Top 10 things to see and do in the Aichi Prefecture, Japan

Important replace Feb 2021: At the time of this text was revealed, journey restrictions associated to the coronavirus pandemic are nonetheless in place for a lot of the world. Please verify the applicable authorities pointers for updates on the place and when you may journey.

The Aichi Prefecture in Japan’s Chubu Region, dwelling to the Toyota Motor Corporation, is named a serious centre of Japan’s automotive trade.

Aichi_ImagesHowever you gained’t simply discover a plethora of vehicles right here – as the halfway level alongside the previous Tokaido route that linked Tokyo with Kyoto, the prefecture gives loads of alternatives to dip into tradition, historical past, and heritage.

The area counts tons of of chateau websites inside its borders and is the birthplace of numerous samurai heroes, amongst them three sixteenth-century daimyos (highly effective Japanese feudal lords) famend for unifying the nation.

With the assist of Aichi Now, the official web site for tourism in the Aichi Prefecture, right here’s our “Top 10” round-up to encourage your personal Japan journey.

1. Visit Japan’s largest fort: Nagoya

Nagoya Castle (c) Nagoya Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nagoya Castle (c) Nagoya Convention & Visitors Bureau

Nagoya Castle was constructed at the order of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, one in all the three “Great Unifiers” of Japan. It was accomplished in 1615 and is Japan’s largest preserve.

The fort was severely broken in the Second World War and its towers had been reconstructed in 1959. Today should you search for, this ornately adorned residence of former Tokugawa daimyos (highly effective Japanese feudal lords) gives spectacular ceiling work.

2. Visit Japan’s smallest fort: Inuyama

Inuyama Castle (©National Treasure Inuyama Castle)

Inuyama Castle (c) National Treasure Inuyama Castle

On that word, the Aichi Prefecture can also be dwelling to Japan’s smallest fort. In Inuyama the spring cherry blossoms may be photographed in opposition to the scenic backdrop of the fundamental watchtower of Inuyama Castle, the solely construction that is still of the sixteenth-century fortress. Of the 12 castles in the nation that stand in their authentic type right this moment, Inuyama is the smallest and one in all the oldest – its present preserve was accomplished in 1537. Though it was designed for defence and the storage of arms and armour, right this moment it’s a peaceable place overlooking the Kiso River beneath.

3. Walk amongst cherry and maple blossoms in Toyota

Obara Cherry Blossoms

Obara Cherry Blossoms

The Obara space in the metropolis of Toyota is planted with greater than 10,000 cherry bushes that bloom twice annually.

The uncommon sight is made up of pink maples, pink cherries, and evergreens that show a cornucopia of lovely colors and textures. As many as 300 cherry bushes, known as Shiki-zakura, bloom in Obara Fureai Park and its quick neighborhood from mid-March to early April and once more from late October to early December. Obara can also be dwelling to Obara washi, a practice of sturdy handcrafted paper carried on since the late fifteenth century.

4. “Cure” your aches and pains at Yoshuin Temple

Yoshuin Temple

Yoshuin Temple

Nagoya, the capital of the Aichi Prefecture, is dwelling to Yoshuin Temple, a tiny, hidden spot not removed from the Osu Kannon subway station. It is thought for its Kamihari Jizo, a stone statue of the bodhisattva of compassion that’s coated in layers and layers of paper. Local legend relates that sicknesses and aches and pains may be eased by first touching the place of concern on one’s personal physique with a prayer slip, then affixing the paper to the corresponding a part of Jizo’s physique. Two prayer slips may be bought for 10 yen.

5. Tuck into breakfast Nagoyan model

Ogura toast (TSUBAMEPAN)

Ogura toast (c) TSUBAMEPAN

Nagoyans love to begin the day with the basic café “morning service”, the equal of completely happy hour at breakfast time. For a restricted interval every morning, a light-weight meal of toast and a boiled egg, typically additionally a mini salad and yoghurt, is served for the value of a espresso purchased in the UK.

The bread is usually minimize further thick and toasted golden-brown. When it’s topped with a pat of evenly salted butter and a scoop of candy red-bean jam, it’s a deal with often known as Ogura toast – an East–West fusion that dates again to the Twenties.

6. Experience solace in nature on the islands of Mikawa Bay

One of the art installations at Sakushima

One of the artwork installations at Sakushima

Escape to the trio of tiny islands – Sakushima, Himakajima, and Shinojima – close to the mouth of Mikawa Bay in southern Aichi Prefecture for a break from the hustle and bustle of metropolis exploration. The islands type a part of the Mikawa-wan Quasi-National Park.

Sakushima, the largest of the three, may be toured on foot or by bicycle in a few hours. Seek out the 22 trendy artwork installations positioned throughout the island, together with “Hirune House” (The Nap House), “East House” and “Kamome Chushajo” (actually that means The Seagull Parking).

Himakajima, the center of the three isles and the best one to entry, is known for the anime-inspired “Heidi’s Swing” atop a hill on Sunrise Beach at the island’s easternmost tip. After you are taking to the sky on the swing, stroll alongside the seashore and take pleasure in a meal of the island’s two well-known catches: octopus and fugu pufferfish.

7. Toba Fire Festival

Toba Fire Festival

Toba Fire Festival

Aichi residents’ penchant for daring bravado and spectacular shows climaxes in the Toba Fire Festival, held yearly on the second Sunday of February. The occasion dates again 1,200 years and determines the destiny of the harvest in the coming yr.

Two 5-metre excessive pillars product of bamboo and sedge are planted with a sacred cork oak sapling in the centre. At dusk, the pillars are set alight, and males who’ve undergone purification rites climb up ladders and into the flames, competing to tear down the burning constructions in order to recuperate the saplings inside. It is a dramatic and heart-pounding sight to behold.

8. Konomiya Naked Festival(*10*)

Naked Festival

Naked Festival

Also held in February is the Konomiya Naked Festival, which challenges the male gender in a relatively completely different manner to the hearth competition. Dating again to 767, the competition includes a teeming crowd of males sporting solely white loincloths and headbands who jostle one another in a bid for purification. The proceedings of the Naked Festival are usually raucous and riotous, and sake flows freely, so don’t plan something too difficult the following morning.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the February 2021 occasion has been changed by a modest parade.

9. Watch the dawn at Hii no Sekimon

Watching the sunrise at Hii no Sekimon

Watching the dawn at Hii no Sekimon

The island of Shinojima is a well-liked spot for watching the sundown, however a lesser-known secret is to catch the dawn a brief speedboat journey away at Hii no Sekimon, a rock formation in the sea close to Cape Irago at the tip of the Atsumi Peninsula.

The rock itself is the results of seismic exercise 200 million years in the past, hollowed out over the millennia to type a hanging arc. From late October by means of January, its window is completely aligned with the rising solar when seen from Hii Park.

10. Plan a foody tour of the Aichi Prefecture

Fruits Sandwich(Yaojin)2

Fruits Sandwich (c) Yaojin

Japan is a food-lovers paradise, and the Aichi Prefecture is not any exception. When in Aichi, pattern the rooster sukiyaki, made with skinny slices of Nagoya Cochin, a premium breed of rooster prized for its darkish meat and wealthy flavour. The rooster is simmered with greens in a candy and savoury soy-based broth seasoned with sugar and sake and then dipped in egg yolk.

For a extra fruity delicacy, pattern one in all Japan’s well-known fruit sandwiches, minimize into cross-sections and anchored in whipped cream between two pillowy slices of white bread. If you might be in the metropolis of Takahama, buy your fruit sandwich from Yaojin, a grocery retailer with a 120-year historical past. Each Wednesday and Saturday from 10 AM, they line their cabinets with 30 completely different sorts of sandwiches together with strawberries, kiwis, seedless grapes, melons, and oranges.

Getting there

US: One-stop flights from the US West Coast to Chubu Centrair International Airport in Tokoname, Aichi depart from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.

UK: One-stop flights to Chubu Centrair International Airport depart from London, and two-stop flights from Edinburgh, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.

Alternatively, there are lots of direct flights from the US and UK to Tokyo. From there the prepare from Tokyo to Nagoya City, the Central City of Aichi Prefecture, takes only one hour 35 minutes.

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