Chubu Region - Central Japan
The entire Chubu region is dominated by the Japan Alps, made up of three mountain ranges, the Hida, Kiso and Akaishi Mountains, that run north to south. Obviously, mountain scenery, hiking and skiing are major attractions in the area, but there are also onsen (hot spring) resorts and many places of historical interest. It's possible to take a step back in time and stay at a 300-year old inn in the picturesque village of Shirakawa-go, set in the foothills of the Alps. A must see for any visitor to Japan, Mt. Fuji is located to the south, on the border between Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures.
Hokuriku is made up of Fukui, Ishikawa, Toyama, Niigata - along the Japan Sea coast - and northern Gifu and Nagano Prefectures. Niigata and Nagano are particularly famous for their rice and by-products such as sake (rice wine).
The other prefecture that makes up southern Chubu is Aichi, whose best known cities are Nagoya, Japan's fourth-largest, and Toyota, home to one of the world's leading car manufacturers.
Two major music festivals - Earth Celebration, hosted by the world famous Kodo taiko drumming group on Sado Island, and the Fuji Rock Festival - are held in the region.
Within the Chubu region:
- See our page on the official websites for each prefecture and major city: Guide to Japan's Regions and Cities