Take an unusual day trip to Ena city, Gifu prefecture, where you will experience time travelling between Japan's various historical eras. See the highlights of Japan's history from Kamakura to Taisho periods in a pleasant day trip from Nagoya!
- Discover the most intriguing aspects of Japan's history during a day trip to Ena city
- Visit the ruins of Iwamura Castle, one of the most scenic mountain-top castles in Japan
- Cycle around the historical streets of Iwamura and enter well-preserved old buildings and residences
- Stroll the nostalgic area of Taisho-mura, an entire town representing the spirit of the Taisho period
- Enter the natural hot spring of Hanashiro Onsen
Ena city in the south-east part of Gifu prefecture is an ideal destination for a day trip from Nagoya if you are interested in exploring the deep aspects of Japan's history. Thanks to the rich cultural and historical heritage of Ena city, you can easily travel in time and visit different eras within one day. This is an ideal opportunity to see Japan's development throughout the centuries on a local level. In addition, you can enjoy scenic nature, delicious local food and sweets, as well as a pleasant countryside hot spring!
In this one day tour you will go to Ena city and ride the charming local Akechi railway line. The train itself is an attraction of its own and on the way you will pass gentle hill slopes, forests and spacious farm fields. You will visit Iwamura town, a designated area with important historical heritage sites that you can easily explore riding on a rental bicycle. The well-preserved historical streets and former merchant residences will tell you the story of the Edo period, while the climb to the ruins of Iwamura Castle, considered one of the best three mountain castles in Japan, will reveal more of Japan's earlier Kamakura and Warring States periods. Later on, you will ride the local train again to reach Akechi town and Nihon Taisho-mura, a town-size reproduction of the classical Taisho period (early 20th century). You can stroll around the nostalgic streets of the town dressed in a Taisho-style hakama. Finally, what better way to end the trip than a relaxing soak in a pleasant countryside hot spring in the middle of the farm fields?
Below is the suggested itinerary of this tour:
9:55 am (weekdays) or 9:28 am (weekends): Ena Station (recommended trains from Nagoya Station: 8:35 am on JR Chuo Line on weekdays or 8:16 am on JR Chuo Line on weekends). Claim your one-day pass for Akechi Railways from the station counter.
10:21 am (weekdays) or 10:30 am (weekends): local train from Ena to Iwamura Station
11:00 am: Arrive at Iwamura Station and rent a bicycle from the specialized shop in front of the station. Explore freely Iwamura town and Iwamura Castle ruins. Visit the historical residences, a splendid sake brewery and various sweets shops along the main street. Have free lunch in one of the many local restaurants and don't forget to try the local specialties: chestnut sweets (kuri-kinton) and castella cakes.
13:12 pm: local train from Iwamura Station to Akechi Station
13:33 pm: Stroll the nostalgic streets of Nihon Taisho-mura, a town-size reproduction of the Taisho period with its preserved old buildings and classical architectural style. A local guide will tell you more about the history of Taisho period and show you around the best sightseeing spots while you enjoy your time dressed in a Taisho-style hakama!
15:17 pm: local train from Akechi Station to Hanashiro Onsen Station. Make a stop to enjoy the relaxing hot spring water of this countryside onsen located in the middle of the farm fields, just next to the small unmanned station.
16:38 pm: local train from Hanashiro Onsen Station to Ena. End of tour around 17:15 at Ena Station.
Enjoy the time slip back to Japan's historical periods during a pleasant day trip from Nagoya!
Note: This is a self-guided tour except for Nihon Taisho-mura (Akechi town) where you will be accompanied by a guide. It is recommended to follow the time schedule listed above for an ultimate experience.
JR Ena Station