Chubu

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in the Chūbu Region (中部地方 Chūbu-chihō): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi; divided into three subregions: Hokuriku, Kōshin’etsu, Tōkai

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  • Chubu Travel Guide

    The Chūbu Region (中部地方 Chūbu-chihō) is the central part of Japan’s main island Honshū and consists of three subregions, Hokuriku on the Sea of...
  • Nagano Prefecture

    Nagano Prefecture (長野県) is located in central Honshū and borders the prefectures of Niigata, Gunma, Saitama, Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Aichi, Gifu, and...
  • Nagoya Travel Guide

    Nagoya (名古屋市), Japan’s fourth-largest city, is the capital of Aichi Prefecture, located in central Honshū on Ise Bay, as well as the political,...
  • Atsuta Shrine

    Atsuta Shrine (熱田神宮 Atsuta-jingū) is one of the most sacred Shinto shrines in Japan, purportedly second only to Ise-jingū in Mie Prefecture. It is...
  • Tokugawa Art Museum

    The Tokugawa Art Museum (徳川美術館 Tokugawa Bijutsukan) is a private museum that opened its gates in 1935 and displays a large collection of artefacts...
  • Kakegawa Castle

    Kakegawa Castle (掛川城 Kakegawa-jō) is a hilltop (hirayama-type) castle located in Kakegawa City in western Shizuoka Prefecture. Listed in the Top...
  • Aichi Prefecture

    Aichi Prefecture (愛知県) is located in central Honshū and borders the prefectures of Gifu and Nagano prefectures to the north, Shizuoka Prefecture...
  • Matsumoto Travel Guide

    Matsumoto (松本) is located in central Nagano Prefecture and used to be a provincial capital from the eighth century. It was the base of the senior...
  • Nagoya Castle

    Nagoya Castle (名古屋城 Nagoya-jō) was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1609-14 on the site of a smaller castle taken over and renamed by Oda Nobunaga’s...
  • Osu Kannon

    Officially called Kitanosan Shinpuku-ji Hōshō-in (北野山真福寺宝生院), Ōsu Kannon (大須観音) is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect located in Naka Ward,...
  1. Fukui Travel Guide

    Fukui Prefecture is located on the Sea of Japan in central Honshū and bounded by Ishikawa Prefecture on the north, Gifu Prefecture on the east, Shiga and Kyōto prefectures on the south, and the Sea of Japan on the west. It is geographically divided into the northern districts, corresponding to the southern part of the former province of Echizen (越前国 Echizen-no-kuni), and the southern districts, formerly Wakasa (若狭国 Wakasa-no-kuni). The northern district consists mostly of mountain ranges, with coastal plains and river valleys, and includes most of the land area and population. The...
  2. Nomura Samurai House

    The former residence of the Nomura family (野村家) is located in Nagamachi, the bukeyashiki or samurai quarter of Kanazawa, a quiet district characterised by its long straight mud-daub walls topped with traditional wooden slats called kobaita (小羽 板) and covered with straw mats (こも komo) in winter. The Nomura were chief retainers of the Maeda. Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, 1538-1599), the first daimyō of Kaga Domain, bestowed a fief of one thousand koku upon Nomura Denbei Nobusada (野村伝兵衛信貞) which was later increased to 1,200 koku. Nobusada's descendants continued to serve as senior retainers and...
  3. Oyama Shrine Kanazawa

    Oyama Shrine (尾山神社 Oyama-jinja) is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, just west of Kanazawa Castle Park. It commemorates Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, 1538-1599), the first daimyō of Kaga Domain and was constructed in 1599 by his son and successor, Maeda Toshinaga, at Utatsuyama (卯辰山). For that reason, it was formerly known as Utatsu Hachimangu Shrine. In 1873, it was moved to its current location, the site of a former Maeda family residence, and renamed Oyama Shrine. The surrounding Japanese garden was designed by Kobori Enshū (小堀遠州, 1579-1647), a famous aristocrat and horticulturist, and...
  4. Kanazawa Travel Guide

    Kanazawa (金沢) is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and the political, economic, and cultural centre of the Hokuriku Region. Kanazawa developed in the 15th century as a de facto autonomous temple town of the Ikkō sect. In 1580, the Ikkō movement was destroyed by Sakuma Morimasa, who built Kanazawa Castle. Later, the city was ruled by the powerful Maeda clan under whose rule the arts and learning prospered. Kanazawa is still famous for its Kutani ware (九谷焼 Kutani-yaki), maki-e (蒔絵, Japanese lacquerware), and Kaga yūzen (加賀友禅, printed silk fabrics). Kanazawa was not destroyed in World War II...
  5. Kanazawa Castle Park

    Kanazawa Castle Park is located next to Kenroku-en. Originally, Kenroku-en was an outlying garden of the castle before it was opened to the public in 1871. Kanazawa Castle (金沢城 Kanazawa-jō) was the seat of the powerful Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain for fourteen generations from 1583 until the end of the Edo Period. The castle was destroyed several times in battles (1592), by fires (1602, 1620, 1631, 1759, 1881) and by earthquakes (1858) but was continuously rebuilt and expanded. Due to its immense size, it was called 'the castle of 1,000 tatami'. The only original structure that...
  6. Kenrokuen Garden

    Kenroku-en (兼六園, "The Garden of the Six Attributes") is one of the three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kairaku-en in Mito and Kōraku-en in Okayama. Kenroku-en is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and was founded in the early 17th century the Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain until the Meiji Restoration. Both, Maeda Toshitsune (前田利常, 1594-1658), the second Kaga daimyō, and Maeda Tsunanori (前田綱紀, 1643-1724) are credited as the founders of the gardens. Tsunanori, the third daimyō, is said to have built the Renchiochin house in 1676. The garden was greatly expanded by the 11th...
  7. Ishikawa Travel Guide

    Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県 Ishikawa-ken) is located in the Chūbu region in central Honshū and bounded by the Sea of Japan on the west and the north, Toyama Bay and Toyama and Gifu prefectures on the east, and Fukui Prefecture on the south. It is divided into the Kaga region to the south and the Noto Peninsula to the north. There are several islets north of Noto in the Sea of Japan, the largest of which is Hegurajima. The southern part of Kaga is mostly mountainous, while the area around the capital Kanazawa forms the prefecture's largest plain. The Noto Peninsula is hilly, with an uneven...
  8. Nirayama Castle

    Nirayama Castle (韮山城 Nirayama-jō) is located in the northern neck of Izu Peninsula, in present-day Izunokuni. In 1493, Hōjō Sōun who had risen to power in Kokokuji Castle defeated Horikoshi-kubō Ashikaga Chachamaru who had ruled Izu and put the entire peninsula under his control. He rebuilt Nirayama Castle and moved there from Kokokuji Castle, setting it up as his new headquarters. Later, Soun captured Odawara Castle and extended his rule over the provinces of Sagami and Musashi. However, he maintained Nirayama Castle as his power base until his death. When Sōun's son Ujitsuna...
  9. Nagahama Castle (Izu)

    Nagahama Castle (長浜城 Nagahama-jō) is located on the southern edge of Numazu City in Izu Peninsula (Shizuoka Prefecture). The hilltop castle was a naval base built in 1579 by the Late Hōjō. After the invasion of Suruga (modern-day Shizuoka) in 1569, the Takeda finally had access to the sea and immediately started to build up naval forces they could deploy against the Hōjō in the east and the forces of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the west. The Hōjō constructed Nagahama Castle to confront the Takeda navy. The site was ideal, as it was located in a secluded bay with deep water that also allowed larger...
  10. Kokokuji Castle

    Kokokuji Castle (興国寺城 Kōkokuji-jō, also known as 根古屋城 Negoya-jō) is located in Numazu in Shizuoka Prefecture. It was constructed sometime between 1469 and 1487 and given to Hōjō Soun (or Ise Shinkuro at that time) for services rendered to the Imagawa clan. The rise of the Late Hōjō in the Kantō region began right here. However, the Hōjō did not rule the castle continuously; when Soun invaded the Izu Peninsula in 1491 it was handed over to Imagawa Yoshimoto who later renovated the castle. In the following decades, the castle changed hands several times between the Imagawa, the Hōjō and the...
  11. Mount Omuro

    Mount Omuro (大室山 Ōmuroyama) is a volcano south of Ito City on the eastern coast of the Izu Peninsula. Extinct for 3,700 years, the cone-shaped mountain is completely covered in grass and has a circular trail around its crater mound at an altitude of 580 meters. The trail is about one kilometre in length. The Ōmuroyama Volcano Geosite is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park (富士箱根伊豆国立公園 Fuji-Hakone-Izu Kokuritsu Kōen) that spans Yamanashi, Shizuoka, Kanagawa and parts of Tokyo. The summit of Mount Ōmuro can only be accessed by chairlift (about 5 minutes) and offers spectacular...
  12. Kakegawa Castle

    Kakegawa Castle (掛川城 Kakegawa-jō) is a hilltop (hirayama-type) castle located in Kakegawa City in western Shizuoka Prefecture. Listed in the Top 100 Castles of Japan, it is considered to be one of the finest examples of reconstructed Japanese castles. Kakegawa Castle in August 2015 History The castle was originally built in 1497 by Asahina Yasuhiro, a retainer of the Imagawa clan which ruled over Suruga Province, the central part of modern-day Shizuoka Prefecture. After Imagawa Yoshimoto (今川 義元, 1519-1560) was killed in the Battle of Okehazama in June 1560, his territories were divided...
  13. Tokugawa Art Museum

    The Tokugawa Art Museum (徳川美術館 Tokugawa Bijutsukan) is a private museum that opened its gates in 1935 and displays a large collection of artefacts of the Owari branch of the Tokugawa family. Many of these family treasures date back to Tokugawa Ieyasu and were completed by the collection of his ninth son and founder of the Owari branch, Tokugawa Yoshinao (徳川義直, 1601-1650). The entire collection comprises over 12,000 items, ten of which are designated National Treasures, including a twelfth-century copy of the Genji Monogatari, as well as fifty-nine registered Important Cultural Properties,...
  14. Osu Kannon

    Officially called Kitanosan Shinpuku-ji Hōshō-in (北野山真福寺宝生院), Ōsu Kannon (大須観音) is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect located in Naka Ward, central Nagoya. It was initially constructed in the early 14th century by order of Emperor Go-Daigo (後醍醐天皇 Go-Daigo-tennō, 1288-1339) in the village of Ōsu-gō, Nagaoka in Owari Province, modern-day Hashima in Gifu Prefecture. Its shrine was dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, venerated as the patron saint of scholarship and education. Initially, the temple was located between the Kiso and the Nagara rivers. As one river bank had been constructed...
  15. Atsuta Shrine

    Atsuta Shrine (熱田神宮 Atsuta-jingū) is one of the most sacred Shinto shrines in Japan, purportedly second only to Ise-jingū in Mie Prefecture. It is said to hold the sacred sword Kusanagi no Tsurugi, one of the three imperial regalias of Japan. According to tradition, the shrine was built by the consort of the legendary Prince Yamatotakeru (日本武尊 Yamato-takeru-no-mikoto), who died in 133 C.E. (the 43rd year of Emperor Keiko’s reign). The prince had been miraculously saved by this sword during his campaign to bring eastern Japan under imperial rule. The shrine received wide attention in 808...
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