Inuyama is a city located near Nagoya in Aichi Prefecture. There are a number of famous attractions in the city, based on rich nature, history, and culture. Designated as a Japanese national treasure – Inuyama Castle, the tranquility of a tea garden, and traditional Cormorant Night Fishing are famous even outside of Japan. The history of the town goes back to the ancient Tumulus period. You can feel the long history once you are in the town and time goes by so slowly.
《National Treasure Inuyama Castle》
Lying on the southern riverbank of the Kiso river, Inuyama Castle and its donjon were completed in 1537, by Oda Nobuyasu who was an uncle of Oda Nobunaga, the great warlord. It is said to have the oldest remaining donjon in Japan earning it national treasure status. It is a four-story structure with two underground levels. Built on a 40m rise overlooking the river, the top floor is an excellent observatory with a wonderful view.
The trend to wear the casual kimono called yukata in summer has been revived, and increasingly young people go to festivals wearing yukata. A yukata is an informal unlined summer kimono usually made of cotton, linen, or hemp. Yukata are most often worn to outdoor festivals, by men and women of all ages. Kohiji is a training school to learn how to wear kimono. Participants can wear yukata or kimono with professional guidance.
《National Treasure Tea House “Jo-an”》
Another famous attraction is the Uraku-en tea garden used for tea ceremonies. This garden contains the Joan tea house, built by Oda Uraku, younger brother of Oda Nobunaga. He was a student of the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu. While the Joan tea house was originally built in Kyoto, it was moved to its current location in 1972 though already registered as a national treasure in 1951, one of only three tea houses of its kind. The building is considered one of the finest examples of tea house architecture.
《Cormorant Fishing in the Kiso river》
Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Cormorant fishing in the Kiso river has a long tradition. Actually Nagara river is the most famous for this method of fishing which has continued uninterrupted for the past 1,300 years. With the evening sky and the imposing sight of Inuyama Castle as a backdrop, boats glide down the Kiso river, their fishing lanterns reflecting in the river’s dark surface. Each fisherman handles a few cormorants, controlling them with strings. Dressed in a traditional straw raincoat, he conjures up an image from a classical Japanese picture scroll.