Inuyama Castle Town, Japan – Original places to visit from 1800s.

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Inuyama city, just 30 mins from Nagoya city by rail is rich in culture and heritage. Follow our footprints in Aichi prefecture where we explored the oldest castle tower in Japan, the former house of a kimono merchant and learning more of the floating festival ‘DONDEN’ at a museum.

The Inuyama Castle has to be the first stop among all other attractions. Picture this view – it has an unobstructed 360degrees view of the city across the Kiso-gawa river.

Declared as a national treasure, it is one of the 4 castles in Japan to receive this recognition and one of the few castles which are original (not replicated) – withstood natural disasters and wars during the Edo period. The castle is best viewed during the Sakura blossom season where it is expected to greet visitors with cherry trees.

The Inuyama castle is easy to climb from foot of the hill, but it has steep steps within the castle to the peak. Within, it has many exhibits and royal scripts that are left down from generations. Here at the top of the tower, you can learn about the different lords that maintained and took charge of the castle.

Right next to Inuyama castle, remember to drop by the Sanko Inari shrine. Enjoy the beauty of Inaris (red stacks of poles) and then visit the Urakuen garden, another national treasure for important tea ceremony.

Take a stroll along the charming Inuyama old town. You can spot some breweries, souvenir shops, snacks and even an alley of food outlets offering local delights.

Taste local snacks like Gohei Mochi (Grilled Rice Cake with Sweet Miso) at the food alley in Inuyama old town! Oishii!

Peep into the former Isobe’s house, a rich Kimono merchant living area. Discover the living conditions of the middle class in the past with a walk through in the main house, courtyard and warehouses. These houses are built in the Edo period, so it lingers a sense of nostalgic.

Likewise for the other cities in Aichi prefecture, the Inuyama people pride themselves celebrating the annual ‘Donden’ – float festival. 4 of the 13 city’s yamas (festival floats) are on display at the Donden-kan museum. Find out more of the float festival here, and how you can witness one throughout the year.

Tips:

  • Inuyama borders between Aichi prefecture and Gifu prefecture, so it’s easy to cross to Gifu from Inuyama.
  • Inuyama is relatively easy to travel from Nagoya, with rails taking just 30mins.
  • Take advantage of special rail passes by MEITETSU which includes round-trip passes from Nagoya, Inuyama castle entrance and discounted coupons from just 1,340yen.
  • Inuyama town is charming with many places marked from the Edo period. It is recommended to spend half a day here to enjoy the area.
  • Links:
    Inuyama Tourism: inuyama.gr.jp

    Sy is a guest of Inuyama city and its partners.

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