1. Nagoya: UNESCO Tour to Shiragawago & Takayama
Experience Edo-period Japan in the Takayama and in the UNESCO-listed Shirakawa-go village. You will have your lunch at your own expense in Takayama first, which is filled with interesting sights and is the gate-way to the Japanese Alps. Some of the must-see spots are the Sanmachi Suji District, which consists of three streets in the heart of Takayama Edo town, which lies just to the east of the Miya-gawa River. The streets are lined with traditional houses, shops, restaurants, sake breweries and, cafes. Then, head to the famous Shirakawa-go for the old gassho-zukuri (thached-roof) style houses that are spotted around this mountain village. Surrounded by rice paddies, you can hear the sounds of insects and birds if you listen. Located in a mountainous region that was cut off from the rest of the world for a long period of time, these villages with their Gassho-style houses subsisted on the cultivation of mulberry trees and the rearing of silkworms. The large houses with their steeply pitched thatched roofs are the only examples of their kind in Japan. Despite economic upheavals, the villages of Ogimachi, Ainokura, and Suganuma are outstanding examples of a traditional way of life perfectly adapted to the environment and people's social and economic circumstances.