Aichi Prefecture is located in the heart of the Chubu region of Japan, with its port city capital of Nagoya trailing down to meet Ise Bay in the west. A major transit hub, Nagoya is a powerful economic player in Japan’s industrial production, hosting the headquarters of car mogul Toyota, keeping the economy thriving as one of the strongest in the country. Nagoya is the birthplace of the pachinko parlor and some of Japan’s most famous feudal leaders, but the city’s technological expertise and futuristic downtown Sakae area are balanced by the traditional culture of Atsuta Shrine, Osu Kannon Temple, and Nagoya Castle. Alongside the Chubu International Airport, Tokoname is a famous pottery town filled with artist studios, galleries, and shops selling local wares. To the north, Inuyama is home to Inuyama Castle (a national treasure) and the open-air architectural museum of Meiji-Mura, a village filled with Meiji Era style buildings.
Two peninsula points wrap around the waters of Mikawa Bay with views of the sea from Mount Horaiji to Aichi’s east, featuring cedar-lined hiking trails leading to its 8th-century temple. Atsumi Peninsula in particular hosts some popular surfing spots like Akabane Beach, and of course, plenty of tasty seafood. The hard-working culture of Aichi Prefecture is fueled by a collective love of all foods flavored with miso, where the city of Okazaki pays homage to soybean paste with its very own miso museum. Aichi Prefecture boasts unique spins on traditional dishes like tonkatsu topped with red miso sauce and miso-flavored hot pots such as miso nikomi udon, alongside a specialty of thick, flat noodles called kishimen. With a long-established work ethic (fueled by morning breakfast sets with coffee) and a knack for making things (monozukuri), Aichi offers a number of cultural and delicious destinations plus well-connected access to greater Japan.
Miso nikomi udon is a popular, regional style of udon found in Nagoya, the capital of Aichi. In particular, the red miso that the area specializes in is called hatcho miso. Find out more about local Nagoya food by reading our article What to Eat in Nagoya.
Tour national sites such as Nagoya Castle and Inuyama Castle. Both are popular places to visit due to their long history and unique architecture. Nagoya City Science Museum is also a hot spot, boasting the largest planetarium in the world.
Gojo River, which flows through three different cities, is the best place to see cherry blossoms in Aichi. The Iwakura Cherry Blossom Festival is held alongside the river, known for its float parade.
The region is known for its savory and strong tasting cuisine in comparison to the rest of Japan. In particular, Aichi Prefecture is famous for its deep, rich red miso paste.
Arimatsu shibori is a tie-dye fabric used for kimono, but now available in different forms, such as handkerchiefs. Visit Osu Kannon Shopping Street to find other Aichi souvenirs and foods to try.
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