Discover the Charms of Tokai! 5 Scenic Spots in the Tokai Region
The Tokai region is made up of four areas, namely, Aichi, Gifu, Mie and Shizuoka. Known as one of the greatest mountainous areas in Japan, what with such mountain ranges as Hida Mountains, this region is home to many picturesque spots. Below are five recommended scenic spots with an appeal that is truly captivating.
1. Mishima Skywalk (Shizuoka)
Mishima Skywalk in Shizuoka is 400-meter-long suspension bridge that was completed in 2015 and is the longest bridge in Japan that is exclusively for pedestrians. Situated 70.6m above ground, it was designed to ensure that the beautiful view is captured on the bridge. You will feel like you are walking on air once you set foot on it. From the top of the bridge, you can see such views as Suruga Bay and the Izu mountain range, but more than anything, the biggest attraction of this place is the sight of the sacred Mt. Fuji from far away. You can take beautiful photos from anywhere on this bridge, be it a photo of the view of the bridge against the mountain if you get off the bridge, or a photo of the wonderful vista from the top of the bridge!
Admission fee (round-trip): 1,000 JPY (incl. tax) for adults, 500 JPY (incl. tax) for middle/high school students, and 200 JPY (incl. tax) for elementary school students
2. Shirakawa-go (Gifu)
Shirakawa-go, designated as a World Heritage Site, is a village found on the northwestern section of Gifu. The highlights of this village are the thatched houses that adopt the “gassho-zukuri” style wherein roofs with a unique shape look like hands clasped in prayer. While these houses are called gassho-zukuri in one word, each one actually has different features, such as the angle of the roof and shape of window, so how they look changes depending on where you look. Here, the recommended spot is the Mitsugo no Gassho-Zukuri, a series of three old Japanese houses that were built in the gassho-zukuri style. Lingering in the view of an idyllic countryside will make anyone emotional. Further, the viewing deck in front of the restaurant Tenshukaku is also a famous spot for taking photos. The village from the hilltop is a sight to behold.
Mitsugo no Gassho-Zukuri
3. Old townscape of Hida Takayama (Gifu)
The old town of Gifu’s Takayama is a classic spot in the Hida Takayama area. With rows of traditional Japanese houses and stores, you will be able to take photos with a retro vibe that will give you that strange feeling that you have slipped back in time. There are many must-see spots in the details of the buildings, including the sakabayashi (a hanging ornament that is made by forming cedar leaves into a ball) that is hung on the eaves of a sake brewery, and the shape of the door. Try to take a closer look while walking along the old streets of this city.
4. Meoto Iwa (Mie)
The next spot on the list is the Meoto Iwa in Ise, Mie. Comprised of a pair of small and big rocks that are floating at sea, it is a famous spot that looks like a married couple snuggled against each other. It used to be a place for purification for the worshippers of Ise Jingu, so it is also known as a sacred area. From around May to July each year, you can see the sunrise between the Meoto Iwa, while from fall through winter, you will get to marvel at the full moon. And on a clear day, you just might witness the sun rising from behind Mt. Fuji. Many photographers pack this place in hopes of capturing such beautiful sight in photo.
5. Irago Misaki (Aichi)
Irago Misaki (Cape Irago) is located at the edge of Atsumi Peninsula with a commanding view of Pacific Ocean and Ise Bay. It is home to many wonderful spots, including the white limestone lighthouse at the tip, and Hii no Sekimon, a stone gate whose center has become a cavern due to the rough sea. Recommended here is the Koijigahama, a gorgeous beach facing the Pacific Ocean. This place was named based on the legend that a couple of lovers ran away to this peninsula, so it is also recommended to lovers. Watching the sunset while listening to the sea roar is romantic, and the sight makes for a great photo. Ships coming and going from time to time also give a distinct emotion to the scenery that makes it even more beautiful.
The Tokai region is home to many impressive sights, including scenery created by nature, and historic buildings. So, to all those who are interested, please try to actually go a little farther to explore.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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