Chubu – Detailed information

Let’s try to figure out what we mean Chubu area first, as the region is very vague. Chubu in our website means 8 following prefectures; Aichi which has the capital of the region Nagoya, Shizuoka, Nagano, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui and Gifu.

The most attractive part of Chubu area, in one word to describe, is probably mountains. The area is called as roof of Japan, and a lot of hikers are attracted to visit the area. The highest mountain of Japan, Mt. Fuji, is also included in this region.

Many small but nostalgic towns have been built on the ways between Kyoto and Tokyo, which have connected two old and new capitals.

Chubu region map

World Heritage Sites

Mt. Fuji (富士山)

The highest and the most beautiful mountain in Japan. Its shape is just perfect, which is the reason why the mountain became the symbol of Japan. The mountain is located in both Shizuoka and Yamanashi, but how we can enjoy the view is different.
The mountain is also open for climbing between end of July until early September.

Cherry blossoms and Mt. Fuji, two biggest Japanese symbols.
Cherry blossoms and Mt. Fuji, two biggest Japanese symbols.

Nirayama Reverberatory Furnaces (韮山反射炉)

This site has been nominated as the UNESCO World Heritage site as a part of Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution (明治日本の産業革命遺産 製鉄・製鋼、造船、石炭産業). Reverberatory Furnaces is to melt iron and to produce items which are using them. This monument has contributed to the modernization of Japan.
There are only two reverberatory furnaces in Japan, and the one in Nirayama, Shizuoka. Another one is in Hagi, Yamaguchi.

Gokayama Shirakawago (五箇山白川郷)

The most iconic Japanese houses in the countryside. Gokayama is in Toyama prefecture and Shirakawago is in Gifu prefecture. They are both located in the middle of the mountains and the snow is heavy during winter. However, this is the moment when we can feel tranquil and serene beauty of Japan, just like a picture book. The feature of the houses is thatched-steep roof, which is to remove the snow easily.

Shirakawago in winter.
Shirakawago in winter.
Gokayama, Japanese traditional house in the countryside
Gokayama, Japanese traditional house in the countryside.

National Parks

Oze (尾瀬国立公園) & Chichibu Tama Kai (秩父多摩甲斐国立公園)

Description available in Kanto Article.

Fuji Hakone Izu (富士箱根伊豆国立公園)

As mentioned in the Kanto article, this National Park was created because of the volcanic action. In Chubu region, which we mean is Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefecture, there are Mt. Fuji and lakes surrounding the mountain.
They are nominated as a World Heritage site, too. What is called Fuji Goko (Fuji five lakes) are so amazing. We can even see on the bill of Japanese currency.

Kawaguchi Lake (河口湖)
Kawaguchi Lake (河口湖)

South Alpes (南アルプス国立公園)

South Alpes National Park is in Nagano, Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefecture. The feature of this National Park is that there is the second highest mountain of Japan, Kitadake with the height of 3193 meters, and other 3000 meters high mountains. Most of the area is nominated as Special Protection Zones, and cars are not allowed.

Mt. Akaishi (赤石岳).
Mt. Akaishi (赤石岳).
Hatanagi canopy (畑薙大吊橋), maximum of 15 persons at a time.
Hatanagi canopy (畑薙大吊橋), maximum of 15 persons at a time.

Hakusan (白山国立公園)

This National Park is expanded to four prefectures; Toyama, Ishikawa, Fukui and Gifu. About 40% of the area nominated as the Special Protection Zones. Hakusan mountain has been worshiped as one of the 3 most sacred mountains of Japan, along with Tateyama and Mt. Fuji. To reach the summit of these mountains is called Zen Jodo (禅定道), which is a type of Buddhist practice.

Hiking course in Mt. Hakusan.
Hiking course in Mt. Hakusan.

Joshinetsu Kogen (上信越高原国立公園)

The National Park belongs to three prefectures; Gumma, Nagano and Niigata. The National Park is the most volcanic area of Japan, so that lakes and terrain created after the eruption can be seen in this area. The park also provides a great skiing resort, which was once used in the Olympics Games held in Nagano, 1998.

Naeba ski resort (苗場スキーリゾート)
Naeba ski resort (苗場スキーリゾート)

Myoko Togakushi renzan (妙高戸隠連山国立公園)

It is one of the newest National Parks in Japan, located between Nagano and Niigata. The park has been separated from Joshinetsu Kogen National Park and became independent in 2015. As Joshinetsu Kogen National Park has a different feature of being volcanic area, Myoko Togakushi National Park consists of mountains and lakes.

Mt. Myoko (妙高山).
Mt. Myoko (妙高山).

Chubu Sangaku (中部山岳国立公園)

Chubu Sangaku National Park is the area around North Alps, which is in Nagano, Gifu, Toyama and Niigata. As mentioned in Hakusan National Park, Mt. Tateyama (立山) is one of the most sacred mountains, and climbing up the summit is a practice as a Buddhist.

Mt. Tateyama.
Mt. Tateyama.

Advice for Muslim travelers

Aichi and Gifu would not be a very difficult destination to travel to for Muslims; There is an international airport and with so many World Heritage sites they are relatively ready for foreign tourists. The area could be considered as the third top touristic destination in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka.

Same goes to Yamanashi and Shizuoka, Mt. Fuji area. However, other parts of these areas may not be that familiar with foreign tourists, which means the understanding towards Muslims is not that prevailing. It is also far from Tokyo to make one-day trip, so try to stay at the hotels that offers Halal or Muslim-friendly meals as there might be a difficulty finding what you can eat.

In other areas, Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui have relatively smaller number of foreign tourists, it could be not easy to find proper Muslim friendly restaurants. However, the area has various types of great seafood so it will be a great chance to try them.

Muslim friendly local meals

  • Hoto noodle (ほうとう), Yamanashi
  • Oyaki (おやき), Nagano
  • Kenshin Sasa zushi (謙信笹寿司), Nagano
  • Gomoku okowa (五目おこわ), Niigata
  • Sencha sushi (煎茶寿司), Shizuoka
  • Hitsumabushi (ひつまぶし), Aichi
  • Gohei mochi (五平餅), Gifu
  • Buri Daikon (ぶり大根), Toyama
  • Dried shrimp (干甘エビ), Toyama
  • Masu zushi (鱒寿司), Toyama
  • Shellfish rice (さざえめし), Ishikawa
  • Namagusa jiru (なまぐさ汁), Fukui
  • Kobako Gani Crab (香箱蟹), Ishikawa

Description available in each page.

How is the Access?

As the Chubu area is huge, there would be several ways to access.

From Tokyo
If you are visiting Niigata, Toyama, Nagano, Yamanashi or Shizuoka, simply take Shinkansen bullet train. It is so easy to reach each capital of the prefecture.

If your destination is Aichi, Gifu, Fukui or Ishikawa, taking a flight to Nagoya and then transfer to Shinkansen could be considered.

From Osaka
Going to Aichi, Gifu, Fukui and Ishikawa would be very simple. There are Shinkansen or even Super Rapid train (a cheaper express train than Shinkansen) available.

Going to Niigata, Toyama, Nagano, Yamanashi and Shizuoka may be easier if you take a flight.

Within the area
The area has so many mountains that train is not as convenient as in big cities. Driving a car would be an easier way to travel through the area, or consider taking a tour bus. Sometimes they are connecting touristic sites and you may save some time.