Japan is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience for most of the UK market, and travel agents almost always end up selling the “Golden Route”, which covers the most famous regions and cities – places like Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima. We love the Golden Route – it shows off much of the best that Japan has to offer, but we’re often asked if there are other cool or unique parts of this beautiful country that would suit a more adventurous tour extension that shows tourists something different.
Allow us to introduce you to one such wonderful area that’s a little off the regular tourist path, but bursting with brilliant things to see and do. Chubu is a historic region in the heartlands of Japan, and home to many attractive tourist attractions that guests on the Golden Route would never see.
Chubu is packed with other incredible sites, including the prosperous medieval castle town Kanazawa, the UNESCO-protected Gassho-zukuri villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama, and Kamikochi, one of Japan‘s most popular mountain resorts. The whole region, which comprises nine prefectures in all, is a favourite holiday destination for the Japanese – and it’s the perfect add-on for British travellers who want to see more than just the usual.
Because it’s so central – and because Japan’s transport network is so efficient – Chubu is very accessible, and can be incorporated into existing package tours with no difficulty. Hankyu Travel UK is keen to help you meet the wishes of your customers no matter what they are, and we would be only too happy to introduce you to unique attractions to add some je ne sais quoi to your clients’ vacations. We’ve collected just a tiny handful of our favourite accommodation below:
WEAZER (Shizuoka Prefecture)
Japanese ingenuity strikes again with WEAZER – self-sufficient solar-powered accommodation that’s perfect for the eco-conscious traveller. These hi-tech buildings are incredibly sustainable, drawing power from solar energy, and sterilizing and filtering rainwater for the plumbing. WEAZER can be set up in just a few days, and installed in areas without electricity, gas or water infrastructure. It’s the home of the future, and it makes for fantastic holiday stays too. A cluster of these have been set up in West Izu, ready for holidaymakers with a conscience.
Bed & Craft (Toyama Prefecture)
The Inami area in Nanto City is home to Japan’s largest gathering of expert wood-carvers. This is truly a town of artisans, with more than 200 craftspeople in the area. Visitors can even experience apprenticeships under a master carver – after a lesson or two in the finer details of this ancient art, you’ll use the same tools and techniques to create your own unique masterpiece. The Bed and Craft initiative puts you up in comfortable lodgings with a local craftsman, where you can stay for as long as you want to learn as much as you want about wood-carving techniques.