Surrounded by vast mountain ranges and cool refreshing air, Higashi Mino and Minami Shinshu are scenic travel stops located within Gifu and Nagano prefectures in central Japan. Both prefectures are home to not only a number of incredible natural landscapes but also beautifully preserved historic towns that will transport you right back to the golden age of samurai Japan. Here time passes slowly, and you can take your time exploring a secret slice of Japanese nature and history that looks absolutely picture perfect—every step of the way.
How to get in and around central Japan and Gifu and Nagano Prefectures
Chubu Centrair International Airport is the primary transport hub for traveling to central Japan, from where you can easily travel to Gifu and Nagano as well as other highlight destinations in the area, including Mie Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture (where the airport is located).
With international flight routes covering over 39 cities overseas, the airport is a great option if you want to fly direct into the heart of Japan and start your adventures there rather than following the traditional “Golden Route” and starting from Tokyo. Still, if you are coming from Japan’s capital like we did, it’s just a short and cheap one-hour flight (around ¥7,000 one-way) from Haneda Airport.
To get to the Higashi Mino and Minami Shinshu areas from Centrair Air International Airport, you’ll want to take the Meitetsu Tokoname-Airport Line. Inside the region, the JR Chuo Line and high-speed “Wide View Shinano” train run through the main access points: Nakatsugawa Station, Nagiso Station, and Kiso Fukushima Station.
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