Seki City is located in Gifu Prefecture, in the center of Japan’s main island, Honshu. Seki is known for its master sword makers. Skilled craftsmen have been creating Japanese swords, knives, and tools of the highest quality here for over 800 years. At Hamonoya Sanshu / Seki Cutlery Museum you can learn about the process of forging blades and buy locally produced knives. To explore Seki’s beautiful natural surroundings, take a walk in the mountains outside Seki up to Nichiryubuji Temple. Or visit the Kabusugi Giant Cedar Forest with old trees that look like the enchanted world of Japanese anime.
Kanazawa boasts many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts is accessible in two and a half hours by the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train began operation in 2015. Kenrokuen Garden is the most famous attraction filled with a variety of trees, ponds, and flowers that is considered one of the "three great gardens of Japan". Kanazawa boasts numerous former geisha houses in the Higashi Geisha District. wonderful cuisine including some of Japan's highest-quality seafood also attracts many tourists.
Hakone is a beautiful nature spot, close enough to the big cities for a day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama. The area is known for its views of Mt. Fuji, Lake Ashi, and onsen hot springs. The Torii gate built in the water of the lake belongs to Hakone Shrine hidden in the forest. Hakone’s mountain scenery also serves as background for the art exhibited at the Hakone Open-Air Museum. And in Owakudani Valley volcanic activity brings hot springs, bubbling mud, and steam to the surface. Getting around is part of the fun. Catch different views from Hakone Ropeway or the boats crossing Lake Ashi.
Tokyo’s west side is green and scenic and has many easily accessible day trip destinations. Explore Lake Sagami, take a boat out on the lake and visit the “Art Town” Fujino, famous for its huge outdoor Love Letter installation. For a panoramic view of the area and Mt. Fuji, go to the top of Mt. Iwadono in Otsuki. The unusually shaped Saruhashi Bridge here is a nationally designated place of scenic beauty. In Tsuru, water from Mt. Fuji creates the Taro Jiro Waterfall. And Kikuchi Wasabi Farm uses the fresh water to grow wasabi, an essential ingredient for making sushi.