| Centrip Editorial Board

What you have to see if you come to Japan in 2022. Central Japan's newest spots in 2020.

2020 is now over and, as we ready for 2021, it's good to take a look back at the many changes last year brought. Central Japan has undergone a quiet renewal, with many new and interesting attractions coming to completion. We have put together a list of some great places to visit. So come, and check them out!

1. Hisaya Odori Park: An urban stroll (Nagoya, Aichi)

Keywords: Leisure, Arts, and Culture, Delicious
What to see: Hisaya Odori Park is no longer just a park. In 2020 the park transformed into a commercial area, combining the benefits of nature with urban revitalization.

The park is divided into four zones, each with its characteristics, and meeting your needs for recreation and relaxation. Come to Zone 4 to stroll along the romantic pond after a busy day, or head over to Zone 3 for a picnic or a game of pool to relax and unwind! You can also traverse the quiet forest path in Zone 2 and enjoy the beautiful scenes of flowers and plants in all seasons, or take a break on the large lawn in Zone 1 or check out the pop-up markets.

There are so many amazing stores here! In 2020 twenty-five chains opened their doors in Nagoya for the first time! If you like food, don't miss the popular Tokyo muffin cafe ESPRESSO D WORKS, visit the popular Korean dessert store Cafe de Paris, and head over to PEANUTS Cafe to get your hands on Snoopy paraphernalia. HARIO CAFE & Lampwork Factory's collection of glasswork, jewelry, and coffee might be right up your alley. Tenro-in Bookstore is also a treasure trove of literary works. Not to mention the popular Karuizawa cafe, and ELOISE'S Cafe... the list goes on.

Editor's Recommendation: Want to get together with your family for a relaxing meal? Meet with friends or that special someone for afternoon tea? Maybe study alone to recharge your batteries? Or explore the most popular stores in Nagoya - come and visit the new Hisaya Odori Park!

2. Historic site - Sekigahara Battlefield Memorial Museum (Sekigahara-cho, Gifu Prefecture)


Keywords: History, Experience, Exhibition, Relics
What to see: The Gifu Sekigahara Battlefield Memorial Hall (Sekigahara Battlefield Memorial Hall), a 10-minute walk from JR Sekigahara Station, recently opened in 2020, is a must-see spot for lovers of Japanese history.

More than 400 years ago, the Battle of Sekigahara took place here. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the de-facto ruler of Japan, died of illness, and his general, Tokugawa Ieyasu, grew in power. Tokugawa Ieyasu then violated the prohibitions on warfare and Ishida Mitsunari, a loyal general to the Hideyoshi family, started a northern expedition against Ieyasu. These actions culminated in a decisive battle at Sekigahara, near Mino (Present-day Gifu). Tokugawa Ieyasu won the fight and laid the foundation for the Tokugawa's centuries-long rule, and is known as the decisive battle that ended the Warring States period.


The site of the ancient battlefield memorial hall is on the plains of the battle. The museum features a stunning Ground Vision exhibition, a display room with artifacts from the Warring States period, an experience area, and an observation room with a panoramic view of the battlefield, giving you a sense of the excitement of the period.


A variety of tours available at the memorial hall - from daily routes that depart at regular times to tours that visit the historical sites of samurai, such as the Tokugawa Ieyasu Route and the Ishida Mitsunari Route. Each route has explanations from a professional guide. The surrounding cycling routes are also very engaging! The memorial hall offers bicycle rentals and the chance to wear the armor of one of Japan's great generals. An experience history lovers are sure to enjoy!

Editor's recommendation: A visit here is a must for Japanese history lovers!

3. National Crafts Museum (Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture)

National Crafts Museum (photo by Takumi Ota)

Keywords: Craft, Culture, History
What to see: Kanazawa City's famous garden Kenroku-en has many historical and cultural buildings and various museums located around it. Earning it the name the Forest of Culture. In 2020 October, the Forest of Culture added a new member - the National Crafts Museum

The Kogeikan is a part of the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and relocated to Kanazawa. Kanazawa has a rich historical and cultural atmosphere, and the relocation of the gallery to this location will add to the charm of both Kanazawa and the gallery. Currently, about 1,900 pieces of fine crafts, including ceramics, lacquerware, dyed goods, gold, and other works of art, will be transferred to Kanazawa, accounting for more than 70% of the original Tokyo collection.

The Matsuda Gonroku Maki-e Studio (photo by Takumi Ota)
Welcome to the World of Crafts (photo by Takumi Ota)

The exhibition hall is in the national tangible cultural property, the Ninth Division Headquarters Hall, located next to the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art and the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of History. Walk around the Forest of Culture and experience the beauty of craftsmanship.

Editor's Recommendation: Museum-lovers can't miss it! Plan your route and walk your way through culture.

4. Snow Peak Land Station HAKUBA (Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture)

Keywords: Camping, Delicious, Snow, Mountains
What to see: Snow Peak Land Station HAKUBA, a resort with a view of the three mountains of Hakuba, is located in the center of Hakuba Village in Nagano Prefecture, a ski resort, and was officially opened in April 2020. The building, designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, exists in perfect harmony with its surroundings. There are three areas: shopping, camping, and activities, and a combination of sightseeing, shopping, camping, gourmet food, hot springs, and other resort facilities. The resort has a large camping goods mall and also provides bicycle rental services.

It's worth noting that there are different camping options to choose from, together with gourmet food prepared by Michelin star chefs, and hot springs, as well as a magnificent view of the snow-capped mountains.

Editor's Recommendation: Whether you have plans to come with your family for shopping, camping, or want to travel with your friends to a hot spring, this is a great place to go for vacation.

5. The Shinhotaka Ropeway (Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture)

Credit: 新穂高ロープウェイ

Keywords: Double-decker cable car, anti-fogging glass, multi-lingual tour
What to see: The Shinhotaka Ropeway is the only double-deck cable car in Japan and is a popular tourist attraction, offering a panoramic view of the Northern Alps. 2020 introduced a new look and feel to the cable car. The new cable car is equipped with anti-fog glass, allowing passengers to see more and get closer to nature! A new multi-language tour guide has been installed in the cabins, allowing overseas visitors to listen and watch while onboard for an improved travel experience.

In the spring, summer, and autumn of 2021, there are plans to open for a limited period for scenic night views. The cable car will ride to the observation deck 2156 meters above sea level to give you a chance to count the stars unobstructed by the city lights!

Editor's recommendation: Come and visit the new double-decker cable car! Enjoy the great view!

New facilities in Central Japan in 2021

What is there to look forward to in 2021?

1. Vison (Taki-cho, Mie Prefecture)

Vision is a leisure facility complex with the themes of "healing" and "food", scheduled to open in the spring of 2011. Twenty minutes by car from Ise Jingu Shrine, the facility exists among natural fields and mountains. It has traditional business and lodging facilities, a special herbal hot spring, themed restaurants that promote Japanese food culture, and a farm close to nature. Spend your vacation here, and get closer to nature.

2. Noritake Garden Project (Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture)

In the fall of 2021, the porcelain museum in the center of Nagoya, Noritake Garden, will transform. A commercial facility will be built in the vicinity and is expected to blend in harmony with the surrounding environment. A large shopping mall and office buildings are planned, creating a new shopping district in Nagoya!

2. Maruei (Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture)

The 70-year-old department store Maruei closed in 2018 and, many people eagerly await the 2022 reopening. It's exciting to think about what the old building will look like when it reopens.


The changes in Central Japan through 2020 are surprising, and upcoming changes in 2021 are already in place. We look forward to seeing you here!

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