Travel Guide Asia Japan Honshu Chubu



Chūbu, in central Honshu to the west of Tokyo is divided by the Japanese Alps and includes the iconic Mount Fuji. It encompasses nine prefectures (ken): Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, and Yamanashi.

It is located directly between the Kantō region and the Kansai region and includes the major city of Nagoya as well as along Pacific and Sea of Japan coastlines, extensive mountain resorts, and Mount Fuji.

The region is the widest part of Honshū and the central part is characterized by high, rugged mountains. The Japanese Alps divide the country into the Pacific side, sunny in winter, and the Sea of Japan side, snowy in winter.




Sights and Activities

Mount Fuji

Mount Fuji is one of the best known natural features of Japan and is conveniently located west of the capital Tokyo. Mount Fuji has an exceptionally symmetrical cone which is a recognisable symbol of this East Asian country. Over 200,000 people climb the mountain yearly and most of them climb in the 1 July - 27 August season when huts and most other facilities in and around the mountain and nearby villages are open. It is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and although it hasn't erupted for about 300 years, it is indeed a volcano.

Mt. Fuji with a baseball cap

Mt. Fuji with a baseball cap

© Triabroad

It also is surrounded by five lakes, among which are Lake Kawaguchi, Lake Yamanaka and Lake Motosu. From these lakes and Lake Ashi (which is a little further away) people who do not want to climb the mountain can have excellent views of the mountain when the weather is clear. In winter, the summit is covered in snow.


In recent years skiing has become a very popular activity for the Japanese. Japan has some very good skiing with excellent vertical. One of the nice parts about skiing in Japan, when compared to the United States or Europe, is that it is not that expensive. For a country where everything is very expensive, skiing actually gives you good value for your yen.



Events and Festivals

Traditional Festivals

  • Japanese New Year (January 1) - the most important holiday in Japan. Although there are lots of customs and traditions most of them are done in the private. This is mainly a family holiday and Japan can feel very empty as almost everyone goes home. Travelling in Japan in during this time is difficult because everything is shut down.
  • Seijin No Hi (2nd Monday of January) - the coming of age holiday for Japanese women which 20. Traditionally families will buy any young woman how turned 20 in the last year a kimono. On this day almost all Japanese women will ear a kimono.
  • Hin Festival (March 3) - Also known as doll festival the Hin Matsuri festival is meant for young women. In early february families with daughters put dolls in order to make the women happy and healthy later in life. On Girls Day, on March 3, the dolls are put away until next year.
  • Shichi Go San Festival (Novermber 5) - Boys who are 3 and 5, and girls 3 and 7 are taken to a shinto shrine in traditional Japanese dress. The children are brought there to pray for good luck, good health and wealth.

National Holidays

  • Golden Week - Is quite often referred to as the "Japanese Spring Break." It is a combination of many state holidays, including Showa Day, Greenery Day, Children's Day, and Constitution Memorial Day in order to give a full week off. It takes place during the first full week of May. Everyone gets this week off in Japan so it is very bad time to travel because everything is crowded, expensive and most hotels will be full.

Other Events and Festivals

  • O-Bon (Festival of the Dead) - Usually held in August, this festival is observed nationwide in Japan. Buddhist tradition dictates this is the day the dead return to earth to visit their relatives. Lanterns are hung outside homes and offerings to the spirits are made. In the evening, people float the lanterns on the river to help guide the deceased back to their resting place.
  • Hanami and Cherry Blossom Festivals - A tradition all over Japan, Hanami literally means viewing flowers. Picnic under the beautiful flowing trees in any public park during this special season. Usually lasting for only two weeks in March, the sakura (cherry blossom) schedule changes a bit every year, so it’s hard to nail down exactly when to come.



Getting There

By Plane

Nagoya has the best plane connections to and from Chubu. Chūbu Centrair International Airport (NGO) serves Nagoya. The smaller Nagoya Airfield is only served by J-Air and has flights to several Japanse cities like Tokyo, Nagasaki and Niigata.
The international airport has many more flights. Japan Airlines (JAL) has international flights to/from Guangzhou, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Taipei and Tianjin (City). All Nippon Airways (ANA) serves Seoul and Shanghai as well. They both serve a few dozen of domestic destinations as well, including Sapporo, Fukuoka, Tokyo and Nagasaki.
Several other international airlines have flights to/from Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Detroit, Guam, Hanoi, Saipan, Frankfurt, Busan, Honolulu, Bali, Helsinki, Shenyang, Taipei, Beijing, Qingdao, Xi'an and Hong Kong.

The airports at Kazanawa and Nagano#Getting There has mainly domestic connections as well, and some international flights.

By Train

Chubu region can be reached by train from Tokyo and many other cities on Honshu. Check Hyperdia for more details about schedules and prices. True to the name, the Tokaido Shinkansen bisects the southern Tokai region, connecting to Tokyo in the east and Osaka and Kyoto in the west. Northern parts, Nagano, Toyama and Kanazawa, can be reached from Tokyo by the Hokuriku Shinkansen. The Hokuriku region is accessible from Kansai via the Thunderbird.




There are many people who speak in each dialect in this area. For example, some Niigata people use ra instead of standard copula da such as ~raro instead of ~daro ("isn't it?"). Shizuoka people use ~dara instead of ~daro. In Ishikawa and Toyama, people use dara as an abuse word meaning "idiot".




Chubu's regions all have their local specialities. Some include:

  • Hotaru ika (lit. "firefly squid") in Toyama
  • Tempura shrimp in Nagoya
  • Hatchō miso (八丁味噌) in Okazaki




Chubu is sake country and Niigata, renowned for its koshihikari rice, produces some of the best in the country including famous labels like Kubota (久保田), Koshinokanbai (越乃寒梅) and Hakkaisan (八海山).

Shizuoka is famous for green tea and Aichi specializes in, oddly enough, oranges.



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