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The Chubu region in central Honshu faces both the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Sea of Japan to the north. Chubu ("Central region") is the rather indeterminate area between the west (Kansai Region) and east (Kanto Region), and incorporates Japan’s fourth largest urban conurbation -the city of  Nagoya. The region isn’t always very clearly defined: often the northern part (on the Sea of Japan) is called Hokuriku.

The climate varies greatly according to the area: while the Sea of Japan side is renowned for heavy snowfall, the Pacific side generally enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. Some towns located on plateaux are very popular as summer retreats due to their cool climate. The Japan Alps which include several lofty mountains and is thus widely referred to as the Roof of Japan, extends from north to south in the Chubu region.

Though largely rural and remote, the ancient highways that cross the region link some of the best-preserved towns and villages from the Edo period and before.

The Chubu region has some of Japan’s longest rivers and one of the largest rice-producing areas, located along the Sea of Japan. It has three main industrial areas in addition to rice, agricultural products include tea, mandarin oranges, strawberries, grapes, peaches and apples.

The most famous landmark of this largely mountainous region is Fuji-san  - or Mount Fuji - whose conical form has inspired generations of artists and is world-renowned as a symbol of Japan.  Other sightseeing spots in the Chubu region are the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture, which has a subtropical climate, many beautiful beaches and a great number of hot springs; and Zenkoji in Nagano Prefecture, a well-known temple that attracts a large number of visitors from all over the country.

The southernmost Tokai district is located almost in the middle of the Japanese archipelago, covering Shizuoka, Aichi and Mie prefectures, and the southern part of Gifu Prefecture. The region features a wealth of history and boasts a wide range of cultural attractions. This area is home to the three great generals who united Japan,  Fuji-san and the world heritage site of the Shirakawa Village and the Shokawa Valley. The area is unique, as it retains a traditional thatched roof architectural style and the homes here continue to be lived in.

The central inland part of the Chubu region is mostly mountains and the population is sparse, although the natural beauty of the area has made it a famous tourist destination.


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