TOURS
1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Samurai Swords and Japan's Oldest Castle

1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Samurai Swords and Japan's Oldest Castle

Period

All Year Round

Time

9:00-16:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagoya Station

Price

Adult (13+)21,900 ~ JPY
Child (6 - 12)14,000 ~JPY

1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Samurai Swords and Japan's Oldest Castle

Embark on a captivating tour from Nagoya to explore the oldest castle in Japan, a National Treasure teahouse, a “city of swords,” and the charms of Central Japan. Learn about the craftsmanship involved in creating a samurai sword. Meet a bladesmith and learn how to properly sharpen a kitchen knife. Stroll along the streets of Inuyama where you can indulge a wide array of street food and find locally crafted souvenirs. Discover the well-preserved Inuyama Castle—a National Treasure and historically significant stronghold of the Oda clan. Wish for good fortune in a shrine legend to grant wishes. Sip matcha tea in a garden designed by one of Japan’s pioneers of tea ceremony. Journey to Central Japan and experience its pristine rivers, skilled craftsmen, and historic towns as you are led by an experienced, English-speaking guide on this full-day tour from Nagoya.

Highlights

  • View Japan’s oldest castle, Inuyama Castle, and one of only five castles to be designated the status of “National Treasure.” 
  • Learn about the techniques behind crafting a Japanese sword, then test your own skills in sharpening a Japanese kitchen knife.
  • Taste matcha and Japanese sweets and learn about the art of the tea ceremony in a tranquil Japanese garden.

*For those looking to join the tour from Tokyo, please see the FAQ Section.

Description

This tour will start at Nagoya Station at 9:00 A.M., where your guide will meet you in front of the Silver Clock tower near the Shinkansen Gates. We will then board our private bus towards our first location. Those concluding their tour in Takayama will be able to store their luggage on our tour bus at this time.

We will make our way to Japan’s “city of swords,” Seki. This blacksmithing town was known among samurai warriors as a place that creates blades that “never break or bend and are incredibly sharp.”

Regarded as one of the world’s three major cutlery centers (along with Solingen in Germany and Sheffield in the UK), the city is still home to ​​around 100 blade manufacturers, and 10 active swordsmiths. 

Our first stop in Seki will be at a shrine dedicated to blacksmithing before heading into the Seki Swordsmith Museum where you will learn about the process of crafting a sword from start to finish. You will also have a chance to view a wide range of swords and knives made in the region, some dating back to the Kamakura period.

After learning about the skills necessary to craft a Japanese sword, you will be able to test your own skills in a hands-on experience in the Gifu Cutlery Hall. A master craftsman will instruct you in the final part of the blade-making process, sharpening. Learn how to sharpen a knife properly, then tour the showroom with over 2,000 knives and locally made goods, or shop for a Japanese kitchen knife of your own.

We will then continue our journey to the castle town of Inuyama. The town remains much the same as it did during the Edo era. With its moderate size, the town is a perfect place to take a stroll and explore the hidden alleys and traditional architecture. 

This is also the perfect time for us to stop for lunch, as the town is also a foodie’s paradise. From wagyu to cheesecake and everything in between, the town boasts many street vendors and restaurants selling almost anything you can imagine on a skewer. We recommend some local favorites such as “Dengaku”—a miso glazed roasted tofu, or the “Gohei-mochi”—rice cake coated with a sweet and sour sauce.

After lunch, your guide will lead you through Inuyama Castle—the oldest existing wooden keep in Japan. Founded in 1537, it is also the only one of the five castles designated the status of “National Treasure” where you can venture out onto the cornice and observe a beautiful 360-degree view of the surroundings.

Overlooking the Kiso River, the surrounding view of the castle changes dramatically with the seasons. Of course, your guide will be on hand to help you take photos that will make your friends and family envious.

We will also make a stop at Sanko Inari Shrine. While the shrine specializes in romance, peaceful households, and harmonious marriages, there is also a legend of a wish-granting stone here. So be sure to bring along plenty of wishes!

It’s impressive enough for a town to have one National Treasure, but Inuyama boasts a second national treasure, the tea house at Uraku-en. The garden grounds are a sight to behold on their own, but the truly unique feature is the 400-year-old tea house designed by a master of tea ceremony.

Your guide will inform you about the art of the tea ceremony as you sip Matcha tea and enjoy a traditional Japanese sweet in this peaceful setting. 

Your guide will then accompany you back to the tour bus to start the drive back towards Nagoya, or you can elect to continue your journey to Takayama. Feel free to ask the guide for dinner recommendations or instructions back to your hotel.

ITINERARY

9:00The tour begins with a meetup at Nagoya Station at 09:00. Guests should wait inside the station, in front of the SILVER clock tower across from the Shinkansen exit gates. Your guide will greet you there.
10:00We will arrive in Seki where you will visit a small shrine dedicated to blacksmithing before learning more about the history and process of swordsmithing at the Seki Swordsmith Museum.
11:15Enjoy a hands-on experience where you will learn how to sharpen a Japanese kitchen knife. You will then have time to shop for a knife of your own or other locally crafted wares.
12:30Your guide will give you a tour of Inuyama’s townscape before a bit of free time to grab lunch at one of the town’s many restaurants, or go off and explore more on your own.
13:45You will meet back up with your guide for a tour of National Treasure Inuyama Castle as well as Sanko Inari Jinja Shrine and its wish-granting stone.
15:00We will then enter Uraku Garden, where you will view the second National Treasure of the day, Joan Tea House. You will have the chance to taste matcha and a traditional Japanese sweet as your tour guide instructs you in the traditional way of drinking matcha.
16:30We will board our tour bus and return to Nagoya or continue to Takayama. The tour will conclude at Nagoya Station around 16:30 or around 18:30 for guests who have selected to end the tour in Takayama.

*We cannot guarantee the end time as traffic could cause delays. For guests booking onward tickets to other destinations from Nagoya, we recommend doing so for times of 17:30 or later.

TOUR MEETUP POINT

NAGOYA STATION @ 9:00 A.M.

Meet at Nagoya Station's Silver Clock tower at 9am

The meetup point is at the base of the SILVER clock tower outside of the Shinkansen gates. 

If you are arriving via Shinkansen, the clock tower should be located directly in front of you as you exit the gate.

If you are arriving via a JR line, please look for signs directing you towards the Taiko-Dori Gate. The silver clock is located inside the station just before the Taiko-Dori exit.

For those coming from outside the station, you will most likely be entering through the Sakura-Dori gate (the side with the gold clock). In this case, please walk straight through the station towards the Taiko-Dori Gate. The silver clock is located inside the station just before the Taiko-Dori exit.

You may wait nearby there until the tour begins at 9:00 A.M. Be sure to look for the guide holding a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour sign. We highly recommend arriving early as Nagoya station can be quite crowded. 

NOTES

Included

  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation during the tour
  • Entry fee at Inuyama Castle
  • Entry fee at Seki Swordsmith Museum
  • Entry fee at Uraku Garden
  • Matcha Experience
  • Knife Sharpening Experience

Excluded

  • Lunch
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation to/from Nagoya Station

Other Information

  • This tour involves several hours of walking outdoors. We recommend that you wear shoes and clothes which are easy to walk in. Please check the weather forecast before you head to the meetup point and prepare an umbrella or raincoat if necessary.
  • In the summer, temperature highs are around 35 °C (95 °F) and above with extreme humidity. We recommend wearing something light and airy while minding sunburn and heatstroke. A parasol is highly encouraged.
  • Winter temperatures in Nagoya average between 0℃-10℃ (32°F-50°F). Please wear warm clothing and footwear appropriate for cold conditions.
  • There will be free time along the way for guests to purchase souvenirs to remember their trip.

FAQs

I’d like to join the tour from Tokyo. Is that possible?
If you’d like to join us from Tokyo, we’d love to have you with us!

Take the following services on the Tokaido Shinkansen line:

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagoya Station

Tokyo: 07:00 – Nagoya: 08:38 – Nozomi No. 203

Tokyo: 07:09 – Nagoya: 08:47 – Nozomi No. 9

Rather than heading straight back to Tokyo, we recommend staying in Nagoya after the tour or booking accommodation in Hikone or Ise.

For international visitors holding a Japan Rail (JR) Pass, both train services (including reservations) can be used without any additional charge.
Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. We can add accommodation in Nagoya. To do so, please contact us any time to discuss options.
What should I wear/bring?
Nagoya’s summers are extremely humid and hot. We recommend wearing something light and airy while minding sunburn and heatstroke. A parasol is highly encouraged. As this tour has extended periods outside, please ensure you bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Guests must take their shoes off upon entering many of the places we visit on this tour, so we recommend wearing shoes that are easy to take on and off or bringing a pair of socks if you plan on wearing sandals.

At all times of year, please ensure you are wearing good quality footwear suitable for walking on uneven ground and we recommend always bringing a small pack or bag to carry water, snacks, umbrella, etc. Of course, your phone or a camera is a must!
Is this tour wheelchair accessible/appropriate for guests with limited mobility?
Some of the historic buildings we will be entering in this tour have stairs, meaning it is not wheelchair accessible and may not be appropriate for guests with limited mobility. Should this be of concern, contact us before booking to discuss options.
Is lunch included on this tour?
No. This tour does not include lunch however there will be opportunities to purchase food and drinks during the tour. If you prefer to, please also feel free to bring snacks and drinks with you.
Can I choose to end the tour in Takayama?
Yes, you may end the tour in Takayama.

Please contact us before booking and we will arrange bus transportation to Takayama at the end of the tour.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara