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Aichi: My Neighbour Totoro
Real house of 'My Neighbour Totoro'
Aichi: Toyota Museum of Industry
If you drive Toyota or are interested in the mechanical parts of automobile, then consider visiting Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in Nagoya. Here, you will see how automobile is manufactured . And if you are lucky, you might receive a car as a souvenir. Just joking =)
Shizuoka: Ferry ride
You can see Mount Fuji from a ferry. The ferry sails between Shizuoka and Izu .
Snow wall! As Tateyama in Toyama is one of the places in the world with the heaviest snowfall, you can walk on this kind of road only from April to May. The height of the snow wall might be more than 10 meters.
It's not only in the famous Shirakawa-go that you can enjoy staying in unique traditional houses in an area with heavy snowfall. Toyama has many similar houses. One good example is Gokatama, In fact, history of Gokatama is older than Shirakawa-go's. As it's not so famous for foreign travellers, you may find it easier to book an accommodation here.
In Japan, Kyoto is famous as a place for experiencing Japanese culture. However, did you know that you can also experience Japanese culture in Kanazawa? Kazawaza is a city with a well-preserved samurai culture, while Kyoto is a city with culture of religion and ancient aristocracy. Most culture in Kanazawa flourished in around 17th Century (samurai period), and what you see in Kanazawa is totally different from modern Tokyo or old Kyoto. Access to Kanazawa is 4 hrs from Tokyo or Osaka.
This fantastic Unesco World Heritage site becomes more and more brilliant in winter, especially from Jan to Feb. It's better to book accommodation as early as possible to avoid disappointment. But if you can't find any accommodation here, consider staying in Takayama city, which is near Shirakawa-go. There are frequent buses to Shirakawa-go. (www.nouhibus.co.jp/english/shirakawago_kanazawa.html). There are also direct buses from Nagoya and reservation is required.
Takayama in Gifu prefecture is a picturesque town with many old Japanese-style hotels. Stay there and you might feel you are a Japanese living in the 17th Century. It's near Nagoya, where there is a direct flight from Singapore .
Yamanashi:Niikura Fuji Asama Shrine
新倉富士浅間神社 If you want to enjoy Sakura, Mount Fuji and Japanese shrine at the same time in Japan, Niikura Fuji Asama Shrine in Yamanashi is best place to do so.
Many American and Australian travel Japan just for skiing. Often, they ski in Niseko, Hokkaido. However, there are many other nice ski resorts outside Hokkaido too. One good example is Hakuba in Nagano. The winter olympics was once held there, which means that the quality of snow and ski slope is very high. Besides skiing, you can also enjoy onsen (hotspring) too! Access to Hakuba from Tokyo is very easy. There are direct rapid express trains and buses.
Fukui: Eihei-ji 永平寺
Zen might be different from Buddhism. The difference, in short, is how to reach liberation. You can feel 'love' in buddhism.Their believers donate money and food to monks. But Sen monks are not allowed to receive donations. They spend their entire day by Zen meditation and working in a temple. They need to liberate themselves from anything (even the idea of god). Eihei-ji in Fukui is best for knowing Zen life and training.
Aichi Food: Hitsumabushi
How should you eat this eel dish? 1) Divide the eel dish into four sections. Scoop the first section into the smaller bowl and enjoy it as it is. 2) Eat the second section, except this time add as many seasonings and spices as you would like. Go wild! 3) For the rest of it, add the different seasonings to your taste, and this time top it off with the broth.
Aichi Food: Chicken Wing
If you like chicken wings, you probably will enjoy the ones at Sekai no Yama-chan, Aichi. They are really special. If you have a chance to visit Nagoya, please try the chicken wings here.
Ishikawa Food: Jibuni
Kanazawa has very unique and long history. Some traditional food here has a history than Kyoto cuisine. This is because vegetables and seafood from Kanazawa is unique, thanks to its climate, and successive past lords in Kanazawa loves arts (including food culture). The most unique Kanazawa food is probably 'Jibuni'. The duck is simmered in a flavourful broth and accompanied with vegetables.
Gifu: Monet Pond
Gifu isn’t known as a popular tourist destination but their ‘Monets Pond’ in Seki City might change your mind! This idyllic stretch of water looks just like something Claude Monet has painted and looks super magical! The pond will soothe your soul with its beautiful lush lilies and water pads, koi fish and blue-green water that comes from spring water nearby. It really is a perfect picturesque place to paint or take a picture!
Haneda/Narita to Mt. Fuji
Keisei Group has an express bus service from Haneda/Narita airport to Mt Fuji (Fujisan Railway Station)! It commences from 16th of July! Now you don’t need to change trains or stay one night in Tokyo to visit the famous nearly perfectly-shaped volcano, but just hop on a bus and 4 hours later, you’ll reach Mt Fuji!