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.
Takayama City, known as Hida Takayama, is located in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture’s Hida region. In the past, this was a thriving merchant town. In the historic Sanmachi Suji district many stores and buildings date back to the Edo Period (1603-1868). The former local government office (Takayama Jinya) is the only one of its kind that still stands. It is now a museum where you can learn more about the history of the region. The Takayama Festival is known as one of Japan’s three most beautiful festivals. It takes places twice a year, April 14-15 and Oct. 9-10.
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.
Aizu is the westernmost region of Fukushima Prefecture. In the past, feudal lords ruled the area with their samurai warriors from Tsuruga Castle in Aizu Wakamatsu. The museum inside the reconstructed castle explains Aizu’s history. In Ouchi-juku you can feel like a traveller in old Japan. This post town was a stop on the route to Edo (Tokyo). In Kitakata, try local sake and the city’s famous ramen noodles. Lake Inawashiro near Aizu Wakamatsu is one of the largest lakes in Japan. It belongs to the Bandai Asahi National Park where you can enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, and watersports.