This Week in Nagoya, Inuyama, Okazaki, Toyokawa and Meiji Mura – 24 November 2020
Mac here. I spent most of last week exploring Aichi Prefecture, revisiting some favourite spots and checking out some new ones. It was very tough to pick one highlight from each location, but here are my favourite photos from Nagoya, Inuyama, Okazaki, Toyokawa and Meiji Mura.
Featured image – Toyokawa: Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) is the main draw for visitors to Toyokawa town. Despite torii gates leading to the main building, and the identification of the main image of the Senju Kannon with the Inari Okami from Shintoism, Toyokawa Inari is actually a Buddhist temple called Myōgon-ji, or Enpukuzan Toyokawa-kaku, Myōgon-ji (円福山 豊川閣 妙厳寺) to give it its full name.
The highlight for photographers is the Reiko-zuka, a hillside dotted with thousands of red-bibbed kitsune fox statues, and a lovely spot for a candid snap with these messengers to the gods.
Meiji Mura: Meiji mura is an open-air architectural museum in Inuyama. It was opened on March 18, 1965. The museum preserves historic buildings from the Meiji, Taisho and early Showa eras. Over 60 buildings have been moved and reconstructed on the banks of Lake Iruka. There are so many amazing structures which we are lucky have been preserved, but my absolute favourite is the reconstructed main entrance and lobby of the Imperial Hotel, Frank Lloyd Wright’s legendary building which stood in Hibiya, Tokyo from 1923 to 1967. I snapped this shot of the exterior, and the interior is equally spectacular.
Okazaki: The founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was born in Okazaki Castle in 1542. It is Okazaki’s biggest claim to fame, so the castle rightly features on the city’s manhole cover. Also showcased is the Mikawa Fireworks Festival, one of the most famous in Japan, and the beautiful sakura.
Inuyama: I couldn’t tease you with the manhole cover shot without sharing a photo of an actual castle. Inuyama Castle is one of only 12 Japanese castles to remain unreconstructed from the end of the Edo period. It is one of my favourites. Here it is with the magnificent fall foliage that Aichi prefecture is currently experiencing.
Nagoya: Last but not least is Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture. One of the most famous meeting spots in Nagoya is Nana-chan, who resides in front of the escalator to Meitetsu Bus Center. Nana-chan was born in Switzerland on April 28, 1973. She is 6m10cm tall and weighs 600kg. A snappy dresser, she frequently changes her outfit, reflecting the seasons, latest crazes and commercial sponsorship.
Like any responsible resident of Japan, Nana-chan is masked up. The rainbow design provides a nice flash of colour to complement her Santa outfit. I like to think my red and white shoes match well here too!