That’s right, we kid you not. We’re not talking about replicas – these are original buildings shifted from different cities in Japan and brought together in a city called Inuyama. Inuyama city is just 25mins from Nagoya city by rail and 36mins by car and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t visit when you can unlock champion badges of ‘i visited all!’.
Inuyama’s Meiji-mura has to be on the top of your travel list for first-timers. Well, if you’ve been to Japan several times, this open-air museum/park is still worth going for its heritage sculptures never seen before!
Take out a 10yen coin from your pocket and you’ll find a building sculpture at the back. That’s the iconic Imperial Hotel Tokyo, which now stands in the capital city. Right here in Inuyama, it has pieced together the original remains of the hotel structures and what made it astounding is that it took 3 years to move the original forms to Meijimura.
These stubborn Oya tile blocks are the reasons why. As they’re really fragile, it requires careful handling to make its way to Inuyama city. Also, if you notice, the levels between each floor is not symmetrical – it’s an eye illusion as claimed by the designer ‘F.L. Wright’.
The popular hotel was visited by celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. You can even experience the glamour of this heritage hotel by sitting on its original chairs that are on display at Inuyama Meijimura.
Experience the hotel lightup from December to February yearly and see the beautiful lively side of it.
Visit the heritage Uji-Yamada Post office Mie, an iconic structure with cooper plated roofs. Old-school original post boxes are also visible within the original post office and amazingly, you can even send a postcard or letter from here to your destination!
Go on the headlines and find out what really happened on the day you’re born! Bring home a copy of the newspaper freshly printed from the machine right in Meiji-mura.
Experience the life of cold harsh conditions in the Maebashi prison dated from the Edo period. Go in and take memorial photos in the wooden jail wards.
Costume up the prisoner’s shirts together with prisoner’s clogs. Lock yourself up in one of the cells and capture memorial shots at the old Kanazawa prison.
Ride on Japan’s oldest operating steam locomotive train at Meiji-mura and be obsessed with how they maintained the rails and u-turn the cabin on every trip. It was a lifetime experience to ride on one and you should too!
Even if you’re not into history and architectures, we are sure this view will peak your senses. Take a stroll along the lake at Meijimura and hop across 68 sightseeing buildings, of which some are important cultural properties in Japan.
There’re way too many to visit within a few hours and we suggest you to set aside 1 full day to visit this place and learn more about the history behind these heritage-old buildings.
You can go around the park on kyoto old trams and also buses at a minimal fee.
TEA CEREMONY at a NATIONAL TREASURE
Make a pitstop at the Uraku-en, a tea ceremony house in serene japanese landscape garden. The Uraku-en is known as one of the best tea ceremony houses in history and has been designated as national treasure.
There are a few spots that you have to explore and one of the most interesting is the SUI-KIN Kutsu, an ornament that creates soft echoes when you wash your hands before entering someone else’s home.
Joan, the tea ceremony house was originally from Kyoto and shifted in the Meiji period to Inuyama. It was fitted with special designs like old lunar calendar hanging areas and windows divided with bamboo sun shades. It was also one of the important 3 teahouses in Japan.
You can also experience a tea ceremony with specially prepared sweets in the zen environment at the KOAN teahouse. Do note that Joan is the only treasure that is opened to public on regular basis.
The Meitetsu Inuyama hotel is one of the luxury accommodations in the city of Inuyama. East of Inuyama castle and just a doorstep from the Joan teahouse, the hotel boasts a majestic city view plus a refreshing onsen with waterfall right downstairs.
Inuyama is relatively easy to get around due to its range of train and bus passes available. Check out the Meitetsu railway special discount tickets offered to tourists from Nagoya – day passes from 1,340 yen that include bus tickets, entrance ticket to Meiji-Mura and hopping on the steam locomotive rides while also exploring the region such as Inuyama castle and Inuyama old town.