Autumn colors are arriving

November is definitely one of the best season to visit Japan. Tree leaves change their colors before they fall down. It starts from high mountain and gradually come down to the cities.

On 6th November, I visited Mt. Gozaisho to enjoy changing colors of the mountain. You can enjoy colored leaves around Nagoya in late November.

For detail of Gozaisho, see

Handicraft making experiences

Every region in Japan, there are many traditional handicrafts. Central Japan around Nagoya is no exception and many workshops in this region welcome tourists to come and experience the handicraft making. How about adding an unforgettable experience of making something in Japan to your tour programs?

Here are some examples. All places require advanced bookings.

Seto-mono (Pottery)

Pottery making experiences are offered in many places around Nagoya. Many cities around Nagoya traditionally make pottery, such as Seto, Tokoname and Tajimi, among others.

Especially in Seto, there is a workshop where you can make your own cups, etc. and the workshop ships your works to your oversea home.

Seto 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.

For detail, see

Mino Washi (Japanese traditional paper)

Washi or Japanese traditional paper was designated as one of Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. Mino Washi is one of the three famous production areas registered. There is a record of Mino Washi used in the then capital of Japan, Nara, in 8th century.

Mino-Washi Museum in Mino City conveys the fascination of Mino Washi paper through exhibits and workshops. There are at least three regularly held paper making courses: Minohan course, Rakusui course, and postcard course.

For detail, see

Arimatsu Shibori (traditional indigo tie-dyeing)

Yamagami Shoten offers a tie-dyeing workshop. Experience dyeing a handkerchief, Tenugui towel, or a stole. (Fee from 1,000 yen depending on the material used.) Workshop duration is around 2 hours.

Let us look into one of the typical Arimatsu tie-dyeing techniques, the "Kumo-shibori". The final output varies according to the person who makes it and how the cloth is being tied. You can choose your own color and style. Make your original piece, the only one in the world.

For detail, see

Iga Kumihimo (braid)

Iga boasts for producing the highest production volume of Kumihimo in Japan, which is a traditional craft. In the old days, the Kumihimo textile was used for strings and straps for scrolls and Kacchu armor. Today it is applied to the Obijime Kimono fastening band. Would like to make your own as a memory of your trip? Even beginners can complete a key-holder strap or a bracelet in around 20 minutes.

The workshop is offered at an elegant traditional shop which was established by Hirozawa Tokusaburo, the person who introduced the Kumihimo techniques to Iga.

For detail, see

Wood works

If you are interested in traditional craft work, visit the "Kijishi-no-sato" which is in a 10 kilometer-distance from Tsumago-juku, where wood turning craftsmen gather.

The "Nagiso Rokuro-zaiku", a traditional craft work in this region uses spinning wheel to grind wood and make products. Its technique has been passed down over a thousand years. Each product is beautiful, yet practical. Do not miss the chance to see the fascinating skills and technique of the local professionals, which are reflected onto the artwork.

For detail, see

Masu (wooden square) cup

Ogaki is the Japan's biggest production area of the Masu cups. Masu is a Japanese traditional measuring cups made of wood. It used to be used for grains like rice, as well as liquid such as sake and shoyu (soy sauce). It is also a fun to drink sake with mas cup because it adds a fragrance of wood to sake.

Souvenirs and "make your own Masu cup" course available at "Masuya" in Ogaki City. Why not make your original piece?

For detail, see

Food samples

Gujo Hachiman is famous for manufacture of food samples. Food samples are all handmade and is so delicate that it is hard to distinguish them from real food. This style of making food samples was created by Mr. Takizo Iwasaki, who was born in Gujo Hachiman. He established a manufacturer of food samples in Gujo Hachiman in 1955 to help the economy of his born place.

Many workshops to make food samples are available in Gujo Hachiman. Participate in one of them if you are interested in.

For detail, see

ATMs in Japan

Nowadays it is very common to withdraw cash from ATMs during a trip. This is very convenient way to get local currency since travelers do not need to carry a large amount of local cash or to find a money changer.

However, travelers to Japan should be aware that Japanese money cards are different from the cards issued in other countries, and so the ATMs. In Japan, most of the ATMs in banks, even those of the major city banks, do not accept cards issued outside Japan. If there is no indication of "cashing" in English, the ATM may not accept your cards.

The safest way is to go to either post office (Post Bank offices) or Seven & Eleven convenience stores. Their ATMs usually accept VISA, Masters, JCB and other cards issued outside Japan.

Tour Pick Up

One day Hikone Castle and its castle town by local train

Itinerary for one day tour
(about 7 hours)
4 pax 6 pax 8 pax
Nagoya (hotel pick up) => Nagoya Station => Hikone Station  => Hikone Castle => Hikone Castle Museum => Castle Road (castle town) => Gengu-en Japanese Garden => Hikone Station => Nagoya 17,969 yen per pax (71,875 yen per group) 13,396 yen per pax (80,375 yen per group) 11,100 yen per pax (88,875 yen per group)

Prices are estimates to give you an idea and subject to change.

Included: A licensed guide, JR Line ticket between Nagoya and Hikone, admissions for Hikone Castle, Museum and Japanese Garden, and 10% VAT.

Not included: food and drinks.

*Travel by a car is also available upon request.
*If you use Shinkansen between Nagoya and Maibara, add 4,100 yen per person. Though, it saves only about 40 minutes.

Hikone Castle

Hikone is an old city in Shiga Prefecture, which is between Nagoya and Kyoto. During the Edo Period (1600-1868), this place was ruled by Ii Clan, which played very important role in the Shogunate government.

Hikone is one of only five castles registered as National Treasure. Near the Nagoya, there is another castle, which is also a National Treasure, Inuyama Castle. If you have time, it is recommended to visit Hikone Castle rather than Inuyama Castle. The scale of the Hikone Castle (not necessarily the tower) is far bigger than Inuyama Castle.

Especially in late autumn (late November), castle mountain is decorated with various colors of tree leaves.

Genkyu-en Japanese Garden

Genkyu-en Japanese Garden was established in 1677 within the compound of Hikone Castle. This garden was built to entertain Daimyo, not for general public. This garden is designated as a Place of National Scenic Beauty.

This is a green, beautiful Japanese garden and a must visit.

This is also the best place to take a photo of the castle tower.

Castle Road

Near the Castle, there is a shopping street named "Yume Kyobashi Castle Road". There are many shops and restaurants line on both sides of the street. All shops and restaurants are reconstruction of old houses in the Edo Period.

You can take lunch here because there is no restaurant inside the Castle Compound.

Around Hikone, there are many other historic and scenic sights.

For the detail of the Hikone Castle, please visit

If you need more information and/or photos to show your customers, please do not hesitate to ask us. Send an inquiry mail to

To unsubscribe, change e-mail address or add an e-mail address, please send a mail to

Guided Private Tours around Nagoya is being operated jointly by Hitonomori Co. Ltd. and Fun Lead International Co. Ltd (registered travel agency with Gifu Prefecture No. 3-322).

Contact Menu