
Fukui is the capital city of Fukui Prefecture, which is in Chubu Region. Fukui City is on the coast of the Sea of Japan. Fukui is famous for the Ichijodani Asakura Family Gardens, Fukui Castle, Kitanosho Castle and cherry blossom along Asuwa River.
Kanazawa is a very attractive city with its famous Kenrokuen Garden (one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan), Kanazawa Castle, nostalgic Geisha town (second only to Kyoto), many museums and its food culture. Kanazawa, the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture, is along the western coast of Honshu on the Sea of Japan.
Kofu is the capital of Yamanashi Prefecture and is close to Mt Fuji. Kofu attractions include Kofu Castle within Maizuru Castle Park, Kai-Zenko Temple, Takeda Shrine, Yumura Spa and Yamanashi Science Museum.
Nagano is the capital city of Nagano Prefecture, situated near the junction of the Chikuma River and the Sai River on the island of Honshu, in the Chubu region. Nagano was the host city to the 1998 Winter Olympics and thus is clearly related to winter tourism activities. The Olympics also brought with them new infrastructure including a Shinkansen link to Tokyo. Nagano attractions include Zenkoji Temple and the nearby Snow Monkeys.
Nagoya is in Aichi Prefecture, in the Chubu region of Honshu, the main island in Japan. The hub of the Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya is Japan's fourth-largest city. The focal points of this sprawling agglomeration are Nagoya station to the north, Sakae to the east and Kanayama to the south). Nagoya is close to the Ise Shrine, said to be the most venerable Shinto Shrine in Japan.
Higashi Chaya District (East Geisha District) where Geisha entertain people by dance and music since the 17th century. Kanazawa has the second most Geisha in Japan, second only to Kyoto. Higashi Chaya District is the biggest of the four chaya districts in Kanazawa.
Izu Peninsula is a large mountainous peninsula which protrudes into the Pacific Ocean. Izu Peninsula is south of Tokyo in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Izu Peninsula includes the cities of Atami, Ito, Izu, Shimoda and Nagaoka. Izu Peninsula attractions include part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park.
Naga-machi Buke Yashiki District is a Samurai house district in Kanazawa where the top to middle class Samurai who served Kanazawa Castle lived from 1583 to 1868. Here you can still see the alleys and the mud walls of the old days. The mud walls were made with stones and mud put into a mold and hardened. The roof is covered with thin wooden plates. The Onosho Canal, which flows along the alley, is the oldest canal of Kanazawa, which was an important waterway that carried goods from the harbor to the castle town.
CHUBU MAIN CITIES and TOWNS
Gokayama is a group of small villages, along the Shokawa River in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture and surrounded by mountains. This isolated location has lead to the survival of whole villages featuring traditional Japanese houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs, which along with those at Shirakawa-go, are the only examples which are in situ and have mantained continuous occupation. Many of these houses are over 300 years old. Gokayama is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama" listing.
Hakuba is one of the best ski resorts in Japan. Hakuba features 14 ski areas joining together to form six large ski resorts. Hakuba is ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Hakuba is in Nagano Prefecture.
Hamamatsu is a city in western Shizuoka Prefecture, Chubu. Hamamatsu is an important industrial hub, the city is home to many companies, including Honda Motor Company, Kawai Pianos, Yamaha, Sony, Suzuki Motor Company and Hamamatsu Photonics as well as a large air base for Japan's defence force. Hamamatsu attractions include Hamamatsu Castle, Act City Tower Observatory, Hamamatsu Flower Park and Hamamatsu Fruit Park.
Ito is a coastal city along the Pacific Ocean coastline on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Ito faces Sagami Bay and part of the city is actually within the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park. Ito is famous for its onsen and its close proximity to Tokyo make it a very popular destination. At the beginning of the 17th century, Ito became the site of the first shipyards in Japan involved in the construction on large ships.
Kaga is a city in the most southern part of Ishikawa Prefecture in the Chubu region. Kaga is a historic city which still features many great attractions including Yamashiro Hot Spring with 1300 years of history, Kutani Kiln Museum, Dainichizakari Brewery Museum, Nakaya Ukichiro Museum of Snow and Ice, Kitamae-bune no Sato Museum, Zorokuen Garden and Kutaniyaki Art Museum. In addition there is the beautiful Katayamazu Hot Spring with its views of Lake Shibayamagata.
Kawaguchiko, also known as Fujikawaguchiko, is the township on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko. Kawaguchiko is a very popular destination for viewing Mt Fuji. Kawaguchiko also features many other activities and attractions including museums, art galleries, shrines, temples and onsen.
Komatsu is the second largest city in Ishikawa Prefecture in the Chubu region. The name Komatsu has been made famous around the world as it is the brand of earth moving equipment, which is based in Komatsu city. The Komatsu company built a park on the site of its old factory, which includes a recreation of the original head office building and a model of the world's largest class of dump truck. The main airport for Ishikawa Prefecture, Komatsu Airport, is on the edge of the city. Komatsu attractions include Nata -dera Temple which was established in 717AD, Motorcar Museum of Japan which is the largest car museum in Japan and has over 500 vehicles, and Rojo Koen, a beautiful traditional Japanese garden.
Matsumoto is in Nagano Prefecture at the eastern end of the Japan Alps. Matsumoto is surrounded by mountains and is acclaimed for its beautiful views, hiking and climbing in the mountains. Matsumoto attractions include Matsumoto Castle, which is one of the four best preserve Japanese Castle.
Shimoda is a port city along the Pacific Ocean coastline on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture in the Chubu region. Shimoda is famous for its onsen and beaches. Shimoda features three main beaches; Tadadohama, Ohama and Iritahama, the later has been voted Japanese most beautiful beach many time.
Shirakawa-go is a small village, in Gifu Prefecture and surrounded by mountains. This isolated location lead to survival of a whole village featuring traditional Japanese houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs, which are the only examples which are in situ and have mantained continuous occupation. Shirakawa-go is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and forms part of the "Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama" listing.
Takayama is a city near the northern Japan Alps of Gifu prefecture, in the Chubu region of Japan. Takayama is also known as Hida-Takayama. Takayama is a historical village that has lay forgotten in the Japanese Alps for centuries. Takayama features the Hida Folk Village, Takayama Jinya (former administrative complex), temples and streets lined with old wooden houses.
Atami Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle which stands 120 meters above sea level, where you can overlook the view of the city of Atami and Atami Bay (South of Tokyo Bay). Atami Castle is a concrete reconstruction built in 1959 as a tourist attraction. Atami Castle contains a small museum. Atami Castle is most famous for its current day views and 200 cherry blossom trees.
Echizen Ono Castle, also known as Ono Castle and Kameyama Castle, is a hilltop style Japanese Castle in Ono Fukui Prefecture. Kanamori Nagachika ordered the construction of Echizen Ono Castle, which was completed in 1576. In 1586 Nagachika moved to Takayama Castle. In 1775 most of Echizen Ono Castle was destroyed by fire, although some parts were rebuilt in 1795, the donjon (tower) was not rebuilt. During the Meiji Restoration all the remaining building were dismantled. In 1968 a modern reconstruction of the donjon (tower) was completed. Echizen Ono Castle was just one of many castle built in the Echizen area.
Fuchu Castle, also known as Echizen Fuchu Castle, was a flatland style Japanese Castle in Echizen Fukui Prefecture. Maeda Toshiie ordered the construction of Fuchu Castle, which was completed in 1575. Fuchu Castle was just one of many castle built in the Echizen area. Today almost nothing can be seen of Fuchu Castle as it built over by Echizen City Hall.
Fukui Castle was a Japanese Castle in Fukui Fukui Prefecture. There is another unrelated castle in Osaka Prefecture also called Fukui Castle. Fukui Castle was constructed on the orders of Yuki Hideyasu in 1606 north of the older nearby Kitanosho Castle. Fukui Castle was given its name by its next lord, Matsudaira Tadamasa, based on local well called Fukunoi (good luck). The donjon or central keep of Fukui Castle was destroyed by fire in 1669. The remaining buildings, with the exception of the palace, were demolished as part of the Meiji Restoration. In 1945 the palace was destroyed during a bombing raid. The palace was reconstructed in 1993. Today the moat and some walls of the original castle remain, however the prefectural government buildings have built on the grounds of Fukui Castle.
Gifu Castle is a hill top style Japanese castle in Gifu. Gifu Castle was originally built in 1201 by the Nikaido clan. Gifu Castle was later destroyed in 1600. The castle was later restored only to be destroyed again during the second world war. The current Gifu Castle> is a reconstruction completed in 1956 with a major renovation in 1997. Gifu Castle provides an excellent out look, particularly at night.
Gujo Hachiman Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle on Mt Hachiman in Gujo Gifu Prefecture. Endo Morikazu ordered the construction of Gujo Hachiman Castle which was completed in 1559. Morikazu died shortly after and his son Endo Yoshitaka took control of the castle, however when Yoshitaka become a retainer of Oda Nobunaga, control of the castle was transferred to Inaba Sadamichi. Inaba renovated the Gujo Hachiman Castle during this period, however the castle was further expanded after 1646 when Tsunetomo was given control over the castle. In 1870 most of the buildings in Gujo Hachiman Castle were demolished as a part of the Meiji Restoration. In 1933 a wooden reconstruction of the donjon (tower) was completed.
Hamamatsu Castle is a Japanese Castle in Hamamatsu Shizuoka Prefecture. Hikuma Castle had been built on the site of Japanese Castle in the early 1500s by the Imagawa clan. Tokugawa Ieyasu obtained control of area including Hikuma Castle in 1568. Tokugawa Ieyasu rebuilt and greatly expanded the castle which did not include a main donjon (tower), but featured two substaintial turrets (yagura). When the works were completed in 1577, Tokugawa Ieyasu renamed the castle, Hamamatsu Castle. The current Hamamatsu Castle was reconstructed in 1958.
Ina Castle was a Japanese Castle in the Kozakai area of Toyokawa City Aichi Prefecture. Honda Sadatada ordered the construction of Ina Castle around 1440. Ina Castle was afforded natural protection with rice paddies on two sides, a river on another and an inlet connected to Mikawa Bay on the fourth. Ina Castle ceased being used around 1590 when Honda Yasutoshi transferred his headquarters to Shimosa region. Today very little in the way of ruins remains. There is modern reconstruction of a tower on the site.
Inuyama Castle is a Japanese Castle, in the city of Inuyama Aichi Prefecture, near Nagoya.Inuyama Castle is thought to be the oldest Japanese Castle with the original castle starting construction in 1440, however there many additions and upgrades over time. Most of Inuyama Castle is in original condition with the main tower or donjon being a National Treasure.
Iwasaki Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle in Nisshin Aichi Prefecture. Oda Nobuhide ordered the construction of Iwasaki Castle in the early 16th century, but lost it in battle to Matsudaira Kiyoyasu in 1529. Iwasaki Castle then became the headquarters of the Matsudaira clan until 1535 when Kiyoyasu was assassinated. Niwa clan were then given control of Iwasaki Castle, but lost it in the Battle of Iwasaki Castle in 1584 to the Toyotomi clan led by Ikeda Tsuneoki. Iwasaki Castle was later destroyed after the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. Some ruins remain of Iwasaki Castle including a well and part of turret. In 1987 a modern reconstruction of the donjon (tower) was completed with a museum inside.
Kanazawa Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle in Kanazawa right next to Kenrokuen, which originally was the private garden of the castle. Kanazawa Castle was built in 1583 by the order of Maeda Toshiie who was a feudal lord of Kaga Clan. Kanazawa Castle was destroyed by fire in 1620, but was rebuilt by the end of 1621, only to be destroyed in the Great Kanazawa Fire of 1759. Kanazawa Castle was rebuilt in 1762 and the Ishikawa-mon Gate was rebuilt in 1788. In 1881 the castle was again destroyed by fire, however the Ishikawa-mon Gate was saved.
Kasugayama Castle, also known as Hachigamine Castle, was a flatland style Japanese Castle is in Joetsu in Niigata Prefecture in the Chubu region. Kasugayama Castle was originally constructed by the Nagao Clan and in 1548 Nagao Kagetora took over control of the castle. When Nagao Kagetora (who changed his name to Uesugi Kenshin) died in 1578, control passed to his nephew Uesugi Kagekatsu, who had to battle Uesugi Kagetora (Kenshin adopted son) several times to maintain control of the castle. In 1597 control of Kasugayama Castle passed to Hori Clan, who abandoned the castle in 1607 when they moved their base to the new Fukushima Castle. Today only earthworks remain from Kasugayama Castle.
Kiyosu Castle is a Japanese Castle in Kiyosu Aichi Prefecture. Shiba Yoshishige ordered the construction of Kiyosu Castle in 1394 and it was completed in 1427. Kiyosu Castle was a support castle to Orizu Castle and was used to govern the Owari Province. Orizu Castle was lost in battle in 1476 and the centre of government for the Owari Province moved to Kiyosu Castle. In 1555 Oda Nobunaga from nearby Nagoya Castle captured Kiyosu Castle. In 1586 Kiyosu Castle was upgraded by Oda Nobukatsu. In 1610 Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the capital of Owari Province to be moved to Nagoya. Parts of Kiyosu Castle were deconstructed and used in the upgrading of Nagoya Castle. What remained of Kiyosu Castle was used until the 18th century. In 1989 a modern reconstruction of the donjon (tower) was completed.
Kofu Castle, also known as Maizuru Castle, is a hilltop style Japanese Castle in Kofu Yamanashi Prefecture. In 1583, after Toyotomi Hideyoshi unified Japan he ordered the construction of Kofu Castle. The construction of Kofu Castle was completed by Asano Nagamasa (Toyotomi's brother-in-law) and Nagamasa's son. After the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Kofu Castle came under the control of Tokugawa family, with whom control remained until the end of Tokugawa shogunate. When Kofu Castle was under the control of Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu it was repaired and the associated town was developed. In 1877 most of the Kofu Castle buildings were destroyed as a part of Meiji Restoration. Later Kofu Station was built within the area of main castle compound. Two turrets have been reconstructed using traditional techniques.
Komakiyama Castle is a hilltop style Japanese Castle on Mt Komaki in Aichi Prefecture. Oda Nobunaga ordered the construction of Komakiyama Castle which was completed in 1563. Komakiyama Castle played a key roll in the Battle of Komaki and Nagakute when Tokugawa Ieyasu used it as his base. Today some ruins remain of the castle including stone walls and a well. In 1967 a modern reconstruction of the Komakiyama Castle donjon (tower) was completed.
Komoro Castle is a hill top style Japanese Castle in Komoro in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle was first built in 1554, with the donjon added in 1590. The donjon later burnt down in the Edo Period and most other structures were demolished in 1871 as part of the Meiji Restoration. Today two original gates remain, both are designated Important Cultural Properties.
Maruoka Castle, in Maruoka in Fukui Prefecture, is famous for having the oldest donjon (keep) of any Japanese Castle. Maruoka Castle was built in 1576 under orders from Shibata Katsutoyo, however it was destroyed in the 1948 Fukui Earthquake. Only the donjon was rebuilt in 1955 using materials largely from the original structure. The donjon is a designated Important Cultural Property.
Matsumoto Castle is a flatland style Japanese Castle is in Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. Matsumoto Castle is one of only four Japanese Castles that is classified as a National Treasure. Matsumoto Castle, also known as Crow Castle because of its distinctive black exterior, relied heavily on its walls, moats and gatehouses for its defence. Matsumoto Castle started life in 1504 when a fort, referred to as Fukashi Castle, was built on its current site.
Nagashino Castle was a flatland style Japanese Castle in what is now Shinshiro Aichi Prefecture. Imagawa Ujichika ordered the construction of Nagashino Castle in 1508 for the protection of his domains from the west. In 1573 control of Nagashino Castle moved to Tokugawa Ieyasu who ordered the upgrading of the castle's defences due to the continued clashes with the Takeda clan. In 1575 Takeda laid siege to Nagashino Castle in the Battle of Nagashino, however Tokugawa Ieyasu and Oda Nobunaga brought combined forces of 38,000 men to break the siege and won. After the battle Nagashino Castle was abandoned. Today all that remains is ruins with some stone walls and moat earthwork.
Nagoya Castle is a flat land sytle Japanese Castle with a massive inner moat and wall in the city of Nagoya. Nagoya Castle is particularly famous as it Tokugawa Ieyasu who ordered the construction of the castle in 1612. Nagoya Castle was badly damaged during World War II. Although the donjon (tower) of Nagoya Castle is a modern reconstructed, some of the original turrets remain.
Nirengi Castle was a Japanese Castle in what is now Toyohashi Aichi Prefecture. Toda Munemitsu ordered the construction of Nirengi Castle in 1493 as a forward base to be used against Tame Matasaburo who had completed Funagatayama Castle only the year before. Ordered by Makino Kohaku, Imabashi Castle was completed 1505, a mere 2km from Nirengi Castle and many battles took place in the fields in between over the following years. In the end Munemitsu forced an alliance with the Makino clan. In 1571 Nirengi Castle played a key role in the battle between Takeda Shingen and Tokugawa Ieyasu, but after 1590 Nirengi Castle was abandoned and control of the area shifted to Yoshida Castle.
Nishikawa Castle was a Japanese Castle in what is now Toyohashi Aichi Prefecture. Saigo Kiyokazu ordered the construction of Nishikawa Castle around the 1530's to provide support to Wachigaya Castle. After the Siege of Odawara Castle in 1590, there was a great redistribution of territories and Nishikawa Castle was no longer a valued military asset. In 1661 Nishikawa Castle was completely abandoned by Ogasawara Naga'aki who moved his base to Yoshida Castle. Today little remains of Nishikawa Castle, with earthworks being the only obvious signs.
Noda Castle was a Japanese Castle in what is now Shinshiro Aichi Prefecture. Suganuma Sadanori constructed a fort on the site in 1508, which was lost in battle to the Imagawa clan in 1560. Suganuma Sadanori won control of the fort again in 1562, only to loose it again briefly to the Takeda clan in 1571. Between 1571 and 1573 Suganuma Sadamichi upgraded the fort to a castle with much better defences, however Tadeda clan lay siege to Noda Castle for weeks and drained the moats, leading to the surrender of the castle. Noda Castle was abandoned (around 1590) after Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to Edo Castle. Today little remains of Noda Castle, with earthworks being the only signs.
Shibata Castle is a flatland style Japanese Castle is in Shibata in Niigata Prefecture in the Chubu region. Construction of Shibata Castle started under Mizoguchi Hidekatsu, but was not completed until 1654. Today the original Omote-mon Gate and the Sumi yagura (turret) of Shibata Castle still remain and are designated Important National Properties. The Tatsumi and Sangai yagura (turrets) were restored in 2004.
Sunpu Castle, in Shizuoka city, is also known as Fuchu Castle or Shizuoka Castle. A new Sunpu Castle was built in 1585 by Tokugawa Ieyasu on the site where a smaller castle or fort had been. Sunpu Castle was upgraded to a triple moat system, a new donjon and new palace in 1607. The donjon was destroyed by fire in 1610, and a new seven story one was built. In 1635 most of Sunpu (now Shizuoka) was destroyed by fire including the castle. The palace, gates and yagura (turrets) were rebuilt by 1638, but not the donjon. In 1989 reconstruction started with the eastern gate and Tatsumi Yagura completed to date.
Takaoka Castle was a Japanese Castle built around 1600 and only to be dismantled in 1615 as part of the Tokugawa Shogunate order of "One Castle Per Province". Today only ruins remain including a few walls and earth works.
Takato Castle is a hill top style Japanese Castle in Ina Nagano Prefecture. Takato Castle was constructed around 1550, but was largely demolished in 1871 as part of the Meiji Restoration. Today some gate houses, earth works and moats remain.
Takayama Castle, in Takayama, was built in on 627m high mountain with stone base, earth work defences and a moat. Construction of Takayama Castle began in 1588 and by 1600 the main and secondary castle keeps were completed. Today only some ruins and walls remain of Takayama Castle.
Toyama Castle, also known as Azumi Castle, is a flatland style Japanese Castle in the city of Toyama Toyama Prefecture. Toyama Castle was constructed around 1543 by the Jinbo clan as their central power based and it was their primary form of defence against the Shiina clan who they were in a power struggle for control of the region. In 1560 Uesugi Kenshin captured Toyama Castle, but left Jinbo clan in control under his rule. In 1581 Toyama Castle was captured by the forces of Oda Nobunaga, who placed Sassa Narimasa in control. During this period the castle was upgraded with improvements to the moats, turrets and foundations. In 1585 Hideyoshi, with a force of 100,000, destroyed Toyama Castle. It was later rebuilt by Maeda Toshinga, only to have it burn down in 1609. In 1661 Maeda Toshitsugu rebuilt the Toyama Castle and his descendents retained control until the Meiji Restoration, when in 1870 it was dismantled. In 1954 a modern reconstruction of the donjon (tower) was completed.
Ueda Castle is a flatland style Japanese Castle is in Ueda in Nagano Prefecture. Ueda Castle was constructed by the well known samurai leader, Sanada Masayuki, in 1583. Shortly after the completion of Ueda Castle it was attacked by the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu it was later known as The Battle of Kami River. The Sanada Clan ambushed the Tokugawa troops as they approached Ueda Castle leading to a successful defence of the castle. In 1600 the Sanada Clan successfully defended Ueda Castle from Tokugawa's forces. Today the original yugura (turret) in the West, North and South still remain.
Yoshida Castle (also known as Imahashi Castle and Toyohashi Castle) is a flatland style Japanese Castle in Toyohashi Aichi Prefecture. Makino Kohaku ordered the construction of Yoshida Castle which was completed in 1505. on a strategic river crossing, Yoshida Castle was involved in many battles during the Sengoku Period. Control of the castle changes several times and it suffered great damage many times, but was reconstructed each time. In 1565 Tokugawa Ieyasu had control over the Yoshida Castle, however after the 1590 Battle of Odawara the Tokugawa clan moved to the Kanto region and Yoshida Castle passed to Ikeda Terumasa. Ikeda later moved to Himeji Castle without completing the reconstruction of donjon (tower). As part of the Meiji Restoration control of Yoshida Castle went to the Imperial Japanese Army in 1871, however most of the castle was destroyed by fire two years later. In 1954 a modern reconstruction of the donjon was completed.
Former Nomura Samurai House (Kanazawa) is where the Nomura Family, who successively held executive posts from generation to generation under rule of the Maeda Family, lived. The house has a coffered ceiling totally made of Japanese cypress. The garden inside the residence has a Japanese bayberry over 400 years old and a meandering stream surrounded by ancient and strangely shaped rocks.
JR-Maglev Research Centre (also known as the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line) is where Japan Rail conducts research into new high speed trains (Shinkansen) based on Magnetic Levitation technology.
Old Yoshijima Family House in Takayama is an example of beautiful Japanese architecture. The Yoshijima family was a successful sake brewery in Edo period. The present house is a rebuilt in 1907 after a fire. Old Yoshijima Family House is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset.
Spiral Towers is a complex of office space and restaurants. It is one of the outstanding pieces of architecture in Nagoya. Nagoya is Japan's third largest city with the central city focused around the massive Nagoya Station complex.
Ubuyagasaki on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko is considered to be one of the best locations for viewing Mt Fuji. Ubuyagasaki is popular and famous for its cherry trees which are used to frame Mt Fuji in photographs. cherry blossom is normally out at Ubuyagasaki in the middle of April.
CHUBU OBSERVATION DECK or LOOKOUT
Toki Messe, in Niigata, is the tallest building on the Sea of Japan coast and features an observation deck on the 34th floor which provides excellent views of Niigata and when the weather is clear, Sado and Awashima islands. Toki Messe also includes a hotel, restaurants, art museum, conference rooms and basketball stadium where the Niigata Albirex Basketball team host their home games.
Myotsuji Temple is a Buddhist temple from the Shingon Sect, in Obama Fukui Prefecture. The Hondo (main hall), from the Kamakura period, and the three story pagoda of Myotsuji Temple are disignated National Treasures. The Hondo was built in 1258 and the three story pagoda was built in 1270. There are also two other significant buildings, the Sanmon and the Shoro. Myotsuji Temple also features several statues from the Heian period which are designated Important Cultural Properties.
Zuiryu-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Sodo Sect in Takaoka Toyama Prefecture. Zuiryu-ji Temple was built by Toshitune to recognise Toshinaga Maeda, the founder of Takaoka. The gate, Buddhist sanctum and lecture hall of Zuiryu-ji Temple are all designated National Treasures. The Buddhist Sanctum features a lead plate roof which weighs 47 tons.
Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine is the oldest shrine around Mt Fuji. Takeda Shingen is worshiped in this shrine. Every April, the Spring festival called 'Hana Matsuri' (Flower Festival) is held at Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine, which features many stalls and attractions in the shrine on that day, providing a truly festive atmosphere. Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine is near Kawaguchiko.
Ishiura Shrine is believed to have been built in the 8th century, making it the oldest shrine in Kanazawa. Ishiura Shrine was relocated from Shimohonda-cho to its current site in 1880, where it is now surrounded by over 250 trees. In 1983 the Kanazawa City designated the shrine precint a Preserved Forest.
Kanazawa Shrine was established in 1794 by the order of Maeda Harunaga, a feudal lord of Kaga Clan. It worships Sugawara Michizane who was a scholar, poet and politician in the 9-10th century. Kanazawa Shrine is in Kanazawa .
Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine was bulit in 865 to enshrine the Konohana Sakuyahime goddess. Today the shrine is famous for the Chingono mai (the children dance) during the Magomi matsuri festival (April 25th). Kawaguchi Sengen Shrine is near Kawaguchiko.
Oyama Shrine is a beautiful Shinto shrine with distinctive main gate called the Shinmon (God Gate). This main gate was designed by Dutch and has a mix of Japanese, Chinese and European architectural elements and is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset. Oyama Shrine of Kanazawa also features a beautiful garden, with a round-the-pond style with an artificial island and bridge with images of old musical instruments. Oyama Jinja worships Maeda Toshiie.
Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine in Takayama is famous for its festival called Takayama Matsuri, which is held on the 9th and 10th of October every year and is one of the three most beautiful festivals in Japan.
CHUBU MUSEUMS and ART GALLERIES
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa offers both art and creations from wide-ranging fields related to art, including music, the performing arts, and film. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanazawa building was designed by two famous architects (Sejima Mazuyo and Nishizawa Ryue).
Fuji Antarctic Museum, in the redeveloped Nagoya Port area, is focused around the icebreaker "FUJI". The FUJI was a primary observation ship in Japan's exploration of the Antarctic and worked from 1965 to 1983. Today it is moored at Nagoya Port to serve as the Antarctic Museum.
Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art (Kanazawa) showcases the fine arts and crafts of Ishikawa Prefecture. It exhibits paintings, oil paintings, sculptures, traditional arts and crafts whose artists have something to do with Ishikawa Prefecture including feudal Daimyo utensils using the Kaga Makie technique and a huge range of Kutani porcelain collection from Ko-kutani (Old Kutani) to Re-established Kutani.
Kawaguchiko Museum of Art features a collection of paintings, block prints and photos of Mt Fuji. Kawaguchiko Museum of Art is sited on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko and has fabulous views of the lake and Mt Fuji.
Kusakabe Folk Museum in Takayama is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset, began life as a house for a wealthy merchant. The Kusakabe Folk Museum is an excellent example of Edo architecture.
Northern Culture Museum, in Niigata, is a museum displaying the distinct history and culture of the northern parts of Honshu. Northern Culture Museum uses the stately traditional Japanese manor and former estate of the wealthy Bunkichi Ito. The manor features 65 rooms and was completed in 1890. Northern Culture Museum features an extensive beautiful Japanese garden which includes five tea houses.
Traditional Arts & Crafts of Ishikawa displays all the famous traditional arts and crafts of Ishikawa (Kanazawa region) and offers visitors an introduction to the process of making these craftworks. The museum also has a museum shop and cafe where visitors can actually touch the art and craft works. Traditional Arts & Crafts of Ishikawa also features a Tea Ceremony room.
Yamanashi Gem Museum is the only gem museum in Japan showcasing around 3000 gems from all over the world including very rare ones. Yamanashi Prefecture is the primary place for manufacturing of gem in Japan.
CHUBU THEATRES and CONCERT HALLS
Ishikawa Prefectural Noh Theater Kanazawa is a classical Japanese musical drama that started in the 14th century and still has performances every weekend. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. The Noh in Kaga Clan started in the 16th century by the lord Maeda Toshiie. As the succeeding lords supported Noh and promoted it to their people, Ishikawa Prefecture became one of the few regions where Noh plays were popular.
CHUBU GARDENS and PARKS
Asuwa yama Park, in Yamaokucho in Fukui Prefecture, is famous for its cherry blossom trees which are planted on each side of the Asuwa River. Asuwa yama Park features around 600 cherry blossom trees and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.
Fuji Memorial Park, in Oyama Shizuoka Prefecture, is famous for its cherry blossom being considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Fuji Memorial Park features around 8,000 cherry blossom trees, which blossom later because of their higher altitude and cooler climate. Generally they blossom in early April through to late April.
Ichijodani Asakura Family Gardens are four Japanese gardens (Suwa Yakata-ato, Asakura Yakata-ato, Yudono-ato, and Nanyoji-ato) within the site of the Ichijodani Asakura Family Historic Ruins in Fukui. Together these four gardens are designated as a "Special Place of Scenic Beauty".
Jigokudani Monkey Park is part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, in Yamanouchi Nagano Prefecture, is famous for its Snow Monkeys. The Snow Monkeys are wild population of Japanese Macaques which learnt to take advantage of natural hot springs in winter to keep warm. In the Jigokudani Monkey Park the winters are long and hard for most of the animals with snow covering the ground for four months. There are many famous pictures of the Snow Monkeys sitting in the hot springs with a light cover of snow over their fur.
Kaikoen Park, in Komoro Nagano Prefecture, is famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Komoro Kaikoen Park also features the remains and ruins of Komoro Castle.
Kamagatani Valley, also known as Kamagatani Gorge, is at the base of Mt Ikeda in Gifu Prefecture. Kamagatani Valley is famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.
Kenrokuen Garden is by far the most famous part of Kanazawa. Kenrokuen is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, maybe the best one of all as it is also designated as a "Special Place of Scenic Beauty". Kenrokuen was first established in the 17th century by the feudal lords of Kaga as their private garden.
Lake Yamanaka Hana-no-miyako Park is filled by beautiful flowers all year round in a 300,000 sqm area which is 1000 meter above the sea level. Lake Yamanaka Hana-no-miyako Park is near Lake Yamanaka close to Mt Fuji.
Maruoka Castle Park, in Sakai Fukui Prefecture, is famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Maruoka Castle Park has around 400 cherry blossom trees which surround Maruoka Castle.
Muramatsu Park, in Kosen Niigata, is famous for its 3,000 cherry blossom trees consisting mainly of the Somei Yoshino variety, but with some of the Hosaki-yae-higan-zakura variety. Muramatsu Park is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots.
Oishi Park is one of the best spots to view Mt Fuji. The view from Oishi Park consists of Mt Fuji in the background, Kawaguchiko (Lake) in the mid ground and the lavender of Oishi Park in the foreground. The lavender blooms from the middle of June to the middle of July, which it means it is unlikely that Mt Fuji will have a snow cap.
Okazaki Park, in the city of Okazaki Aichi Prefecture, is famous for its cherry blossom and is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Okazaki Park also features the reconstructed Okazaki Castle.
Takaoka Castle Park, in Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture, is most famous for its cherry blossom being considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Takaoka Castle Park also features the ruins of Takaoka Castle.
Takato Castle Park, in Ina in Nagano Prefecture, is most famous for its cherry blossom being considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. Takato Castle Park also features the remains and ruins of Takato Castle.
Tenjo-Yama Park on Mt Kachi Kachi in Kawaguchiko features an observatory that provides views of Mt Fuji, Fujiyoshida, Fuji-Q Highland and the Aokigahara forest. The name 'Mt Kachi Kachi' comes from a Japanese folktale which is a story about a rabbit and a Tanuki (Japanese raccoon). Tenjo-Yama Park is accessed via the Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway (officially know as Kawaguchiko Mt. Tenjo Ropeway) that climbs from close to the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko to near the peak of Mt Kachi Kachi.
CHUBU TOURIST INFORMATION CENTERS
Shiinoki Cultural Complex features a tourist information center, restaurant, cafe, conference rooms and galleries. Shiinoki Cultural Complex was completed in 2010 after renovation and conversion of the Old Ishikawa Prefectural Government building, which dates from 1924. The Shiinoki Cultural Complex features two two huge 300 year old Shiinoki (Passania) trees in front of the complex.
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium - Nagoyako in the redeveloped Nagoya Port area. Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium features marine life from Japan to Antarctica in 5 different zones and you can see how various species have adapted respectively to each environment and also succeeded in reproducing their descendents. In the North Building, they show the long journey (3.5 billion years) of killer whales, belugas and dolphins who once lived on the ground and have returned to the ocean.
CHUBU LAKES and BAYS
Lake Kawaguchiko is a very popular destination for viewing Mt Fuji, particularly in cherry blossom, as it is considered one of Japan's Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots. The town of Kawaguchiko is located on the edge of Lake Kawaguchiko. Lake Kawaguchiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes which surround Mt Fuji.
Lake Motosu is the ninth deepest lake inJapan, at 140 meters. Lake Motosu, along with Lake Saiko and Lake Shoji, was formed by lava flowing across what is now the Aokigahara Jukai Forest and into the enormous lake that once dominated the area, and these three lakes remain still connected by underground waterways. Lake Motosu is one of the Fuji Five Lakes which surround Mt Fuji.
Lake Saiko, also known as the Western Lake (in relation to Mt Fuji). The western side of Lake Saiko shares its banks with the Aokigahara Jukai Forest. Lake Saiko, along with Lake Shoji and Lake Motosu, was formed by lava flowing across what is now the Aokigahara Jukai Forest and into the enormous lake that once dominated the area, and these three lakes remain still connected by underground waterways. Lake Saiko is one of the Fuji Five Lakes which surround Mt Fuji.
Lake Shoji is the smallest of the Fuji Five Lakes which surround Mt Fuji. Remnants of lava flow still jut out of the water. Locals usually fish from these rocks. Lake Shoji, along with Lake Saiko and Lake Motosu, was formed by lava flowing across what is now the Aokigahara Jukai Forest and into the enormous lake that once dominated the area, and these three lakes remain still connected by underground waterways.
Lake Yamanaka, near the base of Mt Fuji, with its unobstructed views of Mt Fuji mean it is a very popular location to view and photograph Mt Fuji. Lake Yamanaka is one of the Fuji Five Lakes which surround Mt Fuji.
CHUBU AMUSEMENT PARKS
Fuji-Q Highland is amusement park with a variety of attractions suitable for adults and children. Home to the one of the world's fastest roller coasters and features views of Mt Fuji. Fuji-Q Highland is in Fujiyoshida.
Nagoya Port Sea Train Land, in the redeveloped Nagoya Port area, does not have a thrilling roller coaster which you expect in Japan. It is a rather small and relaxing amusement park where you don't need to scream. The Ferris wheel is the biggest in Chubu region.
CHUBU SPORTING VENUES
Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium is used not for sports events but for concerts, Sumo, and other events. Nagoya is Japan's third largest city with the central city focused around the massive Nagoya Station complex.
CHUBU SKI RESORTS
Naeba Ski Resort is on Mt Takenoko near Echigo Yuzawa in Niigata Prefecture. Naeba Ski Resort features a maximum course length of 4,000m and a drop of 889m and was used in the FIS Ski World Cup Races in 2005. Naeba Ski Resort can be reach in 40 minutes by express bus from Echigo-Yuzawa Station which connects to Tokyo via the Joetsu Shinkansen. Naeba Ski Resort is connected to Tashiro, Mitsumata and Kagura ski areas via gondola. In summer the Naeba Ski Resort plays host to the Fuji Rock Festival.
CHUBU TRAIN STATIONS
Kanazawa Station (JR) is one of the most beautiful train stations in Japan. A glass dome called 'Motenashi Dome' and a wooden gate called 'Tsuzumi-mon' welcome you to Kanazawa when you get off the train.
Kawaguchiko Station has one of the best views in Japan. From the platform at Kawaguchiko Station there are unobstructed views of Mt Fuji. Kawaguchiko Station is the closest station to Kawaguchiko and main stopping point for people coming to view Mt Fuji.
CHUBU CABLE and ROPEWAYS
Tenjo-Yama Park Mt. Kachi Kachi Ropeway (officially know as Kawaguchiko Mt. Tenjo Ropeway) is an aerial lift that climbs from the edge of Kawaguchiko (Lake) to the observatory in Tenjo-Yama Park on Mt Kachi Kachi. The observatory provides views of Mt Fuji, Fujiyoshida, Fuji-Q Highland and the Aokigahara forest. The name 'Mt Kachi Kachi' comes from a Japanese folktale which is a story about a rabbit and a Tanuki (Japanese raccoon).
CHUBU PORTS and FERRY TERMINALS
Nagoya Port is a redeveloped water front area in Nagoya, which features some great attractions, many which feature some outstanding architecture. You can buy a pass for 2,400 yen for the following 4 facilities: Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium - Nagoyako, Nagoya Maritime Museum, Fuji Antarctic Museum and Nagoya Port Building Observation Deckt.
Matsuzakaya Department Store Nagoya Main is one of the Matsuzakaya Department Stores, a major Japanese department store with headquarters in Nagoya. Established in 1611, Matsuzakaya Department Stores are one of the oldest department stores in Japan. There are three Matsuzakaya Department Stores in Nagoya, this one is known as the Main store.
Matsuzakaya Department Store Nagoya North is one of the Matsuzakaya Department Stores, a major Japanese department store with headquarters in Nagoya. Established in 1611, Matsuzakaya Department Stores are one of the oldest department stores in Japan. There are three Matsuzakaya Department Stores in Nagoya, this one is known as the North store.
Matsuzakaya Department Store Nagoya South is one of the Matsuzakaya Department Stores, a major Japanese department store with headquarters in Nagoya. Established in 1611, Matsuzakaya Department Stores are one of the oldest department stores in Japan. There are three Matsuzakaya Department Stores in Nagoya, this one is known as the South store.
Mitsukoshi Department Store Nagoya is part of an international department store chain founded in 1673 with the yago (shop name) Echigoya. The Mitsukoshi Department Store chain has its headquarters in Tokyo. The Mitsukoshi Department Store chain was the basis for the development of the massive Mitsui Group. Mitsukoshi Department Store Nagoya is in Nagoya.
Omi-cho Market in central Kanazawa was established in the middle of the 18th century. Omi-cho Market has been serving fresh food for both locals and tourists since. Here you can buy beautiful fresh seafood caught in the Sea of Japan.