SHORYUDO Bus Pass Part 1 – Visit Inuyama, Takayama & Shin Hodaka

“Shoryudo” means the “Dragon-rise Region”. The name originated from the fact that there are nine prefectures in Chubu and Hokuriku and they coincidently formed the shape of a rising dragon with the Noto Peninsula forming its head, Mie Prefecture its tail and its rising body covering every part of the nine Chubu and Hokuriku prefectures. We are here to share our experience exploring the region using the Shoryudo Bus Pass.  Come onboard on part 1 of our adventure! 

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Touchdown At Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport

If you have the time to spare, Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport has many places to shop and restaurants to dine in too. One of the recommended food to try is the Kishimen noodle in Miya restaurant. It is a flat tyre of noodle available only in the Nagoya region. The taste is pretty much like udon but a flattened version. It also comes with a pork cutlet which is very crispy on the outside and tender inside. The miso sauce is made from steamed soybeans and impacts a sweet tangy flavour to the pork cutlet. 

If you need to stay before or after a late night/early morning flight or during the day to have a rest, there is a Capsule Hotel called Tube Square located at level 1 Welcome Garden. It is fully equipped with capsule bedrooms perfect for a rest, a shower rooms ticked with amenities and large-sized lockers.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Getting Your Pass From The Airport

Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport is linked to different parts of Japan via train, bus and ship. The SHORYUDO Bus Pass can be purchased from Meitetsu Travel Plaza located at level 2 Arrivals Lobby Access Plaza.

There are three SHORYUDO Bus Pass which you can choose from:

SHORYUDO 3-Day Bus Pass-Takayama.Shirakawa-go.Kanazawa Course

This ticket gives you unlimited travel on highway buses connecting Nagoya, Gifu, Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa and Toyama, plus access to Central Japan International Airport, Komatsu Airport and Toyama Airport.

SHORYUDO 5-Day Bus Pass (Wide Course)

In addition to the areas covered in the SHORYUDO 3-Day Bus Pass, this ticket gives you unlimited travel on highway buses and route buses connecting the popular tourist sites in the SHORYUDO area, plus access to Central Japan International Airport, Komatsu Airport and Toyama Airport.

SHORYUDO 3-Day Bus Pass -Matsumoto.Magome.Komagane Course.

You can also get a variety of discounts by presenting the SHORYUDO Bus Pass at Shinhotaka Ropeway, Highway Bus Takayama to Shinjuku, Kyoto, Osaka, Mt. Fuji, Regular Sightseeing Bus Okayama Ainokura and Shirakawa-go Course, Regular Sightseeing Bus Okayama Suganuma and Shirakawa-go Course, Honokidaira/Hirayu Onsen-Norikura Round Trip Pass, Toyama Buri Kani Bus Free Pass, Takaoka-Wakura Onsen Bus “Waku Liner” Free Pass, Komagatake Ropeway (Local Bus + Ropeway) and Enakyo Cruise Boat.

Discounts are valid until the day after the last valid day of the SHORYUDO Bus Pass.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Exploring Inuyama

For those who want to explore Inuyama, from Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport, you can take the Meitetsu Express MU-Sky train to Inuyama-Yuen station. There is a free bus pick up to Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel right outside the station. Located just below the National Treasure Inuyama Castle, this hotel is built along the Kiso River. You can enjoy the “Kakutei no Yu” hot springs of Inuyama, as well as the National Treasure Tea Ceremony Room “Jo-An”.

From the hotel, it is about a 7 mins walk to Sanko-Inari Shrine and Inuyama Castle Town. The Sanko-Inari Shrine is a place where people come to ‘wash’ their money for prosperity.

There are also heart shaped boards to write your wishes so they can be blessed to come true.

From the shrine, you can walk over to see the National Treasure – Inuyama Castle. Said to be have been built by Nobuyasu, the uncle of Nobunaga Oda, the Inuyama Castle is one of the only five natural treasures in Japan. The castle features the oldest standing tensu, which has been in place since the Muromachi Period.

For the adventurous and sporty, you can climb up to the Tenshukaku through six flight of stairs which are so steep that they are almost 180 degrees. However, the scenic view from the tenshukaku is definitely worth the effort. You can also see the majestic view of the Kiso River as well.

For those who still have extra energy after climbing up and down the stairs of Inuyama Castle, you may want to take a walk in Inuyama Castle Town.

Every effort had been made to preserve old streets lined with old houses. 

You can also drop by The Former Isobe Residence Restoration. This is the former residence of a family that ran a kimono business called Kashiwaya Magobe dating back to Edo Period (1603-1868). It comprises of the main room, back parlour, storehouse, rear storehouse and the storage room (which now serves as an exhibition room), each of which is a Registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan.

Do drop by Donden-kan Museum where four out of thirteen Yamas (festival floats) that are actually drawn in Inuyama Festival are exhibited.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Cormorant Fishing Dinner Experience

While in the region, you must experience the Cormorant Fishing Tour Package where you can enjoy lunch or dinner on a boat on the Kiso River while watching a live performance of fishing through skilled birds. 

Cormorant fishing is a traditional river fishing method in which usho (cormorant fishing masters) ride out on ubune (cormorant fishing boat) and use trained u (cormorants) to catch fish. An usho handles up to 12 cormorants on leases. Urged tactfully by the usher, cormorants dive under the water and catch river fish, such as the Ayu, by swallowing them whole. The fish are then retrieved from their throats.

A total of 2 hours 30 minutes including dinner is needed for the whole experience. Sea cormorants, which are bigger than river cormorants, are used for cormorant fishing. They are caught on the beach, tamed and trained for 3 years before being used for fishing.

You must order the Ayu (sweetfish) which Nagoya is famous for. This fishing method is designated as an intangible cultural asset of Inuyama City.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Tea Ceremony House Jo-An

After a hearty Japanese buffet breakfast in Meitetsu-Inuyama Hotel, we took a walk over to tour the Tea Ceremony House Jo-An, which is less than a minute walk.

It is a nice walk in the serene Japanese landscape garden named “Urakuen” to find the Tea Ceremony House Jo-An as you can take in the beautiful sights of nature. It costs 1000 yen to enter Tea Ceremony House Jo-An without tea and 1400 yen with tea. If you want to sample Japanese tea after entering, it will cost an additional 600 yen.

This is the place where you can enjoy a cup of brewed brew tea. During autumn, a sweet autumn dessert called Kurikinton will be offered together with the Japanese tea.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Journey To Takayama City Through Nagoya

From Inuyama, you can take the Meitetsu Express MU-Sky train to go to Nagoya station 

Do remember to grab a bento box from one of the departmental stores in Nagoya before you hop onto the bus using SHORYUDO Bus Pass to go to Takayama as it is a 3 hours ride.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Explore Takayama City

You can take the bus to Takayama bus terminal and do a walking tour in Takayama city. This will bring you on a journey to learn the past and discover the new. 

There are shops selling food which will tickle your appetite so do look out for them, like Mitarashi Dango (Rice dumplings on skewers with soy sauce).

There are also Hida beef buns with 100% juicy Hida beef. This is a must try!

Look out for Hida beef on skewers as well. Grilled to perfection, you won’t be able to stop at just one skewer.

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Next Stop Shin Hodaka

After the walk, you might want to take the bus using SHORYUDO Bus Pass to Shin Hodaka. One accommodation which you can consider is Hotel Hotaka which is directly adjacent to the Shin-Hodaka Ropeway boarding point. The hotel is pretty comfortable and has its own indoor and outdoor onsen.

The hot springs on the premises is a simple sulphur spring, where the water of purest quality always flows at a temperature of 75.3 Degree Celsius.

Hotel Hotaka comprises of a total of 49 rooms, banquet halls, general-purpose halls, pub, all-to-yourself rental karaoke room and shops. You can also enjoy Kaiseki cuisine in the hotel. The food is amazing and you will be able to sample the following: Walnut tofu, Grilled mushroom and edible chrysanthemum, Scallops with sesame dressing, Pike congera sea eel marinated in a sweet and peppery sauce, Sashimi (Salmon, squid and shrimp), Grilled rainbow trout,

Grilled Hida beef on a ceramic plate, Tempura (lotus root with mashed shrimp/ginkgo, potato and wheat gluten/pumpkin), Steamed dumpling of shrimp-shaped taro potato, Rice, Clear soup (bonito soup with tofu skin), Pickled cucumber and Japanese radish and Cake/apricot and orange.

Do order some alcohol, like sake or sogu to go with the food as they are a good match to it. 

SHORYUDO Bus Pass – Shinhotaka Ropeway Awaits!

If you want to try authentic Japanese cuisine breakfast, the breakfast served at Hotel Hotaka is a good choice option. There is home made tofu, miso paste cooked over a stove, amidst other small dishes.

One of Japan’s few mountain ropeways, the Shinhotaka Ropeway uses a first and second ropeway to connect the 3,200m distance from a height of 1,039m, between the Chubu-Sangaku National Park and the Kita Alps with its range of mountains around 3,000m high, to the Okuhida Hot Springs Village, an area that boasts of an abundance of hot spring water. Get ready to soar above the clouds at an altitude of 2,156 metres in Japan’s only double-decker gondola!

The scenic view at the Observation Deck at Nishihotakaguchi Station has a two-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide Japan and overlooks the Kita Alps at an elevation of 2,156m. 

There are also restaurants that serve fresh-baked bread, Hida beef and more. This is pork cutlet with miso sauce but this time round, the colour of the sauce is lighter as it is made from boiled soybeans instead of steamed ones.

We will end off our adventure mid-way here in Shinhotaka Ropeway. Look out for the next phase of our exploration on SHORYUDO Bus Pass in the next post!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.