4 days in Kanazawa, Takayama and Matsumoto with stay in World Heritage residence.

It will be 3 days and 4 days to meet the real thing in Japan.

  • START

    Kanazawa Station

    Kanazawa Station

    Kanazawa Station is JR West Railway's major station located in Kanazawa. The reconstruction of the surrounding area is still making progress for the extension of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (a bullet train) from Kanazawa to Osaka. There is a glass dome called Motenashi (Welcome) Dome, which looks like a huge umbrella, at the east entrance of Kanazawa Station. The dome has a wooden gate called Tsuzumi-mon, which symbolizes a traditional Japanese instrument called tsuzumi (hand drums). The underground of the dome serves as an information corner and event space. In recent years, the area has become a busier shopping quarter with the construction of large-sized shopping buildings.

    Detail
    15min
  • 1

    Kenrokuen Garden

    Kenrokuen Garden

    A Beautiful and Famous Garden in the Heart of Kanazawa Considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens, Kenrokuen Garden is a must-visit location in Kanazawa. The name Kenrokuen means “having six factors”, representing the attributes which bring out the garden’s stunning beauty: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water sources and magnificent views. The garden has an area of 11.4 hectares and is located on the heights of the central part of Kanazawa next to Kanazawa Castle. The Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Domain (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) in feudal times, maintained the garden from generation to generation. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful feudal lords' gardens in Japan. One of Kenrokuen Garden’s most stunning attractions is its large artificial pond called Kasumigaike. Located near the center of the pond is Horai Island. The pond is often seen to symbolize the sea and Horai Island a sacred island out at sea, on which an ageless hermit with miraculous power was believed to live. As a result, the pond and the island were constructed to symbolize long life and eternal prosperity for the lord. There are many other gorgeous features to enjoy in the garden, including the flowers and trees that grow there, such as plum and cherry blossoms in spring, azaleas and irises early in summer, and colorful red and yellow leaves in autumn. In November, visitors can enjoy the snow-covered landscapes with yukizuri (which means “snow hanging”). Yukizuri is a traditional technique for protecting the branches of the pine trees in the garden from heavy snow; trees are given support by bamboo poles and rope arranged a captivating conical layout.

    Detail
    3min
  • 2

    Kanazawa Castle Park

    Kanazawa Castle Park

    One of Kanazawa’s key historic landmarks Once the home of the Maeda family, who governed the Kaga Domain – present day Ishikawa and Toyama – for over 280 years, Kanazawa Castle is an essential part of the city’s history. Many features of the castle have been destroyed over its long history – including the original castle tower, which was destroyed in a fire – and many of them have been rebuilt. Two of its longest lasting features are the Ishikawa-mon Gate, which was rebuilt in 1788, and the Sanjikken Nagaya which was rebuilt in 1858. Both of them have been designated as important cultural assets. During the time of the Maeda family, Kanazawa Castle was surrounded by moats and had a fort function with loopholes for matchlocks on the outer wall in order to keep it secure from enemies. The beautiful white tiles that grace the roof are weathered lead and the walls made of white mortar with flat tiles attached to it. The stone walls vary in type throughout the castle and it is apparent that many of them were built in separate periods, with the oldest dating back more than 400 years ago. Prior to Kanazawa Castle and its park’s restoration, it was used for many different purposes. For a time, it was used as base for the Japanese army and then a campus for Kanazawa University before being designated a National Historic Site in 2008. Hishi Yagura, Gojikken Nagaya, and Hashizume-mon Tsuzuki Yagura (turret and storehouse) These three stunning features are reproductions of original aspects of the park from over 125 years ago. Hishiyagura is a diamond-shaped turret, Gojikken Nagaya a 90-yard-long warehouse, and Hashizumemon Tsuzuki Yagura a turret designed to protect a nearby gate. Constructed through traditional methods, they offer a glimpse into Kanazawa’s past. Kahoku-mon Gate Though the original Kahoku-mon Gate disappeared over 130 years ago, a new one has been built using traditional Japanese techniques. Functioning as the main gate of Kanazawa Castle, the Kahoku-mon Gate is located down Kahokuzaka Hill, past the Ote-mon Gate. The Kahoku-mon Gate, Ishiwaka-mon Gate, and Hashizume-mon Gate are regarded as the three major gates of Kanazawa Castle. Gyokusen-inmaru Garden In 1634, the third lord of the Maeda family started to construct the garden. Although it was destroyed at the end of the feudal period, the garden was reconstructed in 2015. If you visit the garden on a Friday or Saturday after sunset, you can enjoy a captivating lights show.aired in 1996, and the Hishiyagura (diamond-shaped turret), Gojikken Nagaya (90-yard-long warehouse), and Hashizumemon Tsuzuki Yagura (turret protecting the nearby gate) were restored and the park opened. In the time of the Maeda family, moats surrounded Kanazawa Castle. The castle had a fort function with loopholes for matchlocks on the outer wall to defend the castle from enemies. The beautiful white tiles that grace the roof are weathered lead and the wall is made of white mortar with flat tiles attached to it. The stone walls vary in type with each place, and it is apparent that the stonewalls were built in separate periods. The stone walls include those built more than 400 years ago. - Hishiyagura, Gojikken Nagaya, and Hashizumemon Tsuzuki Yagura The Hishiyagura (diamond-shaped turret), Gojikken Nagaya (90-yard-long warehouse), and Hashizumemon Tsuzuki Yagura (turret protecting the nearby gate) are large-scale wooden castle buildings reproducing the original sights of approximately 125 years ago. The turrets on the right and left to watch the gate are connected with the Gojikken Nagaya. The traditional construction method and the roles of the castle in those days are introduced in the buildings. - Kahokumon-gate The reconstruction of the Kahokumon-gate, which had disappeared 130 years ago, was completed in Japan's traditional construction methods based on historical facts. The Kahokumon-gate, which is virtually the main gate of Kanazawa Castle, is located down Kahokuzaka Hill past the Otemon-gate of Kanazawa Castle. The Kahokumon-gate, Ishiwakamon-gate, and Hashizume-mon gate are regarded as the three major gates of Kanazawa Castle. The interior of the gate is open to the public for free. - Gyokusen 'inmaru garden In 1634, the third lord of the Maeda family, who ruled the Kaga Clan (the present Ishikawa and Toyama areas) during the feudal times, started to construct the garden. Although it was destroyed at the end of the feudal times, the garden was reconstructed in 2015. Light-up : every Friday, Saturday and day before national holidays, starting after sunset until 9:00 pm

    Detail
    20min
  • 3

    Nomura Samurai House

    Nomura Samurai House

    The remains of the Nomura family are also open to public. The family successively held executive posts from generation to generation under rule of the Maeda family. The house has a coffered ceiling totally made of Japanese cypress and fusuma-e (paintings on sliding-door panels) created by the Maeda family's personal painter. The garden inside the residence has a Japanese bayberry over 400 years old and a meandering stream surrounded by ancient and strangely shaped rocks.

    Detail
    80min
  • GOAL

    World Heritage Site Ainokura Gasshozukuri Village Gassho Style Inn

    World Heritage Site Ainokura Gasshozukuri Village Gassho Style Inn

    Stay in a gassho-zukuri inn located within the Ainokura Gassho-zukuri Village. Guests can enjoy a relaxing time here in the midst of the traditional landscapes of Japan.

    Detail
  • START

    World Heritage Site Ainokura Gasshozukuri Village Gassho Style Inn

    40min
  • 1

    Inami Chokoku Sogo Kaikan (Inami Carving and Sculpting Center)

    Inami Chokoku Sogo Kaikan (Inami Carving and Sculpting Center)

    This center was launched in July 1993 to promote the beauty of Inami carving, which has over 250 years of history. The design of the interior was modelled after the temple layout of Inami Betsuin Zuisenji Temple, and over 200 pieces of the finest works of Inami wood carving, including ranma (an openwork screen above the sliding partitions between rooms), shishigashira (a head of a lion mask used for the traditional Japanese lion dance), statues of heavenly gods, and contemporary art pieces. Take in the masterpieces and the beauty of this traditional art, which uses over 200 carving tools and knives during the entire carving process.

    Detail
    3min
  • 2

    Wood Carving Studio (Michinoeki Inami Inami Kibori no Sato Soyukan)

    Wood Carving Studio (Michinoeki Inami Inami Kibori no Sato Soyukan)

    Kibori no Sato is located in Inami, the foremost woodcarving region in Japan. You can carve wooden coasters, pot stands, and other creations, with courses ranging from 20 minutes to an entire day. No experience necessary - even first-timers can easily enjoy a range of wood carving experiences.

    Detail
    40min
  • 3

    World Heritage Ainokura Gassho-style Village

    World Heritage  Ainokura Gassho-style Village

    Ainokura provides an intimate look at the unique, traditional Japanese architecture of gassho-style thatched roof houses and the lifestyles of the village residents. Set against the backdrop of the Japan Alps, the scenery of Ainokura looks as if it could have been plucked from another century long past. Besides the residents who are still inhabiting several of the traditional houses, there are museums, restaurants, and souvenir shops built in the same gassho-zukuri thatched roof style. Those who wish to experience life in a traditional mountain village can book an inn to spend the night (reservations required in advance).

    Detail
    60min
  • 4

    Shirakawago Bus Terminal

    Shirakawago Bus Terminal

    This bus terminal is located to the north of the Cultural Heritage site, and provides easy access to the Wada House and Shiroyama Park Observation Deck. There is a waiting room, toilet, and tourist information center (bus ticket counter) in the bus terminal.

    Detail
    20min
  • GOAL

    Folk Museum of the Old Toyama Family

    Folk Museum of the Old Toyama Family

    This residence was built by carpenters from Noto in 1827. It was rebuilt once, and 150 years later today, the interior is still black and shiny, and the exterior still retains its majestic and stately appearance.

    Detail
  • START

    Shirakawago Bus Terminal

    70min
  • 1

    Takayama Station

    10min
  • 2

    Takayama Jinya

    Takayama Jinya

    Takayama is the only city remaining in Japan that has preserved the main building of its Jinya where governing duties of the Tokugawa Shogunate were carried out by his magistrates. Takayama Jinya is an office used by the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo Period to govern the Hida region. The building and its history tell the story of the relationship between the shogunate and the people it ruled over. You can see how taxes were collected in the form of rice harvests and how criminals were dealt with using torture. If you have any interest in the everyday life of Japanese people during the era of the samurai in Japan, Takayama Jinya is a unique opportunity that cannot be missed.

    Detail
    10min
  • 3

    Hida Takayama Crafts Experience Center

    Hida Takayama Crafts Experience Center

    Visitors can enjoy different hands-on craft experiences here, such as making sarubobo dolls, grilling senbei crackers, painting ceramics, and making Japanese-style tapestries, without prior reservations required.

    Detail
    60min
  • GOAL

    Hirayu Onsen

    Hirayu Onsen

    This is one of the oldest hot springs in Oku-hida Onsen Village. Located near the Gifu entrance of the Abo Tunnel that links Gifu Prefecture and Nagano Prefecture, this is easily accessible from the Kanto area. There are also shuttle buses running to and from Kamikochi and Mount Noritake at Hirayu Bus Terminal.

    Detail
  • START

    Hirayu Onsen

    30min
  • 1

    Kamikochi

    Kamikochi

    Kamikochi is a pristine mountain area located almost in the middle of the Northern Alps at an elevation of 1,500m. It is adored by a wide variety of travelers from mountaineering enthusiasts to families, as there are hiking courses suitable for beginners and children that can be easily enjoyed, as well as serious mountaineering treks rewarding serious hikers with breathtaking views. Enjoy every bit of magnificent nature during green season by trekking on Mt.Yake-dake, with its superb view of an emerald green crater lake, beautiful Taishoike Pond, and the mysterious atmosphere of Myojinike Pond. The symbolic Kappabashi Bridge is also the best spot for a panoramic view of the Hotaka mountain range.

    Detail
    150min
  • 2

    Matsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan

    Matsumoto Castle, National Treasure of Japan

    Matsumoto Castle is the oldest castle of its size remaining in Japan and a designated National Treasure of Japan. Current structures date back to 1594, including the six story main keep that stands watch over Matsumoto city as it did over 400 years ago. The contrast between its black and white exterior is beautiful, and it has a very elegant appearance with the Northern Alps in the background. ”No visit to Matsumoto is complete without a visit to the castle grounds, with its reflection on its inner moat and if you time it right, seasonal foliage like cherry blossoms or maple tree leaves, or an illuminated snowy visage in the winter.

    Detail
    15min
  • GOAL

    Matsumoto Station

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