Friday we visited Inuyama, a castle town north of Nagoya. From Nishi-ku, it takes about 25 minutes by train. We saw the castle, a famous garden, temples, shrines, and more.
We saw this fountain right outside of Inuyama Station.
This sculpture is on the castle side of the station.
I thought that this pharmacy’s sign was amusing.
There is a road filled with temples on the way to the castle.
This crest was on the doors of one of the temples.
The inner shrine of a temple.
The temple roof is decorated with guardians.
A Japanese lantern in one of the temple’s gardens.
These are roof tile pieces on display in the temple garden.
A beautiful weeping sakura tree.
This cute little pot man was sitting outside someone’s house.
We saw a man making glass beads by hand.
These Japanese swallows can be found all over and are super fast and cute.
Inuyama-jo, the shrine in front of it, and sakura.
Inuyama-jo is the oldest standing castle in Japan, having been built in 1537. Parts of it were destroyed in an earthquake in 1891. Extensive restoration work was completed in the 1960s. It is designated as a national treasure.
Mikoshi are movable shrines.
A horse at the shrine outside of the castle.
Castle and sakura.
A straight on shot of the castle, surrounded by sakura.
You can actually walk along the corridor around the very top of the castle. The railing is very low – it only came up to my mid-thigh – and the walkway is quite narrow. I am extremely afraid of heights, and I had to navigate it on my knees so I didn’t get dizzy. Luckily, I only had to go halfway around before I could get back inside. Teddy laughed at me, but it was super high.
Of course, I still managed to snap a few pictures in between freaking out. I’m a trooper that way.
If you are a vegetarian visiting Inuyama, consider packing a lunch. This was all we could find for ours:
Tofu dengaku is tofu basted with a miso sauce and grilled. It is delicious.
I forget what these are called, but they are little, flattened rice balls on a stick that are basted with teriyaki sauce and grilled. They are also delicious.
There was a festival this weekend in Inuyama, but a lot of parts of it were cancelled because of the rain, so we did not go. These are small models of the floats they pull through the streets. The real ones are 8 meters tall.
A close up of some of the floats.
Some person had all these really cute sake sets arranged in their front garden.
Another shot of the sake garden.
Next, we visited Uraku-en, a garden that is a national treasure. One of the most famous tea ceremony houses in Japan is on its grounds.
This is part of the garden, as seen through Japanese sliding doors.
This is called a dry garden. It features raked pebbles.
A stone path leading away from the dry garden.
I thought that the shadows of leaves on the moss was beautiful.
At the tea ceremony house, Jo-an, we enjoyed sakura wagashi and usui maccha. Wagashi are Japanese sweets, and usui maccha is tea made from green tea powder and water. There is also koi maccha, which is a thicker version (less water).
If you look closely at this picture, you can see sakura petals falling gently like snow flurries. It was amazingly beautiful.
Along one of the paths in the garden, there were many paper sculptures. I liked this apple basket.
Once again, if you look closely, you can see the sakura petals flying through the air (they are the white specks throughout the picture.)
We saw this cute little cat along the river.
For our final activity in Inuyama today, we climbed up a small mountain. This temple was on the mountain.
Well, that is all for now! Look forward to a SURPRISE festival we ran across in Osu Kannon Saturday!