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Japan Regional Information

Chubu    Chugoku     Hokkaido     Kanto     Kansai     Kyushu     Okinawa     Shikoku    Tohoku

Aichi     Fukui     Gifu     Ishikawa     Nagano     Nigata     Shizuoka     Toyama     Yamanashi

 

Aichi

Two contrasting districts - A pivotal point in east-west traffic
Aichi is situated at the center of Japan and is roughly divided into the mountainous, hilly area and the plain. The Sakai-gawa River that flows into the Kinuura Bay also divides Aichi into two contrasting districts, the conservative, frugal Owari and the somber, sturdy Mikawa. Aichi has been a pivotal point for the traffic between western and eastern Japan, and has flourished as the base for industries since olden days. The major industries include ceramics in Seto and Tokoname, automobile manufacturing in Toyoda, and the woolen textile industry in Ichinomiya.

Nagoya is the center for the administration, economy and culture of Aichi. It has Nagoya Castle noted for the golden dolphins on top of the roof and the Atsuta Shrine. The Inuyama Castle stands in the neighboring Inuyama.

This area has many areas of beauty such as the Mikawa Bay Quasi-National Park, the Hida-Kiso River Quasi-National Park, the Mt. Horaiji Prefectural Park, the Atsumi-hanto Peninsula Prefectural Park, Korankei Valley, Kuragari Valley and Miya hot spring. The people living here celebrate the Hadaka-matsuri Festival, or naked festival known as a peculiar festival with a history of over 1,200 years in Owari-Konomiya in Inazawa and Hana-matsuri Festival or flower festival in winter.

Getting therer
Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station or 55 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station.
 

  • Nagoya
    A world-famous castle that is the pride of Nagoya
    The golden dolphins on its roof reflect the prosperity of the Edo era
    Nagoya Castle is almost in the center of Nagoya, and is famous for the golden dolphins that adorn the roof of its castle tower. The castle was built in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the then-shogun of the Edo government. Until the revolution of 1867 it was the residence of the Owari Tokugawas, one of the three Tokugawa houses. Much of the castle was burnt down in 1945 during the World War II air raids, but the tower was rebuilt in 1959 as a reinforced concrete building with seven stories above ground and a basement. Since then, it has continued to be a beautiful symbol of Nagoya. Floors 1 to 5 inside the castle have been opened up as exhibition rooms, and you can see from close-up items that tell the history of Nagoya, including objects related to the Owari Tokugawas house. Meijo Park, which was constructed around the castle, contains flowers that bloom in different seasons, and many people like to walk here. There are also lots of events that should not be missed, like the Sakura-matsuri (cherry blossom festival) in spring, the Nagoya-jo Natsu-matsuri (Nagoya Castle summer festival), and the Kiku-ningyo-ten (chrysanthemum doll show). To the east of Nagoya Castle is a part of the town that has the atmosphere of the seventeenth century mansions and warehouses that still stand there. The scene around Nagoya Castle is one where the old and new blend harmoniously.

    Getting there
    Nagoya Station is 1 Hour 36 Minutes from Tokyo Station and 52 Minutes from Osaka Station by JR Shinkansen Line. Then take the Sakuradori and Meijo Subway Lines from Nagoya Station to Shiyakusho Station, which takes about 10 Minutes.
     

    • Imaike, Kakuozan and Higashiyama
      Imaike, Kakuozan and Higashiyama in Chigusa-ku are situated along the Higashiyama Line, the oldest subway line in Nagoya. In Imaike on the thriving commercial street Nishiki-dori that stretches from JR Nagoya Station, there are taverns, Chinese restaurants, barbecue restaurants and other old, popular shops with reasonable prices as well as a number of mini-theaters and bars with live music performances. The Imaike Broadway Monument at the intersection is colorful and boldly designed to please the eyes of the passers-by. The Kakuozan area spreads from the Kakuozan Nittai-ji Temple, which is the only temple in Japan that enshrines the ashes of Buddha bestowed by the King of Thailand. It is a quiet residential district with rich greenery, and there are is a traditional Japanese styled residence Yokiso, the Higashiyama Water Tower and other classical structures.

      The neighboring areas are dotted with the Shiroyama Hachimangu Shrine, Hebi-Yakushi Temple and many other temples and shrines. The center of Higashiyama is the Higashiyama Multiple Park made up of a zoo, botanical garden and amusement park. It is also noted for its cherry blossoms. There is the Higashiyama Sky Tower that has an observation deck at an altitude of 180m where visitors can see the entire view of Nagoya, which is particularly beautiful at night.

      Getting there
      Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station, or for 55 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station. Take the subway Higashiyama Line for 13 minutes to Imaike Station, 15 minutes to Kakuozan Station and 17 minutes to Higashiyama Koen Station.
       

    • Yotsuya and Yamate Dori Street
      Shops in the high-class neighborhood are loved by people of all ages
      Yotsuya and Yamate Dori Street in Nagoya connect, from north to south, Motoyama Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line and Yagoto Station on Tsurumai Line. Along the modern streets are university, museum and fashionable buildings. If you take one step back into the alley then you will find quiet accessory shops and restaurants scattered around the high-end neighborhood. The calm and peaceful atmosphere is loved by people of all ages. This is a hilly area suitable for window shopping while taking a walk, and you will see many people enjoying a slow walk along its approximately 3.5 km route.

      At the Togan-ji Temple along the Yotsuya Dori Street on the Motoyama Station side is a gigantic wood block said to blot out all past sins if you touch it with one hand. The Yagoto-san Kosho-ji Temple along the Yamate Dori Street on the Yagoto Station side is a temple built in the 17th century imitating one of the Koya-san temples in Wakayama. The 30-meter tall five-layer pagoda, designated as an important cultural asset, is a popular symbol of the Temple and an approximately 300,000 square-meter huge compound is a famous spot for viewing the changing color of leaves in the autumn.

      Getting there
      About 1 hour 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line. About 55 minutes from Shin Osaka Station. About 14 minutes from Nagoya Station to Motoyama Station by Higashiyama Subway Line. Yagoto: From Nagoya Station via Fushimi Station by Higashiyama Subway Line. About 20 minutes to Yagoto Station on subway Tsurumai Line.
       

    • Atsuta-jingu Shrine
      A historic Shinto shrine with a sacred forest
      Lively celebration of religious services and festivals
      Atsuta-jingu Shrine is located nearly in the center of Nagoya and is also called Atta-san or Miya and it is very popular amongst the locals. Atsuta-jingu Shrine is a historic shrine that is mentioned in Japan's oldest history book from the 7th century called "Kojiki" and has Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one of the three heirlooms "Sansyu-no-jingi" that had been owned by successive emperors and used as symbol for succession of the imperial throne. This shrine holds more than seventy ceremonies yearly including traditional and interesting ones such as the Eyoudo ceremony where Shinto priests walk around laughing, which attract many visitors throughout the year.  The precincts of Jingu reach 20,000 square meters and are surrounded by a dense forest called Atsuta Forest and this forest gives the precincts a solemn atmosphere. The treasury inside Takayuka-shiki Bunka Den (a Building with very a high floor and low pillars at the corners), which was constructed in 1966, stores approximately 4,000 treasures. Also inside of the precincts, there are precious historic site such as the Nobunaga-Bei (a wall) dedicated by a 16th century's general called Oda Nobunaga, the Sakuma Tourou (a lantern) and the Nijugo-cho-bashi (a bridge).

      Getting there
      By JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station. For 55 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station. By Meitetsu Main Line for 7 minutes from Nagoya Station to Jingu-mae Station.

       

  • Inuyama
    A City with a castle that has the oldest castle tower in Japan
    Enjoy the poetic charms of summer and the thrills of the Kiso-gawa River
    Inuyama is situated in the eastern Nobi-heiya Plain in northwestern Aichi. Inuyama Castle, a national treasure, stands at the center of the city, which still retains the atmosphere of an old castle town built in the 17th century. Inuyama Castle, also known as Hakuteijo Castle, was built in the late 16th century, and is the only privately owned castle in Japan. Its Tenshukaku, or the castle tower is the oldest existing tower in Japan. The castle is surrounded by the Okumura Residence, Yurakien and other residences that preserve the reminiscence of the merchants' lives in the olden days. You can also watch a traditional event of Ukai, fishing smelts with cormorants. Inuyama is also noted for the "Nihon Rain". This is a downstream riverboat ride along the rapid currents of the Kiso-gawa River, which is one of the best 100 rivers of Japan. In the neighboring areas there are a variety of large scale theme parks, such as Meiji-mura which preserves the structures and other cultural assets of the 19th century, the open-air local traditions museum "Little World", and Japan Monkey Park.

    Inuyama Ukai with a history of 340 years is performed in summer. Ukai is a kind of fishing. The fishermen train many cormorants and make them catch smelts that are attracted to the torch at the head of a small boat on the river. They celebrate the Inuyama Matsuri Festival at the Haritsuna-jinja Shrine in spring where the floats parade under the cherry blossoms.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station or 55 minutes from Osaka Station to Nagoya Station. Then, take Meitetsu Inuyama Line for 25 minutes from Shin-Nagoya Station to Inuyama Station.

     

  • Mikawa Bay
    A seaside resort you can enjoy in every way all year round
    Take-shima Island is covered with an evergreen wood
    Surrounded by Chita-hanto Peninsula and Atsumi-hanto Peninsula, Mikawa Bay is an inland sea that has Irako Point and Hazu Point as the mouth of the bay. It forms a part of the Mikawa Bay Quasi-national Park. It is known as the seaside resort that keeps you insatiate throughout the year with sea bathing, seashell digging, fishing or a shore seine. Maccha (a type of green tea produced from grinding tea leaves)-producing districts and hot spring towns such as Nishio, Gamagori or Kira-cho and hot spring towns such as Nishiura, Mitani and Katahara lie on the coast.

    As for Take-shima Island, the island itself is covered with evergreen woods and is designated as state natural treasure. The offshore island of Gamagori is accessible via Takeshima-bashi Bridge and there you can visit Yaotomi-jinja Shrine worshipping Takeshima Benten - one of the seven famous BENTEN gods in Japan, and Takeshima Aquarium. Kira-cho's Kezo-ji Temple was built in 1600 and is known for its Karesansui Garden, created in 19th century where the scenery with hills and water is represented by stones and white sand. Lively fish markets in the fishing ports spattered along Mikawa Bay and the seafood restaurants serving local-landed fresh seafood in the surrounding area will appease one's appetite, too.

    Getting there
    By JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 1 hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station, for 55 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station, if you are coming from Osaka. By JR Tokaido Main Line for 35 minutes from Nagoya Station to Gamagori Station.

     

  • Mt. Horai-ji
    Home for Japanese scops owls noted for their hooting sutra
    Mountains that overlook the East Mikawa Plain and the Mikawa Bay
    Mt. Horaiji is a volcanic mountain in the Oku-Mikawa District in eastern Aishi. It is designated as a scenic spot and a precious natural monument of Japan, and is located within the Tenryu-Oku-Mikawa Quasi-National Park. This mountain is noted as the home for Japanese scops owls that are famous for their hooting which sounds like "Bu (Buddha), Po (sutra) and So (priest)" as well as flying squirrels. The Mt. Horai-ji Natural Science Museum is at the gateway to the mountains where you can learn about the behavior and conditions of the animals and plants living in the mountains. You can see stuffed Japanese serows and Hodgson's hawk eagles, as well as hear the recorded hooting of owls. There are also exhibits of ferns, lilies and other plants, rocks and minerals unique to Mt. Horai-ji to introduce the geological features of the area. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the East Mikawa Plain and the Mikawa Bay from the top of the mountain.

    The Horai-ji Temple is located halfway up the Mt. Horai-ji, and is covered with a dense forest of old cedars and Japanese cypresses that spread from the approach way with 1,425 stone steps to the precincts. The Toshogu Shrine, built by the 3rd Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu in the 17th century, is to the east of the main temple. The interior walls of Toshogu are decorated with elaborate carvings that resemble those in Toshogu in Nikko, Tochigi.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 15 minutes from Tokyo Station or 1 hour and 20 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Toyohashi Station. Then, take a limited express on JR Iida Line for 35 minutes to Hon-nagashino Station. Take a bus for 10 minutes from Hon-nagashino Station to Horai-ji.

     

  • Yuya and Asuke
    A hot spring in the mountains
    The old townscape along the Chuma Kaido
    Yuya is a hot spring resort along the Ure-gawa River in eastern Aichi. In the neighboring areas there is Uma-no-se-gan or horseback rocks designated as a national precious natural monument, where a dyke of andesite rises up in the center of the river, and the precipitous Horaikyo Valley and Mt. Horaiji where Japanese scops owls live.

    Asuke is located in northeastern Aichi. It thrived as a post town in the Chuma Kaido Highway, which was the route to transport salt produced along the Mikawa Bay in the 19th century. The townscape is plastered with houses along the street reminiscent of the olden days. There is the Sanshu Asuke Yashiki, a replica of the townscape in the early 20th century. Here, you can watch the performance of the blacksmith, charcoal maker, paper maker and other artisans' inside their re-constructed buildings. In the neighboring areas, there is the Asuke Chuma-kan Hall, Asuke Material Hall and a number of scenic sights such as the Korankei Valley noted for the wonderful view of coloring maple leaves along the Tomoe-gawa River.

    Getting there
    Take JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line for 2 hours and 15 minutes from Tokyo Station or for 1 hour and 20 minutes from Shin-Osaka Station to Toyohashi Station. Then, take JR Iida Line for 1 hour and 10 minutes from Toyohashi Station to Yuya-onsen Station.

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  Information provided by Japan National Tourist Organization.

 

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