Exploring Aichi

This is the first prefecture I’m talking about in my new Exploring Japan series.

Aichi Prefecture is situated in the middle of the largest island Honshu.  It has a population of 7,408,640 people.  The capital city is Nagoya, which is one of Japan’s largest cities.  The five largest cities of Aichi are:

  1. Nagoya (2,266,249)
  2. Toyota (423,343)
  3. Ichinomiya (more than 380,000)
  4. Toyohashi (383,691)
  5. Okazaki (373,339)

Sports

Aichi is home to two major sports teams, the Chunichi Dragons baseball team in Nagoya and the Nagoya Grampus soccer team.

Castles

Aichi has five castles to standing.  Briefly, they are as follows:

Nagoya Castle – This is a reconstruction, although the exterior is very faithful to the original design.  It appears to be quite impressive in photographs.

Inuyama Castle – This is one of Japan’s few remaining original castles.  It’s in Inuyama city.  I’m very interested in seeing this.

Okazaki Castle – A reconstruction in Okazaki city, this is the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Yoshida Castle – Only a replica of the turret stands.  There is no central tower.  It’s in Toyohashi City.

Kiyosu Castle – This is a reconstruction.  Oda Nobunaga lived here at one time.

Things to see and do

In addition to the castles, there are plenty of places I’d like to see.  Here’s a list of those places.  Although not complete, these are the biggest things I’d like to visit and do.

In Nagoya, I’d like to visit the Port of Nagoya Aquarium, the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, the Toyota Automobile Museum, Nagoya City Science Museum, and numerous shrines and temples.

In Ichinomiya, I’d like to visit Masumida Shrine and attend the Tanabata Festival there.  It’s one of the three biggest Tanabata festivals in Japan.

In Inuyama, I’d like to visit the Meiji Mura Museum, which is an outdoor museum featuring Meiji era architecture.

In Nagakute, I would have visited the 2005 World Expo, but I never did go.  The site is now a large parkland area.

In Okazaki, I’d like to visit the Takisan Temple and the Takisan Toshogu Shrine, which is one of the top three Toshogu shrines in Japan.

In Tahara, I want to see the Tahara Castle Ruins.

In Toyota, I’d like to take a tour of a car factory.  This city was named after the company, interestingly.

Food

There are a lot of local foods in Japan, and Aichi is no exception.  If I had to choose one food from Aichi I’d like to try, it would be tebasaki.  This is chicken wings.  They’re grilled with a sweet, spicy glaze and sesame seeds.  Sounds delicious!

Now it’s your turn.  If you’ve been to Aichi or want to go there, what do you suggest?

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6 Comments

Filed under Aichi, Japan

6 responses to “Exploring Aichi

  1. A great start to your series! Having lived in Aichi (Nagoya) for two years, I have to say it’s an area worth visiting. Nagoya Castle is beautiful (just ignore the fact that it has a lift), but I’d recommend Inuyama Castle more. It’s an original castle, and has a gorgeous view.

    As for food, the thing that makes Nagoya’s tebasaki so special is the pepper and salt. They go well with beer! If you get the chance to try tebasaki, the best place to go is Yamachan (http://www.yamachan.co.jp). You should also try miso nikomi udon and ogura toast!

    • Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked it.

      I checked Yamachan’s website out, and there’s one in Yokohama! I’ll have to remember it. What’s ogura toast?

  2. Nagoya was a frequent layover on our Kyoto (home) to Nagano (In-laws) run. Nagoya Castle is one of the better castles I’ve been to. It’s a reproduction, but they made the inside into a good museum. Inuyama is very cool and highly recommended. I haven’t actually seen much more of the prefecture, but Nagoya is definitely worth a day.

    • Thanks for the comment. Inuyama is high on my list of castles to see. I’d love to see all the originals, as well as the other major ones, including Nagoya. In Nagano, did you see Matsumoto castle? It’s my wife’s favourite, but I haven’t been there yet.

      • Several times. My wife is from Ina, just south of Matsumoto, so we end up there for shopping or travel whenever we’re visiting. It’s one of the best castles to see. Of the originals I’ve seen, Himeji is obviously the top of the list. Hikone, in Shiga, is nice, but smaller. Takahashi, Okayama is a neat trip, since it’s a castle that’s meant for defense, not show, and is on top of a mountain. I should put these in the individual prefecture posts. :p

        • Yeah, I’ll most likely post about all those castles in future posts 🙂

          Himeji castle is a bit difficult to see at the moment, though. It’s under renovation and hidden by a big box.

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