Sightseeing Highlights of Aichi for the First Time
I'm wool, a writer who loves short trips and travels on days off!
こThis January, amidst the falling snow, I made my first-ever journey to Aichi!
Here are the highlights from my Aichi trip ♪
The Beginning of The Trip
I've always wanted to visit Aichi for a rather vague reason: I wanted to see Inuyama Castle. Without any concrete plans for transportation or accommodation, I woke up early and headed straight to Shin-Yokohama.
■11:00 After roughly an hour and a half, I arrived at Nagoya Station.
■12:00 About an hour later, I arrived at Inuyama Station.
■13:00 I enjoyed strolling and tasting various delicacies in the town and finally reached the Inuyama Castle that I wanted to visit for quite a long time.
■14:30 Back to Inuyama Station. While having lunch, I looked up and decided to visit Shirotori Garden and Atsuta Shrine next.
■15:30 Headed to Shiratori Garden.
■17:00 Headed to Atsuta Shrine
The torii gate within the shrine's premises was truly a fantastic sightseeing.
■18:30 Arrived at the hotel
My criteria when choosing a hotel: proximity to a train station, new, and clean. Considering that I wanted to visit Nagoya Castle the next day, I chose a hotel close to Nagoya Station. I stayed in "Comfort Hotel Nagoya Ekiminami", which had just opened in 2021.
■10:00 Started the day with a cafe-hopping tour to enjoy Nagoya's famous "Morning" breakfast.
■11:30 Visited Nagoya Castle. Afterward, I searched for delicious cuisine in the Kinshachi Yokocho.
■15:00 Took a stroll through Noritake no Mori.
■17:00 Got on the Shinkansen
I enjoyed the Nagoya specialty, "Temmusu", as a train meal while on the Shinkansen.
■19:30 Arrived at Shin-Yokohama station!
Eating through Inuyama Castle Town and Nagoya's Café Morning
You can enjoy eating while walking along the street in Inuyama Castle Town.
There is a large collection of skewered dishes, including the specialty Dengaku.
- Love fortune slip (Aisu) for ￥450
Available at Shichifukutei Akina, Showa Yokocho
- Shiawase (Happy) toast for ￥550
Available at Inuyama 975cafe
- Soba Cha Dango (Buckwheat tea dumplings) for ¥300
Soba no Hirajin
A place where you can enjoy Dengaku as a lunch set is Honmachi Saryo.
Colorful Dengaku Meal for ￥1380 This set includes seven varieties of Dengaku, rice with vegetables, soup, and Inuyama tea.
From left to right, the Dengaku set includes: tofu (sweet and spicy miso), tofu (sansho pepper miso), tofu (yuzu miso), tofu (pizza flavor), konnyaku (sweet and spicy miso), yomogi namafu (vinegar miso), domyoji namafu (shiso plum meat).
The miso and tofu are well mixed, and you can enjoy the different flavors of each grilled tofu while eating them deliciously one by one. It is also fun to take pictures of the cute Dengaku.
At Honmachi saryo, an old-fashioned cafe, you can also enjoy the courtyard with a shishi-odoshi.
Honmachi Saryo Address: 673 Higashikoken, Inuyama City
10 minutes’ walk from Inuyama Station on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line
Business Hours: 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
In many Nagoya cafés, one can enjoy the local famous "Morning" breakfast. Morning starts early in Nagoya, with some restaurants opening as early as 7:00 AM. But don't worry if you can’t get up early! Many places offer their "Morning" service until about 11:00 AM.
Nagoya, a “country” of coffee shops, has a lot of coffee shops lined up. There are also many shops along the road that make you want to enter. Since I was there, I wanted to experience the Nagoya-style “morning” breakfast for the first time, and I enjoyed visiting different coffee shops that morning.
I ordered a classic cream soda. Topped with rich vanilla ice cream, the soda had a nostalgic taste.
The retro and cute atmosphere of the shop was truly nice. The interior was meticulously designed in every detail. I particularly loved the table set where you can see coffee beans inside. Each table had its unique layout, creating a soothing ambiance throughout the space.
Address: 1-36-52 Nagono, Nishi-ku, Nagoya
6 minutes’ walk from "Kokusai Center Station" on the Nagoya City Subway Sakuradori Line.
5 minutes’ walk from "Marunouchi Station" on the Nagoya City Subway Tsurumai Line & Sakuradori Line.
Business Hours: Monday to Thursday & Friday: 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday & Saturday: 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Morning Service Hours: 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM.
Sightseeing～Introducing Aichi's Famous Spots, including the National Treasure: Inuyama Castle～
The place I absolutely wanted to visit this time was Inuyama Castle, a National Treasure. Among all the castles in Japan, only five, including Inuyama Castle, had a castle keep that is designated as a National Treasure. Among them, Inuyama Castle is situated right on the border between Owari Province (now western Aichi Prefecture) and Mino Province (now southern Gifu Prefecture). This castle is renowned for its strategic location.
The four-story castle tower has a very good design.
- The view from the castle keep is breathtaking
- Small Inuyama Castle inside the Inuyama Castle
- Inuyama Castle
Inuyama Castle: 65-2 Inuyama Kitakoken, Inuyama City
25 minutes’ walk from "Inuyama Station" on the Meitetsu Inuyama, Komaki, and Hiromi Lines.
Admission Fee: Adults: 550 yen/ Elementary and Junior High School students: 150 yen (Admission fee for Group may vary)
Business Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Last entry till 4:30 PM).
Known for being built by Tokugawa Ieyasu. With the 2023 NHK Taiga Drama "Dousuru Ieyasu" now airing, the castle has become a hot tourist spot.
Since the castle can be seen from the Shinkansen, many people might recognize it. However, there's a big difference between seeing Nagoya Castle in the distance and observing its majestic keep up close—it's definitely worth visiting.
The castle's green roof and golden shachihoko (a mythical creature with a tiger head and fish body) are its distinctive trademarks.
The Honmaru Palace was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu as a residence for the lord of the Owari Province and as a place for handling official duties. The current palace was reconstructed in 2018.
Each room offers a unique feast for the eyes, with distinct and elegant wall paintings, ornaments, ceilings, and transoms.
Everything is glittering everywhere. It’s fun to look around 360 degrees and find your own discoveries, such as ‘there’s a bird there’ or ‘there’s a small decoration there’
Viewing the Honmaru Palace from the outside is also a magnificent sight. It's a must-visit.
Nishinomaru Okura Museum
In the Nishi-no-maru Okura Museum, various special exhibitions are held to deepen understanding about Nagoya Castle. Currently, the exhibition "Ieyasu and Meals - Enjoying Food at Nagoya Castle." Is being held. This exhibition runs from January 1st to March 5th, 2023. It showcases a variety of delicious meals known as "Shogun Meals".
Illustrations of Higashi (side sweets)
During the late Edo period, there were many illustrations depicting food and confectionery. In the Edo era, it was customary at castles to serve tea and sweets to guests after Omotenashi. There are numerous interesting illustrations of sweets from this period. These delicacies look so appetizing that they seem no different from the sweets we see in the Reiwa era.
Nagoya Castle 11, Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya
By subway: Take the Nagoya City Subway Meijo Line to "Nagoya Castle Station", and exit from Exit 7. It's a 5-minute walk from there.
By bus: Take the city bus Kikan 2-gō Keitō to "City Hall". It's a 5-minute walk from there.
Admission fee: 500 yen (Admission fee for Group may vary)
Business hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Last admission to the Honmaru Place and Nishi no Maru Okura Museum is till 4:00 pm). The castle is closed from December 29 to January 1.
Get Your Souvenirs Here
Sanban Okura A museum shop located in the Nishi no Maru Okura Museum, offering a wide range of original items that can't be found anywhere else. Rice-related goods are especially popular.
Museum Shop in Nagoya Castle Honmaru Palace
This is the museum shop located in the Honmaru Palace of Nagoya Castle. They offer a selection of refined products that are suitable as gifts. I bought a tote bag for ¥350.
A famous power spot in Nagoya that attracts worshippers from all over the country. Apart from the main hall, there are numerous sightseeings, including the 'Nobunaga’s Wall', which was dedicated by Oda Nobunaga after his victory in the Battle of Okehazama.
Main hall is larger than expected. Everything within the vast grounds of Atsuta Shrine is "American-sized."
It's said that there are many camphor trees within the grounds of Atsuta Shrine. While normally a single camphor tree would stand out because of its size. Here, the camphor tree blends seamlessly into the surroundings. All plants and trees here follow the "American-sized" standard.
As indicated in its name, this tree is impressively large.
When there is a big tree, I feel like there is some benefit, and I want to make a wish.
Atsuta Shrine 111, Jingu, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya City
8 minutes’ walk from the JR "Atsuta" Station.
7 minutes’ walk from "Atsuta-Jingu Tenmacho" and "Jingu-Nishi" stations on the Nagoya City Subway Meijo Line.
3 minutes’ walk from the "Jingumae" station on Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line・ Toyokawa Line.
Boasting the largest scale among Nagoya's gardens, this grand Japanese garden is designed around flowing water, offering a changing beauty as flowers bloom in different seasons.
Its design is so picturesque that any view seems like a perfect photo. It might be fun to compete with friends to capture the best shot.
My favorite is the view of Seiutei and Ibikawa. I am immersed in the atmosphere where it offers a respite from the daily views of buildings, railways,and asphalt.
Shirotori Garden 25,Atsuta Nishi-machi, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya City
10 minutes’ walk from “Jingu Nishi Station” on the Nagoya City Subway Meijo Line
3 minutes’ walk from “Shirotori Bridge” on various bus lines
3 minutes’ walk from “Atsuta Lifelong Learning Center” on the Atsuta Circular Bus
Admission fee 300 yen (Admission fee for group may vary)
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (admission until 16:30)
In the lush garden with red brick buildings, there are also “Welcome Center”, “Craft Center”, and “Noritake Museum” where you can see the history and works of Noritake. In the “Noritake Forest Gallery”, you can enjoy art works such as pottery, painting, and sculpture.
Gold and silver colored phoenix pattern（Welcome Center）
I am fascinated by the delicate design of the teacup. I want to enjoy a shortcake and black coffee with such a lovely teacup someday.
It is also fun to visit while imagining what to eat with this plate in Noritake Forest where beautiful dishes are lined up.
Is this the season of nanten? I’m looking forward to the cherry blossom season. What would I compare the season to if it were me? I think the picture which makes me think about what if it were me is impressive.
Noritake Forest 3-1-36 Noritake Shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Nagoya City
15 minutes’ walk from “Nagoya Station” on various lines
3 minutes’ walk from “Kamejima Station” on the Nagoya City Subway Higashiyama Line
Admission fee (Craft Center, Noritake Museum) Adults / Students 500 yen / 65 years old and over 300 yen / Free for high school students and below and those with a disability certificate
Business hours Shop, Noritake Forest Gallery 10:00-18:00 / Cafe Grand Veil, Craft Center, Noritake Museum, Welcome Center 10:00-17:00
Buy～Carefully selected souvenir shops that make you feel a little luxurious in the 1 night 2 days’ trip～
FUUYUUKA SU MI RE LYRICAL
A cute dried flower shop that quietly stands under the Shinkansen track, a 5-minute walk from Kamejima Station.
I’m excited by the store that looks like a fairy tale world. The bouquet is 3,850 yen.
There are also herbariums and hair accessories that are perfect for Sunday best.
Cute dried flowers fill the store. You can buy from one piece, so it is recommended as a souvenir.
FUUYUUKA SU MI RE LYRICAL 1-1-1 Kamejima, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya City Shin Nagoya Center Building Ukishima Street 139-140
5 minutes’ walk from “Kamejima Station” on the Nagoya City Subway Higashiyama Line, 10 minutes’ walk from “Nagoya Station” on various lines
Business hours 10:00-17:00 (Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
A new style souvenir shop that opened in 2022.
A style that only handles limited products that collaborate with companies, where you can discover new values of long-established and emerging companies. The store that looks like a gallery is fun to look around.
I bought a cute beer called Uiro. A beer with perfect bubbles and fruitiness that ale beer lovers can’t resist, and a refined product that makes you feel the aroma of daiginjo and the graininess of rice.
Meitetsu Shop 1-2-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya City Meitetsu Department Store Main Store, Men’s Building 1F
1 minute walk from “Nagoya Station” on various lines
Business hours 10:00-20:00
Cocotomo Farm Inuyama Castle Sannomaru Store
A popular baumkuchen shop that is opened mainly in Inuyama. A luxurious finish using 100% homemade rice flour.
There are also limited products according to the season. This store also has a cafe menu that is just right for a break.
The souvenir I chose is the classic baumkuchen.
A luxurious baumkuchen with a chewy taste. Maybe because it’s rice flour, it has a good texture and is perfect for snacks.
Cocotomo Farm Inuyama Castle Sannomaru Store 69-2, Kitakoken, Inuyama City
12 minutes’ walk from “Inuyama Station” on the Meitetsu Inuyama Line
Business hours Weekdays / Sundays 10:00-17:00 / Saturdays 10:00-18:00
Ryoguchiya Korekiyo Motomachi Store
A famous old-fashioned Japanese confectionery store in Nagoya with a history of over 300 years. It offers a large number of modern-designed Japanese sweets that look like jewelry and are photogenic. The taste is exceptional.
The company-operated stores are only in Aichi Prefecture.
This time I bought ochikochi as a souvenir. A long hit product that has been loved since 1959.
Ryoguchiya Korekiyo 3-22-6, Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya City (Temporarily relocated about 100m east from the former Motomachi store due to renovation)
4 minutes’ walk from Exit 4 of “Marunouchi Station” on the Nagoya City Subway
Business hours 9:00-17:00 (Closed on Sundays)
The End of Trip
Actually, I love castles.
I enjoyed the Inuyama Castle as my original destination and Nagoya Castle which was not in my travel plan initially. During the trip, I enjoyed beautiful scenery and food as well.
Where shall we go next?