This post is supposed to be the throwback to my wonderful Autumn trip to Japan and that time I explored the Aichi prefecture, which I highly believe will soon be one of Japan’s hottest travel destinations. I don’t even know how to choose the proper words to explain how beautiful Aichi is, or maybe that’s the word… beautiful! Japan is naturally such a gifted country, and nobody can deny that, aside from the four seasons, the versatile charm, travelling to Japan is always addicting because no matter how many times or where I go around Japan, I feel like there are still so many things to unfold, it’s almost like you can’t even measure how deep you know Japan, but in the same time I don’t need to, I just know that Japan is my happy place and I am always happy to be back!!! Just in time that I was there during my favorite season of the year: AUTUMN, the scenery was even more beautiful and the weather was just perfect!
Now, as always, to kickstart my travel blog posts, I am going to start by sharing you guys my full itinerary. I spent 5 days in Aichi (well actually 4 days because the last day is only for the flight back home), and I have one important thing to inform you guys so please pay attention: not that it’s completely impossible, but based on my personal experience Aichi is best travelled by road and I highly recommend you to book the local tours because some of the popular destinations are located quite far to one another, if you’re making your way individually I believe it’s going to take more time and cost you more, so big yes to booking the local tour services! Mine’s arranged by my friends who work in Aichi Prefecture and I really had no idea how this trip would turn out without their help, anyway without further ado, enjoy the itinerary and I am going to talk about certain highlights that I want to go into details on the next blog posts! Fingers crossed, soon!
PREVIOUSLY SHARED MY EXPERIENCE TO AICHI AND GIFU PREFECTURE DURING WINTER, CLICK HERE TO READ THE BLOG POST!
Flight from Tokyo to Nagoya using Japan Airlines (JAL209)
9 AM: TOKONAME POTTERY WALKING PATH & MARUFUKU POTTERY CLASS!
Tokoname is the home of Maneki Neko and it’s also a small pottery town, I spent a moment to explore the town, do the famous pottery walking and had the chance to paint my very own Maneki Neko (Japanese welcoming lucky cat) and best of it all: I can bring it home as souvenir!
Various versions of Maneko Neko along the street!
11 AM: HANDA WATERWAY & KURANOMACHI
Strolled the Handa Waterway canal, the weather on the first day was probably the coldest but it was a brief peaceful moment just being at the canal, watching what’s in front of me and occasionally ‘touched’ by the cold breeze (OMG miss being at somewhere cold), the experience then continued by the delicious Japanese lunch set at Uotaro Kuranomachi. Just beside the restaurant is the Mizkan Museum, where you can experience and learn about the history of rice vinegar in Japan.
ITADAKIMASU!!! I gave the lunch a solid 8/10, the seafood was absolutely fresh and delicious, definitely the restaurant that I recommend you guys going!
2 PM: AIYA NISHIO MATCHA GREEN TEA MUSEUM & WAKU-WAKU
I know most of my followers love anything matcha (judging from how excited you are everytime I post about matcha on my Instagram), so if you do, the MUST VISIT place has got to be the Aiya Nishio Matcha Green Tea Museum and the Waku-Waku Dessert House that’s located precisely beside! I think you only need to pay as cheap as 500 YEN (IDR 60k) to explore the museum, learn a bit of history and engage on the interactive matcha production where you can manually grind the matcha leaves until they turn into powder and the fun part? YOU CAN DRINK YOUR OWN MATCHA, but first they will teach you how to properly whisk the matcha!
Milk soft serve with matcha powder topping!
Matcha leaves grinding, look at how smooth the matcha powder after, all you need to do is a bit of power and patience!
I guess I did a good job whisking the matcha powder and water! Good sign? the smooth foam!
The session turned out to be a sweet snacking moment, me having Japanese traditional desserts accompanied by one cup of warm bold matcha drink.
3 PM: GAMAGORI ORANGE PARK
Maybe most of you guys have no idea that I love fruit picking so much that I try to have that in my itinerary when I go to destinations that I know are famous with their local produces, and really Japan is the perfect place for that! Visited this famous orange farm in Gamagori to check out what they have in store as well as picking what they have in store (read: oranges) LOL! Most fruit farms in Japan has the same policy, you can pick and eat as many as you can (between the time agreed) but you’re not allowed to take them away with you!
4 PM: HEN NA HOTEL & LAGUNA TEN BOSCH
Hen Na Hotel is the hotel that I would love to visit if I have the chance to go to back to Aichi again (fingers crossed), that’s because it’s a hotel chain that’s famous for their robot staffs and to be frank with you guys I have never experienced one, so yup I am quite excited about it, well at least I have been at their hotel lobby and briefly experienced the service LOL!
Located just behind the hotel (and accessible from the hotel) is this gorgeous resort facility called Laguna Ten Bosch, it’s composed of theme park, shopping facility & spa facility, unfortunately we arrived quite late that day that most of the theme park attractions are ending the service, but we got to do a little exploring and sight seeing and boy the light illumination was really something! It was surely one of the highlight of my trip that I want to dedicate a whole blog post for Laguna Ten Bosch, meanwhile enjoy some of the pictures that I took there! Stay tuned for the full blog post!
7 PM: DINNER – MACHIYA DINING UMITSUKI TOYOHASHI
9 PM: CHECK-IN HOTEL: ROUTE INN TOYOHASHI EKIMAE
9:30 AM: TOYOHASHI CITY FUTAGAWA-SHUKU HONJIN MUSEUM
10:30 AM: YURAKU SEIKA CHOCOLATE TOYOHASHI YUME FACTORY STORE
12 PM – 2 PM: FREE TIME
3:30 PM: OBARA SHIKIZAKURA
Aichi is the home to Japan’s most anticipated autumn events: Obara Shikizakura festival! Shikizakura is the rare type of cherry tree that blooms in both spring and fall. To be completely frank with you guys, the moment I stepped my feet here, I prayed in my heart just in disbelief that I am here witnessing this natural beauty and wishing my family was here with me, I know it sounds tacky, but sometimes that’s the kind of motivation for me to work even harder so that I can bring them to travel with me! Anyway witnessing this is like experiencing the best of both worlds, the beautiful pink sakura meets the autumn red leaves! BEAUTIFUL is not even the word for this one, it’s almost like magic, like rare best friends! This should be one of the main reasons why you should explore Aichi!
It’s said that there are more than 10.000 sakura trees in the area!
5 PM: KORANKEI LIGHT-UP
Not too far from the Shikizakura park is another MUST VISIT destination if you want to experience the wonderful Autumn night festival: KORANKEI AUTUMN FESTIVAL! Intentionally coming at night so we got to experience the best yet opposite Autumn vibes in Aichi during the day and night (the day being at the Shikizakura, but please keep in mind that most areas in Japan tend to go dark faster during Autumn), I highly recommend you guys going to this festival because not only that you can stroll and see just how beautiful (okay I have been abusing the word “beautiful” in this post but really an understatement) the autumn forest vibe with all the lighting play and stuff, you can also enjoy various good feast, traditional snacks and shop! There are some legit handmade craft stores that you can find here and if you fancy, take home with you!
G O R G E O U S!
7 PM: DINNER AT MEITETSU TOYOTA HOTEL, KEIRIN RESTAURANT
9 PM: CHECK-IN HOTEL, ROUTE INN ASAHIGAOKA
10 AM: LEGOLAND NAGOYA
If you’re an avid theme park enthusiast then do not miss the first Legoland in Japan (which also happens to be the second one in Asia and the eighth one in the world!), trust me maybe it’s because of the weather too but after visiting the one in Nagoya, I feel like the experience kinda overshadowed the one I had in Legoland Malaysia
LOL (but of course there are attractions that you can only find in Legoland Malaysia
), and because I was on tour, I didn’t manage to take any rides but the time was enough for me to explore my favorite part of every Legoland: MINILAND! I love how the Miniland in Legoland Nagoya put more emphasize on Japan’s culture (famous temple, buildings and more). I have a lot of photos from my visit here so maybe I’ll do a single post for this one too, but meanwhile enjoy some of the pictures! For more details -> click here
Tokyo Tower with Chureito Pagoda at the foreground!
G U N D A M!
Lego Christmas tree, this was ginormous in real life and oh how it was close to Christmas that time!!!
The Legoland Nagoya is also filled with various souvenir shops, coffee shop and dining places, and just the way they designed the whole area makes everything feels so neat and once you entered the shop zone it’s almost like you’re in a shopping avenue, so it’s really a wonderful one stop entertainment center in my opinion!
12 PM: SCMAGLEV AND RAILWAY PARK
As this post is written, the museum is about to reach its 8th anniversary and even though I am not a big museum fan, this was apparently one of the highlights of my trip, well sometimes the key to find out what you like is to experiment with something that you’re not used to! I found it really amusing to see the history of shinkansen (Japan’s high speed bullet train) from the very first to the upcoming one that’s going to be released few years from now and will soon be the fastest Shinkansen in the world!
The interior of the soon-to-be-launched Shinkansen! More airplane like in my opinion with more convenient head space and overhead compartment!
How Shinkansen used to look like back then! Is it possible to make the Shinkansen to look like this again, but with the recent technology and speed? 🙂
One of the most gorgeous diorama that I’ve ever seen! The detail is freaking amazing!!! Enjoy the lighting play to experience how the diorama projects the city vibe from day to night!
3 PM: INUYAMA KOMACHI (KIMONO EXPERIENCE) AND INUYAMA CASTLE
Inuyama Castle is a castle that’s located in the city of Inuyama and it’s one of the 12 authentic original castles in Japan! Quick tip: change to Japanese traditional attire: KIMONO and do not miss the chance to go to the top of the castle and enjoy the wonderful view, it is way more gorgeous in real life for sure, and above you can enjoy the calm and serene view of Kiso River which serves as the border of Aichi and Gifu Prefectures!
OMG Autumn colors!!! Can’t wait for Autumn days to arrive soon!!!
6 PM: DINNER AT FURENCHI SOSAKU RYORI NARITA
This restaurant is a French-Chinese fusion restaurant, and to be frank the food is really not bad! The fusion somehow works, but after all it’s your call whether you like to stick with the classic Chinese/French or okay with fusion food.
9 AM: NAGOYA CASTLE AND TOYOTA INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY MUSEUM
The itinerary this morning was exploring Nagoya Castle, unfortunately it was on renovation, but be sure to check this post out
for my previous experience to Nagoya Castle and Toyota Industrial Technology Museum!
12 PM-3 PM: FREE TIME IN NAGOYA
4 PM: NAGOYA PORT AQUARIUM
This Aquarium is Nagoya’s most famous Aquarium, and the kind of place that fits couples and families best (based on what I saw that day too), it was spacious, filled with adorable animals, dedicated shows (dolphin shows), if you’re an animal and aquarium person then you might enjoy this!
Just in time for the golden hour and sunset, it was so serene and gorgeous! I love how Nagoya in general is a relatively laid back city for me, and I truly enjoy that!!!
7 PM: DINNER AT GOMITORI (NAGOYA STATION AREA)
Quick tip: if you ask for my recommendations, then go for their yakitori, they’re SO GOOD!
23/11/2018: SAYONARA AICHI!
I hope this blog post helps you in arranging your future trip to Aichi! If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email or DM me on Instagram! I’ll try my best to answer. Thank you for reading!
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