Ride the Dragon Route Tour Itinerary
Arrive in Japan and transfer to the hotel in Nagoya.
After the briefing we will start the day with a visit to Castle, built in the beginning of the Edo Period as the seat of one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family, the Owari branch.
We will then move to Atsuta Shrine. In the purely Japanese Shinmei-zukuri architecture style, it is one of Shinto's most important shrines. It enshrines the Sun Goddess Amaterasu and stores the sacred sword Kusanagi, which is one of the three imperial treasures.
After visiting the temple we will have a local delicacy for lunch: Hitsumabushi. It is a Nagoya specialty in which bite-sized pieces of grilled fresh water eel are served over rice. Then we will go to visit the Gifu Castle, castle historically associated with the figure of Oda Nobunaga, who conquered it in 1567. Located into the mountains around Gifu prefecture, it will make you enjoy a wonderful view of the city. Gifu Castle is a cement structure that was built in the 1950s, as the original has been destroyed by the firebombings during World War II. Inside the castle there are three floors with exhibits representing the castle's past with maps, weapons, pictures and original objects.
We will then move to the hotel and enjoy a welcome dinner.
Today we will ride north to Ishikawa for a beautiful ride into the mountains. Then we will stop at Natadera temple. The large temple grounds feature multiple buildings, a pond garden and a characteristic rock face with hand-cut meditation caves and steps carved into the cliff side. The temple was founded in 717 by a Buddhist monk who visited nearby Mount Hakusan in search of a goddess believed to reside there. After realizing that the goddess was Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy and compassion, the monk carved a wooden image of Kannon, which together with Mount Hakusan remains Natadera's main object of worship today.
After we will visit the Japan Automobile Museum. Established in 1978 by Shoso Maeda, popular entrepreneur, with the aim to display his personal collection of cars, in this museum there are historically iconic Japan's commercial vehicles and ordinary vehicles showing the authenticity of the ordinary life Japan in the last years.
At the end of the day we will go to the Hotel for dinner.
Today we will visit first Kenrokuen, which is justifiably classified as one of Japan's ""three most beautiful landscape gardens"". The spacious grounds used to be the outer garden of Kanazawa Castle and were constructed by the ruling Maeda family over a period of nearly two centuries. Opened to the public in 1871, Kenrokuen features a variety of flowering trees which provide the garden with a different look for each season.
After we will continue north to ride on Chirihama, the only beach driveway in Japan, and it will lead us to Keta Shrine. Keta is a Shinto shrine with a history as a holy spot that dates back over 2000 years. Keta Taisha is made up of a few buildings, with a number of trees encircled with shimenawa (sacred ceremonial ropes) and a sacred forest behind the main shrine buildings. Keta Taisha enshrines the deity Okuninushi, who is a god of finding true love.
We will finish the day visiting Senmaida, a hillside of terraced rice fields along the Sea of Japan. Here there are over 2000 small rice fields that must be worked by hand. This area's name ""Senmaida"" literally means ""a thousand rice fields""."
Today we will start the day riding along the coast of Toyama prefecture until we reach the Himi Banya fish market and we will stroll through it to take a look at the original Japanese fish delicatessen.
Then we will ride south to the World Heritage site of Shirakawago, famous for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses, some of which are more than 250 years old. Gassho-zukuri means ""constructed like hands in prayer"", as the farmhouses' steep thatched roofs resemble the hands of Buddhist monks pressed together in prayer. The architectural style developed over many generations and is designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. The roofs, made without nails, provided a large attic space used for cultivating silkworms.
After Shirakawago we will continue riding through the mountain roads to reach Takayama city. Located in Gifu prefecture, Takayama is notable for the perfect conditions of the Edo period ancient part of the city, which contribute in creating a gorgeous nostalgic atmosphere. Intresting is the Kusakabe Mingeikan (one of the most ancient building in Takayama) and the Takayama Hachimangu Shrine.
On the last day we will head back to Nagoya riding along the Japanese Alps on the Seseragi road.
We will stop at Seki, famous in in the country for being the base city for most of Japan’s cutlery industry. Here we will experience an exhibition with Japanese katanas and we will have a unique look to an authentic katana laboratory at work.
Then we will return the vehicles and go to the hotel before our farewell party to say goodbye in style.
This is your departure day so have a safe flight home, reflecting on your epic motorcycle adventure.