Toyota Museum (Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology)

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Many tourists just say “I’d like to go to Toyota Museum!” However, there are several ‘Toyota Museums’ in and around Nagoya. What many poeple actually referring may be the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Not very far from Nagoya Station.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry andToyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Techonology exhibits the history of Toyota companies and the development of the technologies, in which Toyota companies have been involved since their establishment.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry andToyota had started as a manufacturer of automatic looms. Later it had became the first car manufacturer in Japan. You can learn such history.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry andYou can see the latest automobile technologies as well as some historically important car models.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry andRecently, a performance of robots was added and is popular among visitors.

Underground mandala of the Sobue Zenkoji Temple

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Sobue Zenkoji Temple is located in the Inazawa City, about five minutes by taxi from the Morikami Station of Meitetsu Bisai Line. From Nagoya Station it is about 40 minutes ride to Morikami Station via Ichinomiya Station.

Sobue Zenkoji Temple

Its alter is beautifully decorated. The main statue is usually hidden behind a heavy door of the alter and the public viewing is conducted only once in every seven years.

Alter of Sobue Zenkoji Temple

Sobue Zenkoji Temple is famous for its underground 3D mandala.

This mandala is placed just underneath of the main alter, where secret statue is kept. To visit the mandala, we need to descend a stairway into a dark underground.

go to undergroud world of Sobue Zenkoji

Proceeding in the darkness, we see some illumination, then find a heavenly mandala.

Mandala of Sobue Zenkoji Temple

The most recomendable season to visit Sobue area is late October, when many ginkgko trees turn the color of their leaves in brilliant yellow.

Great Statue of Buddha in Gifu City

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

You may know about the Great Statue of Buddha in Todaiji Temple, Nara, or another one in Kamakura City.

Gifu city also has a great statue of buddha called ‘Gifu Daibutsu’. It’s height is 13.63m, smaller than two counterparts in Nara and Kamakura.

The construction of Great Statue of Buddha in Gifu was planned in 1791 to remember the death of many people by natural desasters and was completed in 1832.

Great Buddha of Gifu

Tokasai (Peach Flower) Festival in Ichinomiya City

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Tokasai Festival (Peach Flower Festival) of the Masumida Shrine in Ichinomiya City has a long history. No one knows when this festival started. Until the Edo Period, this festival used to be held on every March 3rd of the lunar calendar. Since Meiji Period, when Japan introduced the international calendar system, it has been held on every April 3rd.

A long line of celebration parade leaves from Otabisho, which also belongs to the Masumida Shrine, and proceeds to the main Masumida Shrine. The procession usually takes more than two hours.

Tokasai Festival is not well-known among Japanese people, it is a spectacular especially for foreigners.

Peach Flower Festival

P1020827-2
P1020835-2
P1020839-2
P1020850-2
P1020855-2
P1020863-2
P1020868-2
P1020871-2
P1020872-2

Ruin of Iwamura Castle (all year round, only in fine day)

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

The ruin of Iwamura Castle is located in Ena City, Gifu Prefecture. Iwamura Castle is sade to be one of three best mountain castles in Japan. Buildings were all gone long time ago, but beautiful stone walls have maintained their original condition until now.

To reach to the top of the mountain castle, it may take one hour from the museum located at the outskirt of the mountain.

Iwamura Castle

Iwamura Castle

Iwamura Castle

Iwamura Castle

Iwamura Castle

The nearest station is Iwamura Station of Akechi Railway. From Nagoya Station, take JR Chuo Line to Ena Station, and at Ena Station, change line to Akechi Railway. The ride on the car of the Akechi Railway is also a fun.

Akechi Railway

Tsushima Matsuri (Festival) in Tsushima City

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Ten’no Festival (Tsushima Festival) in Tsushima City is famous for its large illuminated boats with thousands of lanterns.

The scene of illuminated boats floating and moving very slowly on the water of Ten’no River just after dusk is fascinating and mysterious. This is Yoi (evening) Festival held on the 4th Saturday of July every year. Another part of this festival is known as Asa (morning) Festival, which is celebrated on next morning.

Paper-lentern-lit floating boats

Paper-lentern-lit boats floating on the lake.

Suggestions

We strongly recommend to see Yoi Festival in the evening.

Maximum number of persons

We recommend this tour for a group of five persons in maximum. It may be difficult to find a place to see the festival for a larger group, since there will be so many people in the festival. One can be easily lost in a large cloud in the darkness.

Meeting points

Nagoya Station or Tsushima Station of Meitetsu Tsushima Line (about 30 min from the Nagoya Station by Meitetsu Line).

Costs

You pay for the transportation (you and our guide). About 400 yen from Nagoya Station to Tsushima Station (one way) per person. No fee is required to see the festival.

Duration

About five (5) hours in the case that you meet the guide at the Nagoya Station.

Remarks

You may not get a very good view point because there is no available reservation seat to see the festival. It is rather recommended to take a sheet to spread on the ground. Please consult with our guide. Some traditional snack and sweet shops are there but there is no good restaurant around.

This tour is not recommended on a rainy day.

Tanabata (Star) Festival along Honmachi Street in Ichinomiya City (only around 20th July)

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Tour Schedule

Date of Tour: around July 20, July 21, July 23
Hours: 17:30 PM to 21:00 PM
Meeting Point: At JR Nagoya Station (to see a map please click here)
Language: English

Schedule: if you starts from Nagoya,
17:30 Meeting with your guide at JR Nagoya Station
17:30 to 18:00 Move to Ichinomiya City by JR Line (at your own expense)
18:00 to 19:00 Explanation by your guide and guided tour along Honmachi Street
19:00 to 20:30 Free time. Explore the streets and food stalls. Optionally you can try traditional haunted house with our guide (our guide will wait for you outside).
20:30 Meet at Owari Ichinomiya JR Station and good bye to your guide
20:30 to 21:00 Back to Nagoya. Or if you like, you can enjoy the festival until midnight but don’t miss the last train back to Nagoya.

About Tanabata Festival and Ichinomiya City

The Star Festival, known as Tanabata Festival in Japan, has its origin in ancient China. A young herder Hikoboshi and a weaver Orihime had fallen in love. When they started to live together, they stop working. The God had got angry and separated two by the heavenly river that is the milky way. They were allowed to meet only once a year on 7th July of lunar calendar.

Ichinomiya City used to be very famous for its textile industry. Even a shrine was dedicated for the goddess of weaving. This image of weaving goddess had overlapped with the image of Orihime. This might be the origin of Tanabata Festival in Ichinomiya City.

Shops in tanabata festivalMany shops are selling cheap toys, sweets, and Japanese traditional fast foods. These shops seem to have special appeals to children.
Young girls wearing yukataMany young ladies and some boys are wearing yukata, a simple form of kimono, especially for summer season.If you like to learn how to wear yukata, please visit ‘Dressing Yukata‘ site.
Japanese style haunted houseDuring the Festival, a Japanese style haunted house is opened in the compound of Masumida Shrine. Be scared by Japanese ghosts and monsters!

Suggestions

To enjoy the atmosphere of a traditional Japanese summer festival, visit in the evening. If you like to see some performances, visit there in the daytime.

Lunch in Minato-ya, Okoshi-shuku (every wednesday except winter)

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.
Entrance to Minato-ya
Entrance to Minato-ya

Okoshi-shuku had been traditionally a post-town along the Minoji, a historically important road connecting Kyoto and Edo (old name for Tokyo) in Edo Era. Also Okoshi-shuku had been a center of commerce in this region because of its river port along the Kiso River.

Minato-ya used to be a house for a big trader, Minatoya Bunzaemon.

Flowers in Minato-ya100 year-old two-story wooden house is now registered as a cultural heritage by Japanese Government. A local management committee was formed to preserve and utilize the house as a cafe-restaurant for funding.

Buddist Alter in Minato-ya
Buddist Alter
Glassed sliding doors
glassed sliding doors

Minato-ya currently provides lunch only on every Wednesday. It closes in winter season. So, the opportunities to taste its very traditional and regional cuisine are quite limited.

20289_412609112141907_2019229388_n
Minato-ya provides traditional cuisine of this region, which is consists of chicken, fish, local vegetables and processed agricultural products. The menu varies according to the season and the availability of materials.

Street in Okoshi-shuku
Street in Okoshi-shuku

Before or after the lunch, it is recommendable to walk along the old street of Okoshi-shuku and visit the History and Culture Museum, which is about 10 minutes walk from Minato-ya.

Gojo River flower festival in Iwakura City (from the end of March to early April)

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Gojo River flower (sakura: cherry blossom) festival is held from the end of March to the beginning of April every year. Exact period of the festival varies due to the flowering conditions of cherry blossoms in that particular year.

Gojo River is a five-minute-walk from the Iwakura Railway Station of the Meitetsu Inuyama Lines.

Gojo-river sakuramatsuri

Iwakura City has a long history and it is know as the born place of Kazutoyo Yamanouchi, one of the famous Busho (cheif of a samurai clan) in the war-tone period of 15th-century Japan.

Iwakura dashi

If you are lucky, you may encounter a ‘dashi’, Japanese festival float,  parading the narrow streets of Iwakura City.

Dashi in this region is often decorated with mechanical dolls, which sometimes shows amazing acrobatic movements.

There are many ‘yatai’, temporally small stalls selling Japanese first foods such as Tako-yaki (octopus dumplings), snacks and various sweets.

Gojo-river sakuramatsuri

Hadaka Matsuri in Konomiya Shrine

If you are interested in a guided private tour, please contact us from this page.

Hadaka Matsuri, which is literally a “Naked Festival” in English, is held only once in a year on a particular day of February at Owarinokunitama Shrine (known as Konomiya Shrine) in Inazawa City.

hadaka matsuri

Hadaka Matsuri is held on 13th of the first month of the lunar calender, so every year its date changes slightly on our  solar calendar.

The official site for Hadaka Matsuri is here (written in Japanese).