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-The Center of Japan,Tokai- Recommended Spots from Locals

How many times have you come to Japan? Zero? Once? Twice? Or more than three times?

If you've already visited most of the famous spots in Japan and are getting tired of the trip, we strongly urge to you not to overlook our home -the Tokai area!

We are all Aichi locals, or have lived in Aichi for a long time so we can recommend many exciting spots in the Tokai area to you.

On this website, we'll show you some nice hidden places. Check it out!

《What is Tokai?》

We call Aichi, Gifu, and Mie Prefectures " the Tokai area".These three prefectures are located in the center part of Japan.

We’ll introduce some secret spots which are recommended by locals in the Tokai area.

1. Aichi Prefecuture’s Delicious Foods & Cycling

2. Gifu Prefecuture‘s Activity

3. Mie Prefecuture‘s Retro Spots

If you arrived in Central Japan International Airport, you are already in Aichi prefecture!

Aichi have not only Nagoya ーthe third largest city in Japanー but also other attractive cities. Since you come to Aichi,why don't you go ahead and enjoy them?

If you like to enjoy gourmet food, we highly recommend a trip to the “city of sea and history” – Gamagori. Surrounded by sea and mountains, Gamagori is blessed with a beautiful natural environment and a mild climate. On land, the orchards of Gamogori bear delicious fruits, ands in the ports, fresh and tasty seafood are abundant.

First, we’ll introduce you to the delicious seafood which you can enjoy only in Gamagori.

The Mikawa Bay facing Gamagori is rich in minerals, so the seafood there is healthy and tasty.

Takeshima Island is said to the symbol of Gamagori. It is a small island which you can walk to from the coast via a footbridge. It is accessible directly from JR Gamagori Station. Takeshima Island has a shrine dedicated to the ocean god Ichikishima No Mikoto, and she blesses Mikawa Bay. Thanks to her blessing, everyone is able to eat delicious seafood.

If you are a foodie, it might be a good idea to pray to her in order to be blessed with delicious food during your trip and all through your life!

Akaza-Ebi – A Unique Lobster Treat

The akaza-ebi, called Norway lobster in English, is rare in Japan; in fact, it is only harvested at the port of Gamagori. It is called the "princess of shrimp," and its flesh has a sweet flavor. This the only place where you can try it fresh from the sea!

Asari Clams

Gamagori’s catch of asari clams is the best in Japan. From March to mid-May, you can gather asari on the beach! If you are staying at a ryokan (traditional Japanese-style hotel) you might be able to ask them to cook the asari you gathered!

In addition, Gamagori udon – udon noodles topped with a lot of asari -is dericious!

Mehikari – Deep Fish You Can Eat!

The mehikari is a kind of deep-sea fish which can be caught only in a few bays in Japan. In Japanese, mehikari means “shiny eyes.” The mehikari’s are in fact shining, and looks a little gross, but it is very tasty! You can enjoy fried mehikari in restaurants or hotels.

Next, we’ll introduce you to the seasonal fruits you can enjoy in Gamagori!

A wide variety of fruits are grown in Gamagori throughout the four seasons and you can enjoy picking them by yourselves! Strawberries, melons, grapes, and mandarin oranges…the list goes on. We’re sure you will enjoy picking sweet fresh fruits and tasting them!

After eating delicious food, you should get some exercise!

At the tourist information office in JR Gamagori Station, you can rent a bicycle for free! Cycling around Gamagori, you’ll also find many sightseeing spots to visit.

・Takeshima Island is known as a “power spot,” which means it is believed to have spiritual energy. You can get good luck with money, love, and health.

・Muryoji Temple is also famous for its power to block cancer and senility.

・At the Literature Memorial Hall, you can send a letter to yourself, which you’ll recieve a decade later.

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Gamagori, the land of both delicious food and beautiful spots, is waiting for you!

Gifu is famous for “Shirakawago” and “Takayama.”

However, even if you have ever been to these places, there are a lot of other attractive places in Gifu.

On this page, we introduce some great spots you should visit in Gifu.

“Gujo”, which is near an expressway connecting Nagoya and Takayama. It is famous for a summer festival (“Gujo Dance”), but Gujo is also known as the birthplace of food samples.

「Food Sample Studio –さんぷる工房-」

Have you ever seen a food sample?

You can buy and make food samples which are true to life.

「Let’s make “Tempura” samples」

How about making some tempura samples?

Price: 1,200 yen

Time: 30~60 minutes

You can find additional information here.

「Rail Mountain Bike “Gattan Go”」

If you come to Shirakawago and Takayama, we recommend you to try a rail mountain bike activity in Gifu.

In this activity, you can ride a bike on discontinued railroad tracks (Kamioka Railroad).

The nature along the railway and the mysterious experience created by the contrast between the light and dark in railway tunnels will make feel a character in a Studio Ghibli.

Price: 3,000 yen (two persons)

Time: 1 hour

You can find additional information here.

「Catching “ayu”」

Speaking of summer, Japanese people think of ayu.

It is because ayu is the most popular river fish in summer for Japanese people.

Actually, some Japanese people have a nostalgic memory of catching ayu with their hands in the countryside in their yooth.

In Gifu, you can try catching ayu in many places because Gifu has a lot of limpid streams which ayu can live in.

If you come to Japan in summer, how about trying this special summer attraction?

A place you can catch ayu is “Yana”, and you can eat it grilled with salt

「”Ayu Ramen” a new specialty in Gifu」

Usually, ayu is eaten grilled with salt, but you can eat a unique ayu dish at a certain restaurant in Gifu (Kawaramachi Izumiya).

Surprisingly, it is a combination of ayu and Japanese popular dish ramen.

There is Ayu on the ramen and its appearance is extremely unusual.

But we recommend this new specialty for people who want to experience something unique.

Price (ayu ramen): 1,150 yen

You can find additional information here.

Kuwana, Mie prefecture is an hour drive from CHUBU CENTRAIR International Airport. Near Kuwana, there is a resort called Nagashima.

There are thrilling roller coasters, shopping outlets, hot springs, and many more that you can enjoy at Nagashima Resort. To find additional information please click here.

Kuwana has fascinating spots.

Are you interested in a “retro” trip to early 20th Century Japan?

If so, you should visit in Kuwana.

「Rokkaen」 (MOROTO Seiroku's former house)

This building was designed by Josiah Conder, an English architect who designed many important buildings throughout Japan. His buildings are symbols of Japan’s modernization, especially the Rokumeikan building in Tokyo. In Kuwana, Rokkaen Building was completed in 1913. After visiting Kuwana, Conder changed his designs from a three-storey plan to a four-storey plan so that the building would overlook the whole Ibi River. Its shape was changed due to some remodel and damage in W.W.II, but most of the building has been designated of Cultural Property by Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan.

Entrance fee:Adults 460 yen

Open:9 am- 5 pm,Tuesday-Sunday

Parking:free

You can find additional information here.

「Kyuka Park」 (The former site of Kuwana Castle)

The park was located on what was the moat of Kuwana Castle. The modern park was completed in 1928. In the Edo period, locals read the following characters 九華 as "Kuwana", the name of the town. However in modern Japanese, they are read as "Kyuka". So the park was named Kyuka Park.

There are about 450 sakura( Japanese Cherry) trees there, and every April, a sakura festival is held. Come on down to see the brilliant cherry blossoms!

Entrance fee: Free

Open: 24h 365days

Parking: 200 yen / 1 day (9 am- 5 pm)

You can get additional information here.

The Tokai area has many secret attractive spots.

After you're tired of the famous spots in Japan, you can discover a totally new Japan in Tokai.

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