© NPO Chiune Sugihara. Visas For Life
Starting point of this ‘Chiune’ Route as Nagoya is easily accessible both by Shinkansen or air from Tokyo and Osaka. Nagoya is where Chiune Sugihara spent 10 years of his childhood and also a home to the ‘Sempo’ Sugihara Memorial. This is an outdoor exhibit showcasing a series of panels, pictures, statues and the replicated lists of 2,257 recipients of the ‘Visas of Life.’ A perfect start to embark the journey fulfilled with Chiune’s humanity and courage.
In Yaotsu town, the hometown of Chiune Sugihara, there is ‘The Chiune Sugihara Memorial Hall” built to commemorate the deed of Sugihara, who saved thousands of lives of Jewish refugees by issuing their transit visas to Japan. To honour his significant achievement, many Israeli tourists visit the museum every year.
Takayama is an ideal stopover for anyone the Sugihara remembrance journey. Its historic charm results from the beautiful preservation of the old town surrounded in the mountainous Hida region. Takayama accommodates any activities like outdoors, family-friendly, foodies and cultural immersion.
Registered as a ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’, it is well known for its unique traditional building style- Gassho-Zukuri. This is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life and experience the classic cultural and historical adventures. A MUST visit for those exploring the Chiune Route.
As the Edo-period old towns and historical buildings still remain, Kanazawa is a perfect destination to be fully immersed in Japan’s beauty while on the Sugihara Route. The tranquil walk in the iconic Kenroku-en Garden- one of Japan’s “Three Most Beautiful Traditional Japanese Style Gardens” is a treat for your soul.
A highlight of this Chiune Route is also ‘the Port of Humanity Tsuruga Museum’ where the Tsuruga Port played a major role in saving over 700 Polish orphans in the 1920s and a large number of Jewish refugees with the ‘Visas of Life’ in 1940. The visitors will surely be touched by how local residents warmly welcomed and supported these arrivals with numerous displays of recollections, reminiscence and testimonials from those who survived and their descendants.
Nagoya (名古屋) is Japan's fourth most populated city and the capital of Aichi Prefecture. This part of Japan is famous its local specialties which miso plays a vital role in. Its icon is Misonikomi- a chewy texture udon which is simmered in a miso-flavoured dashi broth.
Yaotsu (八百津町, Yaotsu-Town) is a town located in Gifu Prefecture. It was historically said that this town was the transit point between road and river transportations, accommodating several river ports on the Kiso River flowing from east to west through the town.
Takayama (高山) is a city in the mountainous Hida region of Gifu Prefecture. Takayama retains a traditional touch like few other Japanese cities, especially in its beautifully preserved old town.
Shirakawa Village (白川村, Shirakawa-go) is located in Gifu Prefecture. Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, they are famous for their traditional Gassho style houses, some of which are more than 250 years old.
Kanazawa (金沢市, Kanazawa-shi) is the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture. Kanazawa’s unchallenged main attraction is Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens” and by many considered the most beautiful of them all.
Tsuruga (敦賀市, Tsuruga-shi) is a city located in Fukui Prefecture. In addition to its coastline, forests, and wetlands, Tsuruga has well-preserved historical sites that provide a glimpse into times past such as ancient temples.