Welcome to Nagoya, central Japan

Welcome to Nagoya. Nagoya is the center of the Chubu (literally means ‘central’) Region of Japan. Nagoya has a good access to mountains and seas, local culture and historical sites in this region. There are also many very interesting festivals and museums. Chubu Region is also famous for the concentration of various industries. You can visit the latest high-tech factories as well as traditional sake breweries.

Unlike Kyoto, Nara and Tokyo, this region is not well known to international tourists and may not be chosen as a destination during their visits to Japan.

Our team of guides are all local people who are very proud to be here. They propose to take you to not only places that you can find in guide books but also places not known to even most of Japanese people. That is the advantage of local guides.

Currently guides are available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Model courses from Nagoya

Most of tours presented on this website are proposed as the day trips or half-day trips from Nagoya. However, these are just some model courses so you can choose where you visit or do not visit. You can add some other destinations. Overnight stay may be available upon request. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

You can find a 'Contact' link at the top of each page of this site. If you are interested, just click it and contact us.

We also prepare itineraries for some popular destinations with estimated price.

Nagoya Castle and highlights in Nagoya City

This tour includes Nagoya Castle, Tokugawa-en Japanese Garden, Tokugawa Art Museum, Sakae Shopping District, Nagoya TV-Tower and Osu. You can customize this tour by adding or removing some places.

Shirakawa-go and Takayama day tour from Nagoya with private guide

Do you like to visit Takayama and Shirakawa-go from Nagoya in a day with a private guide? This tour covers both Takayama and Shirakawa-go in one day from Nagoya. It departs at around 7:00 AM and returns at around 21:00 PM by public transport, and departs at 7:30 AM and returns at 18:30 by a bus/car.

One day tour to Kyoto from Nagoya

Kyoto is not very far from Nagoya. If you take Shinkansen Nozomi Super Express, it takes only 36 minutes from Nagoya Station to Kyoto Station. This tour includes the most popular places to visit in Kyoto such as Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, Ginkaku-ji Temple (Silver Pavilion) and Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion).

Iwakura Cherry Blossom Festival (available late March - early April)

Along the Gojo River in the center of the Iwakura City, it is said to be that there are one thousand cherry trees. In late March every year, trees become full bloom and the Iwakura Cherry Blossom is held. If you are happened to be in Nagoya in flowering season, then don't miss it!

Masumida Shrine and Honmachi Street

Visit historic Masumida Shrine and Honmachi Shopping street

In ancient period, the envoys from the imperial court to this region had to visit the Masumida Shrine before any other shrines upon their arrival to this region. Current Ichinomiya City has developed just in front of the Masumida Shrine.

Mino, the city of Japanese Washi paper and Udatsu

Mino is the production site of the Mino washi paper which was registered as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2014. The advanced paper making technology has been inherited in the rural villages since more than 1,300 years ago. During the Edo period, the Washi paper culture was cultivated in this special production area under the government protection, thus many wealthy merchants engaging in paper wholesale were born. To protect the gorgeous house, a symbol of wealth, from fire rich owners installed an Udatsu (a firewall built at the end of a roof) to their roofs.

Ominagahama

Ohmi Nagahama, a town by the Lake Biwa famous for its castle, old street, and glass works

Ohmi Nagahama, which lies along Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture is a place where many tourists visit. Kurokabe Square is one of the major spots in the area, which was a pioneer district in revitalizing the local community by appealing the old traditional townscape.

Arimatsu

Arimatsu: The historical townscape of Tokaido along with the Arimatsu Shibori traditional crafts

People in Arimatsu thus started the Shibori tie-dying as a side business. This gained popularity and has become the area's industry until today by creating a history.

Travelling to Mount Gozaisho on a ropeway and visiting the Yunoyama Onsen hot spring, a town of love knot

Mount Gozaisho is a 1,212 meter high mountain which is located in the Suzuka Quasi-National Park. It is selected as one of the "Suzuka Seven Mountains".

Unlike other mountains, most of the rocks of Mount Gozaisho are formed by granite. In the immemorial times, the granite rocks appeared on the hill surface as they got eroded. This is why today we see various big and unique shaped rocks. The mountain attracts people who do trekking, skiing and rock climbing.

Gifu Kawaramachi Street

Gifu City, Oda Nobunaga's town

There are a lot of attractive sightseeing spots in Gifu. The Gifu Castle where Oda Nobunaga declared his intention to conquer the nation with force during the Sengoku period, Ukai (cormorant fishing) with a 1,300 year-long history at the Nagaragawa river, Kawara-machi which prospered as the river port, and the Gifu Great Buddha which is said to be one of the three big Buddhas in Japan.

Ruin of Iwamura Castle and Historic Iwamura Town

The Iwamura Castle is one of the three best-known mountain castles in Japan. Although all wooden structures had gone long time ago, beautiful stone walls and stone-paved approaches have remained almost untouched.

Walking around Inuyama Castle and its castle town

With the national treasure Inuyama Castle, its castle town, and a Japanese Garden that has a national treasure teahouse, Inuyama keeps on attracting people while leaving traces of the history.

The city was a battlefield during the Sengoku period (end of 15th century to the end of 16th century), and later in the Edo period (1603 to 1867) the area developed as a castle town. Traditional wooden houses and shrine that connect to the castle is appealing, and make it fun to walk around.

Chiyobo-inari and Yoro-no-taki Fall

The Chiyobo-inari Shrine is familiarly known in the neighboring area of Nagoya. People gather from all over not just to worship but also to visit the shops along the front approach to the shrine. The legendary "Yoro-no-taki Fall" is located in a 30 minute-driving distance, which is also a popular sightseeing spot.

The island of the Kaijin: Toba, Toushi-jima Island, and Mikimoto Pearl Island

The Ise-Shima National Park features the rias (saw-toothed) coastlines and plants and vegetation that grow in a mild climate. It is located in the Shima Peninsular in central Mie, and covers a vast area expanding 50 kilometers east-west and 40 kilometers north-south. Ise-Shima is not only famous for the Ise-jingu Shrine which boasts a 2,000 year-long history, but also for other various sightseeing spots along the coast.

Enjoy a relaxed walk around Ogaki, a historic city of water

The city of Ogaki, located in Gifu Prefecture, is known for its long history related to "Okuno Hosomichi" written by Matsuo Basho and the Battle of Sekigahara. It is also famous for its rich water resources, therefore is called the "city of water, Ogaki".

Gujo Hachiman

The town of Gujo Hachiman is well known for the Gujo Odori dance performance which continues for more than 30 days from July to the beginning of September. The Tetsuya Odori which lasts for four days during the Obon holidays in August is especially famous, the climax season of Gujo Hachiman.

Transform into a Ninja and look around the city of Iga

Iga, home of the Iga-ryu Ninja, is full of sightseeing spots related to the Ninja! In addition, the town attracts visitors with its antique wooden-style architecture. The city also boasts for having traditional crafts such as the Iga-yaki (pottery) and Kumihimo, and of course the local specialty represented by the Iga beef. Why not dress up as a Ninja and walk around the area to make good memories of Japan?

Ise Mishiomichi, From the Misogi no Machi Futami, to Kawasaki, and up to the Ise-jingu Shrine Geku

The Ise-jingu Shrine is well known to the Japanese people by the name of "Oisesan". It is the place where the Sun Goddess Amaterasu Omikami, who is considered to be the most sacred Goddess according to the Kojiki, Japan's oldest record book of ancient matters, is enshrined. The Japanese royal family continues to worship the Amaterasu Omikami, thus it is a very special sacred place for the nation. The act of visiting the Ise-jingu Shrine is called "Oise mairi". It became a boom to visit the shrine during the Edo period (around 1600 to 1800) when good transportation means were not yet established. People aspired to pay a visit at least once in their lifetime.

Smaller Kyoto in Hida, explore Takayama

Takayama had developed as a castle town of a castle, which was built in around 1510. Later in Edo Period, Tokugawa Shogunate had decided to administer this area directly and the castle was demolished in 1695. Instead, the Tokugawa Shogunate had established 'Jin-ya', the administrative office which represented the Shogunate.

Village of Gassho-zukuri, Shirakawago

Shirakawago was registered as one of the World Cultural Heritage by UNSESCO in 1995. There are several gassho-zukuri traditional houses gathered in a small village. Some of them are used for souvenir shops and inns, and some others, such as Wada House, are open for the public view. All vehicles except those of villagers are not allowed to drive through the streets within the village. Parking areas for tourists are located outside of the village and all tourists are required to visit the village on foot.

The Museum Meiji-mura, where historical monuments of the Meiji period are exhibited

Meiji-mura is one of Japan's best outdoor museums exhibiting various cultural assets of the Meiji period, including the ten important cultural assets.

Meiji period, which started in 1868, is the time when Japan ended its seclusion policy, Sakoku, and started adopting European and American cultures and institutions to build a foundation of a modern country. Architecture of Meiji period is based on the traditional wooden structure technology, while it also reflects Western techniques and materials.

Seki, a town of cutlery, Ukai, and Enku

Seki, a town known for manufacture of cutlery, is located in south-central Gifu. It inherits the tradition of swordsmith techniques that started in Kamakura period. During the Sengoku period, "Magoroku Kanemoto II" succeeded in forming a robust sword by applying unique swordsmith techniques. The brilliant traditional method was passed down to younger generations, thus today Seki has become a well-known production site of knives and blades. The city is also famous for being the place where Ukai (cormorant fishing) started in Nara period.

Sekigahara, field of a fateful battle

The Battle of Sekigahara refers to the war that took place on September 15, 1600. Following the death of the then ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Commander Tokugawa Ieyasu (the Eastern Army), who aspired to rule the country, fought against Commander Ishida Mitsunari (the Western Army) who pledged loyalty to Hideyoshi's son, Hideyori. Tokugawa Ieyasu won the battle and established the foundation of the Edo period which lasted later on for 260 years. Sekigahara, a name that any Japanese people has heard of, is drawing tourist attention as a historic scene.

Experience pottery making in Seto, the land of porcelain

A 50 minute ride on a train from Nagoya station, and you will reach the town of porcelain, Seto. It is the country's leading production area of ceramic and porcelain with a long history, that in Japan people generally call pottery as "Seto-mono". Even today, there are many studios which keep on creating various art pieces. Have a relaxing moment in this historical town and experience pottery making to feel the alluring art of Japanese ceramic works.

Kisoji: Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku, Nakasendo Way

Thinking of enjoying a spectacular Japanese traditional landscape surrounded by mountains? We recommend you to visit the "Tsumago-juku" and "Magome-juku". Both places used to be posting stations along the Kiso-ji (part of the Nakasendo Way, a major road, that connected Edo [the present Tokyo] and Kyoto) in the old days. Touring around these sites with a touch of the history will take you back to a century-old world.

Yanagibashi Central Market, Endoji Shopping Street and Meido-cho ; Nagoya's kitchen and a paradise for children

Towards the opening of the Linear Chuo Shinkansen (the Maglev) in 2027, the district embracing Nagoya station is currently in its development process. Step out from the Sakura-dori exit of Nagoya station and you will be surrounded by a group of buildings. Once you walk through the skyscrapers, an antique old town awaits you. Feel the deep world of Nagoya which attracts people both with its modernity and retro-style ambient, something that makes this town unique.

Handa, a magnificent town with breweries that prospered with Sake making

The city of Handa is located in central Chita Peninsular, approximately 50 minutes by train from Nagoya. Ever since the Edo period, it has prospered with Sake brewing, textile manufacture, maritime trade, and other manufacturing industries. There are many sites to visit including the breweries that stand along the Handa Canal and museums, which convey the city's development and history. Traditional festivals including the valiant and gorgeous Handa Dashi Matsuri Festival which is held only once every five years, and the Dashi Matsuri Festivals that are held in each district between late March and the beginning of May are also part of the charms of this town.

Experiencing Zazen in Myokoji

You can have a walk in the ground of Myokoji Temple whenever you like. Zazen Experience in Myokoji is available from 18:00 evening on 1st and 15th every month (except 1st January and 15th August). If you like to experience zazen during your stay we may find other temples for you but you should make a donation to the temple.

Tagata-Jinja Shrine, gods of fertility, and Mama Kannon Temple, temple of milk and breasts in Komaki

Tagata-Jinja Shrine is the shrine of fertility for both agriculture and human being. Its annual festival held on 15th March is very popular among tourists abroad. On other days, the shrine is relatively calm, and you can walk around and observe every details of its secrets or something to be secrets Mama Kannon Temple is less known to foreigners. While Tagata-Jinja Shrine is for fertility, Mama Kannon is for breasts and child care. Mama Kannon's "mama" does not mean mother in English. It's just a coincidence and mama probably is the name of this place. Many women visit this temple and pray for a cure for breast cancer, having larger breasts or abundance of milk for their babies.

Ise-jingu Shrine One Day Guided Tour

There are two major shrines, namely Naiku (inner shrine) and Geku (outer shrine) in Ise-jingu, with other many smaller shrines. This tour visits two major shrines and historical shopping areas around two major shrines.

This tour take you to Ise-jingu Shrine in Ise City from Nagoya and around. If you like to meet with the guide at Ise, we can arrange it as well.

Little World, Open Air World Culture Museum - enjoy various costumes

Little World is an open air museum that exhibits cultures in the world. What is real fun in the Little World is world foods and costumes. There are so many restaurants and coffee shops offering different kinds of foods, drinks and sweets from around the world. There are also about 10 costume stands where you can rent costumes from around the world.

Half-day easy nature walk tour in Oni-iwa Valley

Oni-iwa valley is about one-hour drive from the central Nagoya. You can have a 1 to 2-hour walk in the mountain, especially along the stream. It's an ideal afternoon walking experience. If you are tired of busy urban settings in Nagoya, take a half day tour to breath the air in forests.

Customizable private one day tour of Hikone Castle and its castle town

If you have a full day around Nagoya, and if you like to visit an authentic old castle, then Hikone Castle is the most recommended place. Hikone Castle is at the heart of Hikone City, Shiga Prefecture.

Itadori, a village of forests and rivers

Itadori is a village deep in the moutains but only 2-hour drive from Nagoya. In Itadori, there are no famous temples, museums, restaurants, nor attractions, but local culture and nature, especially rivers and mountains. Walk with a guide. By walking you can touch the nature, culture, history, not known even to the most of Japanese people. You will agree that Itadori is a hidden treasure.

Nagoya Shopping tours

During your stay in Nagoya, enjoy shopping with our guide. Our guide can help you to find what you want to see and buy, and help you to interpret when you shop.

Snow monkey tours

Do you like to see famous snow monkeys? Well, "snow" monkeys are in winter only, and in other seasons, they are just wild monkeys.

Japanese calligraphy and other cultural experiences in Ichinomiya City

Hitonomori House in Ichinomiya City (near Nagoya) provides various Japanese cultural experiences to foreigners, such as Japanese calligraphy lessons, flower arrangement, Japanese cooking. You can create your own calligraphic art with your favorite kanji letters and make it a hanging scroll.

Contact us

If you like to know something in depth, if you like to visit places only known to local people, if you like to meet with people, and/or if you like to experience something different, please consider our private guided tours. Please contact us and/or book a guided private tour.

Our blog and Facebook Page

Please also visit our blog, Nagoya Tours, Experience the Difference, and Facebook Page. Our guides regularly post articles on the blog, including seasonal specialties, festivals, events and recommended destinations. Questions and requests are welcomed on the Facebook Page.

To touring companies looking for guides

We can help you to choose destinations for your clients and guide them in and around Nagoya. Please see this page for detail.

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