Welcome to Central Honshū


World-class skiing, hiking and onsen can be found in the region's photogenic alpine uplands. All but one of Japan's 30 highest peaks (Mt Fuji) are here. Kanazawa oozes culture: temples and tearooms that served lords and housed geisha are beautifully preserved. Takayama's riverside streetscapes satisfy admirers from Japan and abroad. Matsumoto's magnificent castle and alpine backdrop ensure its popularity.

Nagoya, Japan's fourth-largest city, is the gateway to Central Honshū, packing its share of urban delights with excellent transport connections to just about everywhere.


Top experiences in Central Honshū

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Central Honshū activities

$139.32 Cultural & Theme Tours

Nagano Day Tour: Zenko-ji Temple, Snow Monkeys, Sake Tasting

Running throughout the year, this tour takes in some of Nagano’s most famous highlights in an enjoyable day of discovery and fun. Your English-speaking guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) to transport you to the Snow Monkey Park where you will spend time with the world-famous monkeys. Your guide will take you along the forest trail leading to the park and into Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley” – home of the snow monkeys. As the only troop of monkeys in the world known to bathe in hot springs, your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity. Your visit to the snow monkeys is followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant, where your guide will assist you in ordering (with vegetarian options available) and is always happy to discuss Nagano’s renowned food culture. After lunch, the tour heads to Zenko-ji Temple, one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in Japan. Registered as National Treasure, it is a place of true historic importance and with all the legends and myths of a near 1400-year old complex! You will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) your guide will give you the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples, shops, and restaurants by yourself. You then met up with your guide and the tour concludes with sake tasting nearby the temple. Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to this region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Mastering sake takes a life time of dedication. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s renowned and award-winning sake. Warmed by the tasting, your guide will then accompany you back to JR Nagano Station where the tour concludes at approximately 17:30. Tour Itinerary: 09:35: Meet up at JR Nagano Station under the Information Board directly opposite of the Shinkansen ticket gates.10:45: Arrive at the Snow Monkey Park area. Prepare and walk along the forest trail (25-30 minutes) into the park.11:30: Arrival at the Snow Monkey Park. Enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives. 13:00: Have lunch at a restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park.13:45: Leave the lunch restaurant and head to Zenko-ji Temple. 15:00: Arrival at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time.16:30: Enjoy Japanese sake tasting led by your guide, nearby the temple.17:00  End sake tasting and head back toward the station.17:30  Tour concludes at JR Nagano Station.

$44.94 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Takayama Food and Culture Walking Day Tour

Meet your guide at a centrally located meeting point at 9:30am, then head out to enjoy a variety of local food and sake, learning about the special culinary culture and history in Takayama. Visit local shops, such as a saké brewery, a miso maker, the morning market and the local restaurant to have a short break.Discover the distinctive culture and history of Takayama with your knowledgeable guide while you go through the old town area, designated an area of Important Traditional Buildings by the Japanese Government. Enjoy the relaxing time with the rich atmosphere and soak-up the daily life in Takayama.This guided tour connects travelers and locals through food and culture, and you will find the sights of Japanese countryside through this tour.

$88.08 Private & Custom Tours

Nagoya Private Walking Tour

On this one day walking tour, you will visit Nagoya's best attractions with a professional guide. You will be introduced to the highlights of the Nagoya Castle, the Sakae downtown area, and the Osu district. At the end of the day, you will know a lot more about Japan's samurai history and the lifestyle of the local people. Itinerary:9:00am - Pick up from the Nagoya Station's Tourism Information Office, then take the subway to Nagoya Castle9:45am - See the Nagoya Castle, a wonderful masterpiece of Japanese medieval architecture, that is famous for its golden roof ornaments and unique scroll paintings inside the recently renovated main palace. After strolling around the spacious castle complex, you will take the subway to Nagoya's heart, the Sakae district.11am - 1pm - Explore Sakae's downtown area and visit the futuristic-looking landmark Oasis 21 where you will find plenty of restaurants and shops. Have lunch and taste delicious local specialties. See Nagoya TV Tower before taking the subway to your next destination.1pm - Go to Osu Shopping District and enter various local shops along the roof-covered arcade, including green tea shops, pachinko parlors, maid cafes, and pop-culture shops. You will also visit the splendid Osu Kannon Temple that stands at the end of the arcade.3:30pm - End of the tourThis tour operates in ENGLISH. On some occasions, a Mandarin or French guide might be available. Please contact the supplier for availability.

$159.99 Tours & Sightseeing

Snow Monkey Tour at Jigokudani in Nagano's Shiga-kogen

Tour starts at Nagano Station, and from there you will be taken to the Jigokudani Monkey Park. See the Japanese macaques warming up their bodies by bathing in hot springs. Your guide will tell you interesting facts about the park and the snow monkeys while you stroll around the park. After some time with the snow monkeys, head back for a delicious lunch at the restaurant near the Snow Monkey Park.After a well-deserved lunch, get ready for the snow part of the tour. Head up to one of the ski resorts of the Shiga Kogen highlands, the biggest ski area in Japan. This mountainous area was one of the scenes for the 1998 Winter Olympics and every year this area receives a huge amount of snow, making for some incredible scenery.Head to the snow activity slope, where you can play in the snow. Take advantage of the snow sleds, snow scooters, snow bikes, and more at the park. Those who have no experience skiing or snowboarding can find plenty of other things to do on the ski slope. After having fun on the slope, we will then ride a ski lift up the ski slope to an altitude of 1950 meters (5850 feet). Enjoy the panoramic scenery of the entire northern Nagano area.Itinerary:9:35am - Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 9:20.You will first go to the Snow Monkey area by public transport. Your tour has to get moving by 9:40am, so please don't be late!11am - Welcome to the Snow Monkey area! You will get to Yudanaka from where you will head to the Snow Monkey Park. After a 30 minute walk through a beautiful forest trail you will have arrived at the Snow Monkey Park.11:30am - Arrival to the Snow Monkey Park, enjoy Japanese wild macaques bathing in onsen or frolicking around the park.1pm - Have lunch nearby the Snow Monkey Park.1:45pm - Leave the lunch restaurant and go up to the snow-covered mountains of Shiga Kogen.2:30pm Arrival at the ski resort. After preparations, you can enjoy your time with various snow fun tools to go down the slope and play with fresh snow!4pm - Leave the snow fun area and then take a ski lift to go up the mountain. Enjoy viewing a mountainous scenery of Nagano and take some extra photos.4:30pm - The end of the snow activity. Prep for departure.5:15 - Arrival at the Yudanaka Station. A train back to Nagano Station leaves Yudanaka at 5:10pm.6:30pm - Arrive back to Nagano Station.

$76.40 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Trip to Shirakawago and Hida Takayama from Nagoya

Meet your tour conductor and fellow passengers at the designated meeting point and then pop onto the comfortable tour bus which will take you to Hida Takayama, around 2.5 hours away. Enjoy the city landscape gradually change to the rugged mountains as you near the first destination. At Hida Takayama, you will head to the main street and a chance to stretch your legs. There, you will be have around an hour and a half of free time to enjoy the unique streets known as "Little Kyoto" by the locals. The nickname is duly deserved as the well-preserved historic district of the castle town full of old buildings from the Edo period indeed looks like a miniature version of Kyoto. After working up a hunger, it’s time for lunch and a rest for 50 minutes. On the menu are local ingredients centered on Hida beef. During the summer/autumn departures dates (July 20 – October 17), the beef will be served shabu-shabu style accompanied by miso and soy sauce marinated Keichan chicken grilled with vegetables. For later departure dates in autumn/winter (starting from October 20), the meal will be a sukiyaki set meal.With satisfied bellies, pop onto the bus again to head to the most famous travel spot in the area, the World Heritage site of Shirakawa-go. The village is renowned for its “Gassho-zukuri” style thatched-roof farmhouses, referring to the shape of the roof that looks like a person's hands held together in prayer. You have an ample one hour and 40 minutes to fully appreciate what rural life in Japan must have been like. The unique village looks stunning all-year round from blooming flowers in the spring and summer, autumn foliage in the autumn and snow in the winter.The tour ends at this point and the coach will return to Nagoya with an estimated arrival time of 19:30. This tour is also available as a private charter plan. For further details please click the link below.  https://www.viator.com/tours/Nagoya/8-hour-Private-Chartered-Taxi-Plan-to-Shirakawago-and-Hida-Takayama-from-Nagoya/d4701-17229P78

$103.36 Cultural & Theme Tours

Nagano Private Tour with Ryokan Accommodation

Nagano City is well-known for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and while some of the former Olympic facilities can still be viewed in Nagano, the city has since evolved as a temple town revolving around the famous Zenkoji Temple, and is most visited during the Spring Season (for cherry blossoms), the Fall Season (for autumn foliage) and the Winter Season (for winter activities and for seeing the snow monkeys).On this tour, spend two days in Nagano exploring the city and enjoying what this quaint town has to offer. Your English-speaking tour guide will pick you up with a private vehicle at Nagano Train Station by 9:30 AM. On the route to the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy the beautiful scenery and landscape of the Chikuma River, where you may also try local miso soup and see how local people eat in the area. Before arriving at the entrance of the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, enjoy a 30 - 40 minute leisurely stroll through the forest path, where the guide will provide you with interesting facts about the snow monkeys and the park along the way. Once you enter the park, have some hot tea while observing the snow monkeys, many of which are bathing in the hot springs (onsen) to keep warm, especially during the cool months of autumn and winter. After an exciting morning at the park, visit Obuse Town (which is most well-known for being the home town of Japan's most famous artist and creator of the "Great Wave", Hokusai Katsushika), enjoy lunch in the area before walking around to explore the shops and try sake tasting.After a day at Obuse Town, head to Zenko-ji Temple (one of the most important and popular temples in Japan). Learn about the temple and how the locals pray for good fortune before heading to your traditional Japanese hotel (ryokan) for the night. Just before your scrumptious traditional Japanese multi-course (kaiseki) dinner at the hotel, bid farewell to your tour guide (as you will have a free day to explore without the tour guide on the second day).Relax in a traditional onsen (hot spring) in the area of your hotel just before heading to bed and getting a good night's sleep. In the morning, enjoy a traditional Japanese breakfast before checking out of your hotel and spend your free day (without the tour guide) further exploring the city or snowboarding/ skiing (highly recommended) in one of the nearby resorts. For those who would like to explore neighboring areas such as Matsumoto Castle, Kamikochi, Hakuba, or other neighboring areas with a tour guide and private vehicle, the option is available as an add-on (additional cost) at booking. Seasonal Recommendations for This Tour:Spring Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Viewing: Mid-April to Early-MayAutumn Foliage (Koyo) Viewing: Early-September to Late-NovemberWinter Festivities: Early-December to Late-March