If you are planning to visit Japan in mid April, you may think of visiting most of the beautiful places around Central Japan. It means discovering the hidden treasures of the Chubu Region.

In spring, central Japan showcases country’s some of the famous places such as the Takayama Kurobe Alpine Route, Fuji Shibazakura, Shirakawa-go and many more.

Its diverse nature and incredible beautiful surroundings including historic landmarks obviously are great to experience all year round. But spring has its own charm to make your trip a great adventure.

A gassho-zukuri farmhouses and paddy field in Shirakawa-go. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

This suggested itinerary takes you on an unforgettable journey through some of the areas in central Japan to see and experience the beauty of cherry blossom in Takayama, the Japanese Alps, Shirakawago, the old traditional Japanese village in Gifu, Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Yamanashi, and Tokyo.

Although your trip starts from Tokyo, your main gateway would be Takayama. From there you go for sightseeing and enjoy the journey throughout. This is a perfect itinerary for the ones who are coming to Japan after April 15!

Day 1 – Tokyo

Shinjuku Gyoen! Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

It is funny not to include Tokyo in your travel bucket list whenever you visit Japan. The city is extremely gorgeous, with a wide range of fun activities for kids and adults, and a lot of things to discover, any time of year.

On the first day, you spend a very lovely & enjoyable time in Tokyo by visiting the most popular sightseeing spots in the famous Tokyo’s neighborhoods where you can find number of cool restaurants, and do a little bit shopping if you wish.

I would highly recommend you to stay in Shinjuku area because it will be easy to access most of the top tourists spots around Tokyo. You can find some ideas how to spend a great time in Tokyo here.

Shinjuku in the evening. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Find today’s awesome hotel deals in Shinjuku area here.

Have a nice sleep because the following morning you will be heading toward Takayama. The best way to get to Takayama from Tokyo is by train.

But a bus ride to Takayama from Tokyo will be a different story. Nohi Bus offers highway buses, so reservation is required in advance.

Day 2 – Tokyo to Takayama

Nohi bus! Photo Credit: sodai gomi at Flickr.

Wake up early in the morning and then get ready to head to Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal. Wait for the bus, board as quickly as possible when the bus arrives there. Enjoy a pleasant ride witnessing the beautiful surroundings you experience along the way.

Get off the bus at Takayama Bus Station. Please bear in mind that this is a long ride (about 5h30m), so after you get off the bus move to the hotel that you have already made an online reservation and have some rest before you go out for a walk in the evening.

Find some cheap hotels in Takayama.

Take a look at this nice view! Photo Credit: tsuda at Flickr.

Takayama is packed with really good restaurants and bars out there; I would not be surprised if you have a great dinner at Heianraku! In the evening you can walk across the Nakabashi Bridge and enjoy a great night hanami atmosphere.

Alternatively, if you think that you want to reach there by train, hop on the train (JR Tokaido Shinkansen) to Nagoya and then transfer to the JR Hida limited express train to Takayama.

Day 3 – A day in Takayama

Takayama’s famous Old Town. Photo Credit: Big Ben in Japan at Flickr.

Today, I welcome you to discover city’s of hidden gems and cultural quirks. Most of these places are situated not far from Takayama Station and that make visitors enjoy the surroundings on foot.

For example, The Old Town of Takayama, one of the most visited places in the city, can be reached in a 10-minute walk from Takayama Station.

A Rickshaw ride in the Old town area through the streets would be a hilarious experience. In addition, you must visit the Takayama Jinya (local governor’s office), located in the old town.

Walk across Nakabashi Bridge and enjoy the blossoms. Photo Credit: SteFou at Flickr.

As you embark on a trip to Takayama in spring, you should pay a visit to its popular cherry blossom viewing spots such as Nakabashi Bridge, Enakogawa River, and Miyagawa Ryokuchi Park.

Among these sakura spots Nakabashi Bridge is quite remarkable. The surrounding area of the bridge display stunning cherry blossoms.

Hida no Sato in Takayama. Photo Credit: rumpleteaser at Flickr.

Take the Higashiyama Walking Course and walk through the temples & shrines. Perhaps this is one of the most enjoyable things you could do in Takayama.

Built during the Edo Period (1603-1867), Hida Folk Village (Hida no Sato) is Takayama’s one of the beautiful places to explore with 30 traditional houses. It is a 30-minute walk or if you don’t want to walk, so just take the bus (10 minute) from Takayama Station!

Day 4 – Shirakawago and Gokayama

Ogimachi village in Shirakawago. Photo Credit: Tamago Moffle at Flickr.

Step back in time with a visit to Shirakawago in Gifu! In fact, there is nothing quite like Shirakawago’s Ogimachi village. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features hundreds years old and beautifully preserved traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses with beautiful surroundings.

The village has an amazing landscape and even more amazing cultural history. Here you can find why it is said to be one of the best places to visit in Central Japan.

Suganuma village in Gokayama. Photo Credit: pentaboxes at Flickr.

In addition, you must visit Ainokura village and Suganuma village (UNESCO world heritage sites) in Gokayama region. They are amazingly wonderful mountain villages to hunt for where tranquility flows throughout the villages with unlimited natural wonders.

There are two day bus tours from Takayama Bus Terminal, operated by Nohi Bus with English speaking guide. As it is a fully guided tour, the bus ride will be very enjoyable and comfortable for you. They would also provide the food for lunch. How cool is that!

You should rely on this fabulous bus tour and enjoy the places it takes you to. Find more info here.

Day 5 – Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route

A bus runs along the Tateyama Snow Corridor. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

According to many, the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is one of the most famous and scenic mountain routes in Japan. This year, the entire route is scheduled to be open from April 15 to November 30. Are you ready to explore the Northern Japan Alps?

What a stunning landscape! Tateyama Ropeway and Lake Kurobe. Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno at Flickr.

A trip to this amazing route could reveal the breathtaking scenery if offers during spring. I am sure that this is one of the memorable adventures you don’t want to miss in Central Japan. I guess the view of the Tateyama Snow Corridor would leave you speechless!

Nohi bus offers you a day trip bus tour to Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. If you have no idea how to spend a full day there, please follow this link to learn more.

Day 6 – Takayama to Tokyo

Tokyo Tower at Night. Photo Credit: Wei-Te Wong at Flickr.

It is time to get back to Tokyo now! Say farewell to Takayama. You better take the early bus so that you reach Tokyo at noon. Marvel at the awesome vistas along the way and if you are tired of it then why don’t you read some book on the bus?

That would be a great idea and could kill your time quickly. I could recommend you some books that are highly admired in Japanese literature.  See the list below:

1) Spring Snow: The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima
2) Musashi by Eiji Yoshikawa
3) Silence by Shusaku Endo
4) Death in Midsummer and other stories by Yukio Mishima

When you arrive in Tokyo again, make sure you have some rest, you may take a nap! It would almost be a sin to leave Tokyo without going to a shopping mall and find some souvenirs to take home.

Therefore, spend the evening time doing some shopping and have your dinner in a restaurant that is known as a popular.

Day 7 – Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Shibazakura with Mt. Fuji in the background. Photo Credit: Ben & Gab at Flickr.

The last destination of this great trip is going to be the Fuji Shibzakura Matsuri in Yamanashi prefecture. Here you see the iconic snow capped Mount Fuji and abundance of beautiful Shibzakura (moss phlox). This is the one places that you cannot miss visiting when you come to Japan around late April.

The festival venue is located Fuji Motosuko Resort, near at the base of Mt. Fuji. It is a wonderful side trip from Tokyo city that anyone would love to go and spend some hours there. In fact, you will not want it to end!

Stroll through the resort, marvel at its beautiful surrounding vistas. The view of shibzakura with Mt. Fuji in the background is absolutely mind-blowing! The area is a highly recommended place for photographers to take stunning photographs.

Take the direct highway bus from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Expressway bus Terminal to the festival site.

When it is the time to make a move, say goodbye to Yamanashi and reach Tokyo safely! Thank you very much.