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.
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.
Aizu is the western region of Fukushima Prefecture. Aizu Wakamatsu City is a center of the region and as the city names themselves as "Samurai City", the area shows the samurai tradition at the landmarks such as Tsuruga Castle and Aizu Bukeyashiki (Samurai residence). It also has been a town of merchants with beautiful storehouses. Ouchi-juku is an old post town which is famous with its traditional thatched buildings that line its main street.
Okinawa is Japan's southernmost prefecture and is located over 600 km south of the island of Kyushu. Okinawa consists of approx. 50 islands. Some of them are developed with modern resorts, others are remote islands that boast untouched beautiful natural landscapes. Visitors can enjoy distinctive Okinawan culture in food, craft, music and architecture which originated from the Ryukyu Kingdom which ruled the islands until the late 19th century.