Central Japan is full of famous sightseeing areas from cultural assets to historical landmarks, breathtaking scenery and gourmet spots. This is a comprehensive eight-day sightseeing plan for getting closely acquainted with Central Japan.

Day 1
Ise Jingu and Okage Yokocho Toba Aquarium Mikimoto Pearl Island Ama Hut Experience
Day 2
Iragomisaki and Koijigahama Toyokawa Inari Hamamatsu Flower Park Kanzanji Ropeway
Day 3
Kakegawakachouen Nihondaira(Mt. Fuji) Gotemba Premium Outlets
Day 4
Matsumoto Castle Former Kaichi School Matsumoto City Museum
Day 5
Kamikochi (Taishoike Pond, Tashiroike Pond, Kappabashi Bridge)
Day 6
Takayama City (old castle town, sake cellars, morning market)
Day 7
Shirakawa-go and Gokayama Sample Kobo Gujo Hachiman Castle Gujo Castle Town Gujo Hot spring
Day 8
Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima Nagashima Spaland Nabana no Sato
Ise Jingu
Ise Jingu is the most sacred Shinto shrine in Japan among the approximately 80,000 shrines nationwide, and is said to be the spiritual home of the Japanese people. Ise Jingu consists of 125 shrines including the two large shrines, Kotai Jingu (inner shrine) and Toyouke Daijingu (outer shrine). It has long been the customary practice to visit the outer shrine first, followed by a visit to the inner shrine. Most of the souvenir shops and restaurants that line the streets of Oharaimachi located in front of the Torii gate to the inner shrine are made of wood and still retain its old charm.
◎Ise Jingu (official website)
http://www.isejingu.or.jp/english/
Okage Yokocho
Okage Yokocho is a lively district in Oharaimachi located in front of the Torii gate to the inner shrine of Ise Jingu. Here you can eat culinary specialties of Ise and buy well-known local products.
◎Okage Yokocho in front of the Inner Shrine of Ise Jingu (official website) Japanese only
http://www.okageyokocho.co.jp/
Toba Aquarium
The colossal Toba Aquarium ranks among Japan’s outstanding aquariums. The aquarium is divided into 12 zones that reproduce various natural environments housing 1,200 species and 30,000 individual sea and river creatures. This is the only aquarium in Japan where you can see the dugong which is the source of mermaid myths. At Toba Aquarium visitors can also enjoy many fun events such as a penguin parade, sea otter feeding show, and comical performances by walruses.
◎Toba Aquarium (official website)
http://www.aquarium.co.jp/foreign_language/english/english-pdf.pdf
Mikimoto Pearl Island
Mikimoto Pearl Island was the first place in the world that the founder succeeded in cultivating pearls. Enjoy shopping for high-grade pearls and other items.
◎Mikimoto Pearl Island (official website)
http://www.mikimoto-pearl-museum.co.jp/eng/index.html
Ama Hut Experience
Through the Ama hut experience, sit around the fire pit with the Ama (women divers of Japan) who will serve you seasonal seafood cooked to perfection.
◎Toba City Tourist Association (official website)
http://www.toba.or.jp/english/index.html
Matsusaka Beef
Matsusaka beef is high-grade beef that is well known in and out of Japan. It is considered one of the top three brands of Wagyu beef in Japan and is also praised as a “work of art in meat.”
Iragomisaki and Koijigahama
Iragomisaki is situated at the tip of Atsumi peninsula facing the Pacific Ocean. The white lighthouse that stands there has been selected as one of the unforgettable Top 50 Lighthouses in Japan.
◎Atsumihantou Visitors Bureau (official website)
http://www.taharakankou.gr.jp/spot/000008.html
Toyokawa Inari
Toyokawa Inari is considered one of Japan’s three major Inari shrines and is well-known throughout the country. Constructed about 600 years ago, worshippers included great warriors such as Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The faith spread to the common folk who prayed for commercial success, safety for the family, and happiness and fortune. The shrine, which is still popular today, draws millions of people every year. The famous Inarizushi, rice stuffed in a salty-sweet fried tofu pouch, is now available in a variety of fillings and flavors.
◎Toyokawa Inari (official website) Japanese only
http://toyokawainari.jp/
Hamamatsu Flower Park
Hamamatsu Flower Park is a botanical garden featuring 100,000 plants of 3,000 different species. The park is connected to the Hamamatsu City Zoo which you can enter using a combined park-zoo ticket.
Hamamatsu Flower Park (official website) Japanese only
http://e-flowerpark.com/
Kanzanji Ropeway
The Kanzanji Ropeway is the first ropeway in Japan to pass over a lake. A panoramic view of Lake Hamana, the Pacific Ocean and the magnificent natural landscape of Mt. Okusa spread out before your eyes.
◎Kanzanji Ropeway (official website) Japanese only
http://ropeway.entetsu.co.jp/
Eel and Gyoza
The area around Lake Hamana is the birthplace of eel farms where Japan’s first eels were cultivated in artificial ponds dug near the lake’s shore. As Japan’s leader in taste and shipping volume of eel, this area is dotted with many famous eel restaurants. Hamamatsu also ranks near the top in terms of Japanese cities with the highest gyoza consumption. Recently, “Hamamatsu Gyoza” has been recognized on a nationwide level as local gourmet fare. Its popularity is due to the ample cabbage and onion filling, and its light flavor making it easy to eat.
Kakegawakachouen
Kakegawakachouen is a theme park where you can enjoy interacting with flowers and birds. Equipped with the largest greenhouse in Japan, visitors can enjoy flowers galore all year long.
◎Kakegawakachouen (official website) Japanese only
http://k-hana-tori.com/
Nihondaira
Nihondaira is a plateau at an elevation of 307 m with a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji beyond the Suruga Bay. The plateau is covered by vast tea fields which provide a strikingly beautiful contrast to Mt. Fuji and the sea, earning the area the status of national site of scenic beauty.
◎Shizuoka Convention and Visitors Bureau (official website)
http://www.shizuoka-cvb.or.jp/tour_guide/en/
Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 m and is considered a symbol of Japan’s abundant nature. With its beautiful cone shape and ever-changing appearance depending on the season, place and time of day, this is one of Japan’s premier sightseeing spots. Mt. Fuji and its environs, which are designated as a national park, is a natural treasure trove for people wishing to enjoy outdoor sports and hot springs. Registered as a World Cultural Heritage site in 2013, Mt. Fuji is attracting increasing attention from the world.
◎Mt. Fuji Explorer
http://mtfuji-jp.com/
◎Fujisan Tourism & Communication Bureau (official website)
http://www.fujisan-kkb.jp/english/index.html
Gotemba Premium Outlets
Gotemba Premium Outlets is one of Japan’s largest outlet malls featuring approximately 210 stores.
◎Gotemba Premium Outlets (official website)
http://www.premiumoutlets.co.jp/en/
Matsumoto Castle
As one of four castles designated as National Treasures of Japan, Matsumoto Castle which has remained intact for over 400 years, is of great historical value. The castle is also known as the “Crow Castle” due to its distinctive black lacquer exterior. With the vicinity of the castle maintained as Matsumoto Castle Park, the castle stands out boldly against the backdrop of the four seasons from cherry blossoms in spring, to colorful leaves in autumn, and snow in winter. We also recommend a visit to the castle at night during certain periods of the year when the castle and its surroundings are lit up.
◎Matsumoto City Government Website
http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp
◎General corporation Matsumoto Tourism & Convention Association (official website)
http://www.matsumoto-tca.or.jp/en/
Former Kaichi School
The Kaichi School was an elementary school built during the Meiji period of modernization (Over 130 years ago).
◎Matsumoto City Government Website
http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp
◎General corporation Matsumoto Tourism & Convention Association (official website)
http://www.matsumoto-tca.or.jp/en/
Matsumoto City Museum
Located on the castle grounds, the Matsumoto City Museum displays historical records and folk material related to the Matsumoto Castle.
◎Matsumoto City Government Website
http://welcome.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp
◎General corporation Matsumoto Tourism & Convention Association (official website)
http://www.matsumoto-tca.or.jp/en/
Shinshu Soba
Due to the cool climate and large plots of land suitable for growing soba (buckwheat), the area around Matsumoto has been famous for its soba production since ancient times. You’ll also find facilities where you can make and eat your own soba.
Kamikochi (Taishoike Pond, Tashiroike Pond, Kappabashi Bridge)
Kamikochi is surrounded by mountains around 3,000 m tall. It has one of Japan’s most outstandingly breathtaking sceneries and is known as the pond upon which god descends. This area has been designated as a place of special scenic beauty and special natural monument of Japan for such features as the deadwood trees at Taishoike Pond; the marshy grasslands of Tashiroike Pond; and the wooden Kappabashi Bridge that stretches over Azusagawa River in Azumi Kamikochi. Besides trekking routes adjusted to your desired schedules, professional guides are also available for hire.
◎Kamikochi (official website)
http://www.kamikochi.or.jp/english/
Takayama City (old castle town, sake cellars, morning market)
The historic townscape of Takayama that flourished as a castle and merchant town in the old days still remain to this day giving visitors the sensation of traveling back in time. The streets are lined with a wide variety of business establishments such as sake breweries producing sake which is recently gaining popularity around the world, stores specializing in folk art, and various places to eat. We recommend a ride in a rickshaw for those of you who want to explore the streets of the old town in elegance. The professional rickshaw drivers who know Takayama like the back of their hands will show you the unique features of the city. At the daily morning markets, you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables as well as folk art and other souvenirs.
◎Takayama City Tourist Information (official website)
http://www.hida.jp/english/
Hida Beef
Hida beef is one of the best known foods of Takayama. Hida beef, raised in an ideal climate and environment under the meticulous eye of producers, is regarded as top quality beef.
Takayama Ramen Noodles
Takayama Ramen is served in a soy sauce-based broth with a simple topping of spring onions, sliced pork and pickled bamboo shoots. Takayama city has many ramen shops each with its distinctive flavor. Why not find one that suits your palate?
Shirakawa-go and Gokayama
The villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama are still home to historic Gassho-style houses traditionally constructed in areas of Japan with heavy snowfall. The Gassho-style architecture, characterized by a thatched and steeply slanting roof allowing snow to fall straight off, resembles two hands joined in prayer which is said to be the origin of the name Gassho, meaning “prayer hands” in Japanese. With some houses built over 300 years ago, the villages received UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1995. Japan’s rural landscapes which showcase the beauty of the four seasons are an immensely valuable asset.
◎Shirakawa Village Office (official website)
http://shirakawa-go.org/english/
◎Gokayama Tourism (official website)
http://www.gokayama.jp/english/index.html
◎Shirakawa-go Tourist Association (official website) Japanese only
http://www.shirakawa-go.gr.jp/
Sample Kobo
Gujo Hachiman is the birthplace of the plastic food samples seen outside virtually every restaurant in Japan. Gujo city currently has 11 food sample manufacturing companies engaged in making 60% of the food samples in Japan. There are several stores that sell these food samples to the general public and such items as cute key chains of unique food items are very popular. Some stores offer classes where you can try your hand at making a variety of food samples.
◎Gujo Tourism Federation (official website)
http://gujokankou.com/en/
Gujo Hachiman Castle
Gujo Hachiman Castle is the oldest wooden reconstructed castle in Japan. Though small in scale, this castle is also considered the most beautiful mountain castle in Japan, and offers a spectacular panoramic view of the castle town from the castle tower.
◎Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation (official website)
http://travel.kankou-gifu.jp/en/
Gujo Castle Town
Known as the castle town of Gujo Hachiman Castle, this town is famous for its high quality spring water which has been selected as one of the 100 Exquisite and Well-conserved Waters of Japan.
◎Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation (official website)
http://travel.kankou-gifu.jp/en/
Gujo Hot spring
Situated on the riverbank of Nagara River, Gujo Hot spring features popular open-air baths offering a view of freshwater trout swimming in the mountain stream, baths with a big window and more.
◎Gujo Tourism Federation (official website)
http://gujokankou.com/en/
Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima
Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima boasts 240 stores, the largest number of stores at any outlet in Japan. The stores specialize in a wide range of products from famous foreign luxury brands, to popular select shop items, popular kids’ fashion, men and women’s leather products and accessories, and sports and outdoor goods. Prices are 30 to 80 percent off the regular price at all times, and special sales are also held every season.
◎Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima (official website)
http://www.31op.com/nagashima/foreign/index_en.html
Nagashima Spaland
Nagashima Spaland boasts the highest number of roller coasters in Japan. One of the highlights is the 2,479 meter-long Steel Dragon which has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest rollercoaster in the world.
◎Nagashima Resort (official website)
http://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/resort/download.html
Nabana no Sato
Nabana no Sato is a botanical garden with one of the largest flower fields in the Tokai area. In the winter, the park hosts one of the largest illumination events in the country.
◎Nagashima Resort (official website)
http://www.nagashima-onsen.co.jp/resort/download.html
Expressway toll(the CEP and AIP) CEP + AIP fee 48%
off
27,270yen
Within the CEP area 25,470yen
Within the Optional Area(AIP) 1,800yen
13,000yen
CEP fee 11,000yen
AIP fee 2,000yen

*In addition to the toll mentioned above, you must pay 1,130yen for tolls outside the CEP and AIP area.

*If you would like to use a Central Nippon Expressway Pass, please tell the staff when you make your rental car reservation.