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.