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Why an Autumn Stop-Over in Aichi Should Be Top of Your Itinerary in 2021

July 31, 2020 Visit North Asia No Comments Email Email

Aichi Prefecture is located in the centre of Japan’s main island and is one of the country’s most diverse destinations to visit. Overflowing with rustic charm and a history of distinctive crafts, Aichi is a destination where you can relax and be inspired all at the same time, the perfect place for mature travellers.

After spending your time in Japan’s major cities, a three-day stop-over during Autumn will allow you to relax, taste Aichi’s signature flavours and experience firsthand why it is considered the heart of Japan.

Discover colours of autumn in Aichi

Kōrankei, a gorge along the Tomoe River, is one of the best places to see the autumn leaves in Aichi. It is famed for having thousands of maple trees which paint the mountains brilliant shades of red, orange and gold in Autumn. The iconic Taigetsukyo Bridge offers a scenic point to cross the river and allows you to explore the quaint mountainside area enjoying the autumn colours and local attractions.

Another spectacular place to see the Autumn leaves in Aichi is Obara Fureai Park. It offers rare sights of Shikizakura cherry trees (winter cherry blossoms) that bloom in spring and once again in autumn. The pale pink cherry blossoms against the rich autumn leaves is a rare sight and allows you to enjoy seasonal landscapes at the same time. If you can’t fit your trip into your daytime schedule, Okazaki City’s Higashi Park’s somewhat 1500 maple trees are lit-up after dark making the warm colours shine brightly against the darkness.

Tip: Autumn leaves can be enjoyed in Aichi from November to early December.

Cultural landmarks signature to Aichi

Nagoya City is famed for its historic landmark, the restored 17th-century fortress of Nagoya Castle. Nagoya Castle is right in the heart of Nagoya City and was Japan’s first castle to be designated a National Treasure. The castle exhibits important cultural properties with the castle grounds being home to the ‘Ni-no-Maru Garden’ which is known for its traditional tea ceremony house and spectacular autumn scenery. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the newly reopened Honmaru Palace’s displays of extravagant traditional ornaments and painted doors.

For those wanting to get out of the city, we recommend a trip to Sakushima – an island with over 20 displays of modern art scattered throughout it. The 11km island has a population of around only 250 people and is a wonderful place to enjoy its natural tranquillity. The best way to enjoy this artistic atmosphere is either by foot or by bike.

Taste Aichi’s local delights

Aichi is also a gourmet paradise with an extensive list of local delicacies. One is Hitsumabushi, a dish comprised of teriyaki-grilled eel chopped and served on rice. The dish can be enjoyed in three ways: as it is, with toppings like freshly grated wasabi and green onions or even with a special stock poured over it. Grilled eel is somewhat a delicacy in Japan, and this dish will have you hooked for life.

Aichi has remade a classic Japanese dish ‘Tonkatsu’ – panko-battered deep-fried pork cutlets by topping them with its signature red miso sauce. Miso is fermented soy-bean paste known for its nutritional value, yet this dish turns it into a guilty pleasure. The combination of the sweet red miso sauce made by mixing dashi broth and other seasonings perfectly accompanies the crunchy fried pork cutlets.

Birthplace of industrial giants

Aichi Prefecture is Japan’s leader in the manufacturing industry by being the biggest producer of transport machinery, raw materials, textiles and fine ceramics.

Aichi is home to automobile giant Toyota’s main headquarters, and in Nagoya City you can find the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. The museum features hands-on exhibits that lead you through the inspiring history of the manufacturing giant and its founders. It uses the original factory buildings built by Toyota’s founder, Sakichi Toyoda who is locally known as a pioneer of the textile industry in Japan. His son Kiichiro Toyoda adapted and further developed his father’s textile technology and went on to founder the Toyota Motor Corporation.

Train lovers will enjoy the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park museum, owned and operated by Central Japan Railway Company. From steam trains to the newest Shinkansen, this museum is a place where you can get up close and personal with the exhibits and get an inside view on some of Japan’s greatest contributions to the global transportation industry.

Where to stay

For those who want to stay somewhere away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Inuyama is a small city located on the bottom of mountains at the northern borders of Aichi prefecture just a 30-minute express train ride from Nagoya Station. It is known for its 16th-century castle and tea house and natural greenery. The area offers an array of accommodations, from modern hotels to traditional Ryokans – with one luxurious Ryokan located on the riverbank a view looking up at the castle.

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