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Tokugawa Gardens and Art Museum

These lavish gardens were constructed in 1694 as a residential retreat for Mitsutomo, the second Lord of the Owari clan. Sadly, however, most of the garden and its buildings were destroyed during World War II. Restoration took a long time, with the garden being finally opened as a public park in 2004. If time permits, visit the adjacent Tokugawa Art Museum, the third oldest private museum in Japan, which miraculously survived the World War II air raids.
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Kiso Valley

Four hundred years ago, both Magome and Tsumago were two of 69 staging posts on the 500 km Nakasendo “Highway”, a foot-trail along which local warlords had to make an annual pilgrimage to the then-capital Edo (now Tokyo), to report in. Today, Magome and Tsumago look much as they once did. Magome, easily accessible from Nagoya by rail and bus, has a modern part of town with a few low-key gift shops but once you veer onto the broad foot-trail leading north through “old” Magome, it is very easy to forget that the subsequent centuries ever existed.
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Hamanako Garden Park

About 30 minutes by rail from downtown Nagoya via Hamatsu City, Hamanako Garden Park is what remains of Pacific Flora, a floral exhibition that ran as a precursor to Expo 2005. Now the site, superbly located on a peninsula in Lake Hamana, has become a permanent civic attraction. Flowing through the grounds, just as during Pacific Flora, is the scenic Iridori Canal, still bridged by the classic Taikobashi (“tympani”) Bridge. The park is now a popular staging ground for rally events, including the HPI Challenge All Asia Finals.
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