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Kanazawa, Takayama & Tokyo Autumn Tour

Posted By on Nov 5, 2014

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 Day1/2  Nagoya

We arrived all together in Chubu Centrair Airport safely .

After checking in at the Comfort Hotel,  we took off to eat and wander in Skytown at the airport. It’s compact but there are over 60 shops and restaurants to visit. Some of us tried Nagoya’s local favorite Miso Katsu, Pork Cutlet with Red Miso Sauce. Yum!  

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Day3  Nagoya-Gujo Hachiman-Takayama

The sky is gray and drizzling a little but it’s not cold today. We visited our first sightseeing spot, Nagoya castle.  The emerald roof with gold Shachohoko is impressive!

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Then we took a bus ride to Gujo Hachiman.

It’s a small  town located about 1 hour from Nagoya so the scenery drastically changed as we drove. It gave us a feeling like our adventure to discover “Old Japan” had just begun. After lunch, we had our first hands-on experience of making food samples. It was very interesting to see how wax spreads in hot water in a second. We all made shrimp Tempura and lettuce each of which was truly one of a kind !!!

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We arrived at Takayama City and checked in at Hida Hotel Plaza where we could try Onsen (public bath).  Some of us tried the Onsen and enjoyed the exotic experience!!  We’ll see how many more people try an Onsen during our trip. There are 2 more hotels with Onsens coming up during this trip.  Dinner was on our own so a lot of us went out to try  Hida Beef steaks. Yum (again)!

 

Day4 Takayama-Kanazawa

The crisp fall air felt so good!

We walked around the town of Takayama starting with the exhibition of huge festival floats, then strolled through the morning market and old housing area. Hida Beef skewers, Hida Beef Sushi….Mmmm!  Sake tasting was offered for only ¥150 per cup. Everyone had a great time.  We loved Takayama.

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In the afternoon we visited Shirakawago, known for their Gassho-zukuri settlement which is registered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.

We visited the Wada house, the most prominent  of the houses.  The Wada family has lived in the house since  the 16th century.

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Day5 Kanazawa

What a beautiful town Kanazawa was!

Kenrokuen Garden, the old Nomura Residence—breath taking!  We did the “dyeing” experience too (you know what I’m talking about, right?).  The Gold leaf shop was amazing!  There was a million dollar tea house, too.

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The driver was so nice that he detoured to the newly built Ishikawa Prefecture building to show us the Sea of Japan. What an astonishing panoramic view from the top of the building!

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Day6 Kanazawa-Kurobe-Matsumoto

We left the lovely town of Kanazawa and headed to Kurobe Dam, one of the highlights of this tour.

Our journey started at Tateyama Station, taking a cable car (7 min), then scenic bus ride (50min). At the top of Tateyama mountain, we hiked around the crater which was followed by lunch. Everyone like the pot of hot soup after the hike. After lunch we took a trolley bus running under neath Tateyama (10 min) and then a rope way (7 min). Beautiful autumn leaves were everywhere. Then we rode another cable car (5 min) to go the the Kurobe Dam. It is the biggest dam in Japan and it is just simply amazing how spectacular it is!  Our final vehicle of the day was a trolley bus (10 min).  A total of 6 public transportations were taken in order to see Kurobe and Tateyama. There was a lot of tourists, but it was such an exciting day!

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Day 7  Matasumoto-Yamanashi(Mt. Fuji)

We had another day of gorgeous weather, perfect for walking around Matsumoto Castle.

The stairs were so steep since it is the oldest five-story Tenshu (donjon tower) in Japan. Some of us had to give up climbing to the top and the rest of us had aching muscle days after this visit.  But it is so worth it to visit such a gorgeous castle.

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We had tasty lunch at Daio Wasabi Farm, the biggest wasabi farm in Japan.  Our interesting guide, Mr. Dragonfly (Tonbo-san), gave us a brief explanation about the farm.  There were a lot of wasabi products and we all went crazy about shopping.  Then we visited Shosenkyo Gorge.  We all enjoyed its beautiful autumn colors.

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Tonight’s dinner was the last group dinner in a Japanese room.  We had a party and everyone dressed up in Yukata dancing Tankobushi.  What awonderful night!

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Day8  Yamanashi-Tokyo

A few more days left on the trip and we’re heading to Tokyo, our final destination.

Before we hit the road, we had a great time picking up grapes at the farm nearby the hotel. Besides grapes, we saw persimmons, chestnuts, and pomegranates in the yard or on the street in this neighborhood.  I won’t tell who was DOROBO, but we surely had fun pretending like kids on the street.

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Itchiku Kubota Art Museum was simply breath taking, not only with his Tsujigahana-dyeing Kimono work, but also beautifully landscaped garden attached to the museum.  We all enjoyed the serenity of this place.

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We were so lucky to see Mt. Fuji clearly after the museum visit on the way to Tokyo.  It is rare in this season to be able to see Mt. Fuji with this kind of visibility.  We briefly stopped by the park to take pictures of Mt. Fuji. Thank you, Mr. bus driver!

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Day9/10 Tokyo

We had free time for 2 days in Tokyo.  Some of us had friends and relatives to visit.  Some had an adventurous plan to visit amusement parks.  A group of 10 went together by subway and JR to visit Tsukiji Market, Ginza, Asakusa and Ueno.  Good food and Omiyage!  We all enjoyed our trip!

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Posted by Kat

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