The local dishes of Nagoya, referred to in Japanese as "Nagoya Meshi", have a long and interesting history within the region. Many of the Nagoya Meshi dishes date back to ancient times.
If you prefer something heavy then Hitsumabushi, grilled eel served over rice, is the best choice! This dish is famous all over Japan, and Nagoya is its capital. Another tasty dish is Miso Nikomi Udon, which is a wheat noodle dish stewed in a miso based broth. The miso popular in Nagoya is hatcho-miso, which is made from 100% fermented soy beans, instead of rice or grain. Another popular dish is Miso Katsu, Nagoya’s version of the tonkatsu. This dish is made of deep fried pork cutlet topped with the salty red hatcho-miso.
Nagoya Meshi also includes light meals such as Kishimen, a flat noodle served with a bonito fish flavoured clear soup and Nagoya Chochin Chicken. This chicken is an heirloom "local chicken" special to the region. It is rich in flavour, and has good chewing texture.
Toyota City, another venue for the Rugby World Cup 2019, is also home to many local gourmet foods.
The most popular is Gohei-mochi, a grilled rice cake on a stick coated in a sweet sauce. The sauce is made with a soy or miso base, and aromatically cooked over a flame. Usually Mochi is made with sticky rice, however Toyota’s Gohei Mochi is made from normal white rice, which keeps the texture not too soft. Topped with some spices such as walnuts, sesame and Japanese peppers, please enjoy the flavour of this mountainous area in a natural setting.
With its prosperous agriculture, Aichi Prefecture harvests many vegetables each year, such as cabbages, tomatoes and fruits including figs, grapes, peaches and pears. Toyota City is popular for producing the Atago Pear, also known as ‘giant pears’. These very large pears with their golden brown skins earn their name from their surprisingly large size. The biggest one’s weight up to 3 kg, which has earnt them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
With its countless festivals throughout the year, Japan is truly the land of festivals. The Japanese word for festival is “matsuri”, and it’s a good word to learn! Aichi Prefecture particularly has a great pride for its many traditional festivals, and in particular for having the most number of traditional festival floats. Read on to see where and when you can see these Japanese traditional festivals, and even participate with crafting artworks unique to Aichi Prefecture.
As a collection of the best Float Festival in Japan, 5 festivals of Aichi Prefecture are included in “Yama, Hoko, Yatai, float festivals in Japan”, a registered UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage program. These include the Owari Tsushima Tenno Matsuri (Festival) in July, which offers you the breathtaking sight of the floats travelling up the Tenno river at night. The boats are lit up by over 365 glowing lanterns. Another magnificent float festival is Kamezaki Shiohi Matsuri in May, where five elaborately carved floats covered with gorgeous tapestries rush across the beach at low tide, and charge into the water. Besides floats, an autumn festival also takes place every year on the first Saturday and Sunday of October.
Koromo Matsuri is held in October at Toyota City to pray for an abundant harvest. During the festival, eight floats are paraded in and around the city centre. Inside and on top of the floats the people of the town make music, shout and throw coloured paper strips, giving a vibrant and lively atmosphere. This unique performance leaves you feeling awed as if you are surrounded by the falling leaves and flower petals.
Toyota Oiden Matsuri is held on the last weekend of July at Toyota City, a hosting city of the Rugby World Cup 2019. The Toyota Oiden Matsuri is a fabulous summer festival of dancing, drinking, and fantastic street food. The festival concludes on Sunday evening with one of the nation's largest firework shows, including traditional hand-held cannon “Tezutsu” fireworks! The finale colossal “Niagara Falls” curtain fireworks is sure to attract many visitors each year.
The Obara district of Toyota City is home to the traditional Japanese artwork of washi paper, dating back to the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). At Obara’s Art and Craft Centre “Washi no Furusato”, one can learn how to craft one’s own piece of washi paper, and thus deepen their knowledge and experience of Japan.
Aichi Prefecture boasts two major ceramic regions, Seto City and Tokoname City. These cities remains true to the traditional Japanese ceramic styles even today. With its long history, why not take a walking tour of the pottery and kilns along the pottery promenade, which has numerous great photography spots including a wall decorated with pots. Any pottery fan will be sure to find treasure here.
Aichi Prefecture is a hosting prefecture for the Rugby World Cup 2019. The area is rich in natural attractions, with four national parks and seven prefectural national parks! In these parks, we can see beautiful sceneries that change in each of the four seasons.
Mt. Chausuyama is a mountain located on the border between Aichi and Nagano Prefectures, with its highest point on the Aichi side. In winter, the Chausuyama highlands boast the only ski resort in Aichi. In spring the mountain really comes alive with the blooming of around 400,000 moss phlox (known as Shibazakura in Japanese) flowers!
At the foot of the 883m high Mt. Kurakake in eastern Aichi Prefecture, the stunning Yotsuya Senmaida, or ‘thousand pieces of terraced rice fields’ is a famous scene. The layered levels of the farm plots that climb up the mountain were made 400 years ago, by terracing with rocks. Visit Yotsuya Senmaida to experience the farm life historical side of Japan.
Located in the Asuke district of Toyota City, Korankei is a valley near Nagoya reputed to be one of the best spots for viewing the autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy lovely sights of maple tree tunnels and autumn colours in combination with views of the river. The reflection of the maple trees on a calm day are especially revered by nature lovers. There are also a few bridges such as the Tomoebashi Bridge, which are illuminated in the evening.
Obara is another highlight of Toyota City, which presents a stunning collaboration of autumn leaves and cherry blossoms. In Obara, 10,000 cherry blossoms trees, called Shiki-Zakura, are in full bloom twice a year, not only the usual springtime, but also in the autumn. Experiencing cherry blossoms amongst the autumn colours offers a unique experience that cannot be seen anywhere else. It’s also a good chance to see cherry blossoms during the Rugby World Cup 2019, as the cherry blossoms everywhere else won’t be blooming until half a year later elsewhere.
Aichi Prefecture is located around the centre of Honshu Island, which is the main island of Japan. Its capital city Nagoya is the fourth largest city of Japan by population. Aichi Prefecture has a rich historical heritage and culture, including the restored 17th-century fortress of Nagoya Castle, Inuyama Castle, and the tree lined Shinto pilgrimage site known as Atsuta Shrine. Check out where to go in Aichi Prefecture before planning your visit for the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Aichi Prefecture is the birthplace of the Samurai heroes known as “the three warlords” who fought to unify Japan into a single nation. Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu were all born in Aichi during the prolonged Sengoku, or “Warring States” period about 500 years ago. At Nagoya Castle we can witness a glimpse into this history. One of the castles more interesting and unique aspects is the pair of golden dolphins the rest on its roof. A little further toward Gifu Prefecture, continue your journey to Inuyama to see the Inuyama Castle. Inuyama Castle is one of the oldest surviving Japanese feudal castles, dating back to 1440. The castle, while having undergone repairs over the years, is special because it is not a recreation like many other castles. You can really feel connected to history because of this.
Aichi Prefecture boasts some of the most historical shrines and temples of Japan. Among them, Atsuta Shrine houses the sacred sword Kusanagi, which is one of the three imperial regalia. This shrine was especially revered amongst samurai heroes including Oda Nobunaga himself, probably the most famous of all samurai.
Toyota City in the west of Aichi Prefecture will be a host city for the Rugby World Cup 2019. The fact that you have heard this cities name before stands as a testament to the fantastic rise of its namesake, Toyota, now the world's biggest carmaker. In Toyota City, there are two main historical sites that should be included on any itinerary, Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine and Asuke Hachimangu Shrine.
The area known as Matsudaira-Go is the birthplace of the Matsudaira clan, the earliest ancestors of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Here the Toshogu Shrine is dedicated to him as the first shogun, or supreme general, of Japan. Other historical sites include the Kogetsuin Temple which was the family temple of the Matsudaira clan, and the Matsudaira castle ruins.
Asuke Hachimangu is a shrine dedicated to the God-Protector of feet. In Japans native religion, known as Shinto, there are many gods, each dedicated to some one or few specific things. People would pray here for safety during travels and for the health of the lower torso, from the waist down. At Asuke Hachimangu you can express yourself with an Ema. An Ema is a small wooden block which you write a prayer on, and then leave at the shrine. The priests will burn them and the gods should hear your pray. Here you can also see some Ema with a gun painted on them, as was used as a symbol of the shooting competition during the Tokyo Olympics in 1964.