Word Ichinomiya means “First Shrine”. It is a city located in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. It is located between Nagoya and Gifu. City is known for its historical values. It has many things to offer such as Shrine, lot of festivals, Museums. City is historically center for woolen textiles, locally produced yarn and handcrafted articles. Let us talk about some of the places worth exploring in this area.
1. Masumida Shrine
Masumida is principal shrine of the Aichi. This shrine preserves many cultural articles of Japan. Shrine is main center of attraction during festival season. Shrine hosts many festivals including Tanabata festival, annual craft fair, New Year celebrations. During festival season, shrine is beautifully decorated with colorful articles.
- Name: Masumida Shrine
- Address: 1-2-1, Masumida, Ichinomiya, Aichi 491-0043
- Dedicated to: Amenoho no Akari no Mikoto
- Website: http://www.masumida.or.jp
2. 138 tower park
This is 138 meter tallest arch style tower in Asia. These tall twin arches touching the sky high makes a phenomenal view when seen from a distance. Open grass surrounding makes the whole thing look so beautiful. It looks charming during cherry-blossom season.
- Name: Twin Arch 138
- Address: 21-3 Oaza Urazaki, Komyoji, Ichinomiya-shi, Aichi Prefecture 491-0135
- Price: Free (There is fee for observation tower)
- Opening hour: Weekdays 9:30-17:00, sds
- Holiday: Closed on every 2nd Monday of the month (the following day if second monday falls on public holiday)
3. Tanabata Matsuri
Tanabat is also known as “Star Festival” with its origin in ancient Chinese legend. The festival celebrates meeting of two stars who are only allowed to meet one night of the year. Ishinomiya Tanabata festival is one of the three largest and most famous Tanabata festival in all of Japan. There is a parade to dedicate local products to shrine. Apart from that, many other attraction points are festival stalls, bon dancing, live music.
- Time: Held from thursday to Sunday of last weekend of July
4. City Memorial Art Museum
Migishi Setsuko was the famous painter received many accolades in the field of Art. This Museum was established in 1998 before her death at her birth place. Architecture of this building has unique characteristics. Many of the architectural structures like jagged roof, water channel are the reflection of her art style and memories.
- Name: Ichinomiya City Memorial Art Museum
- Address: 3147-1Gominami, Konobunakasima, Ichinomiya, Aichi, 494-0007, JAPAN
- Admission fees: Adults:320, University and high school students: 220, Elementary and Junior high school students: 110
- Access: From Ichinomiya Station, take taxi from west exit taxi stand
- Opening hour: 9:00 to 17:00 (entrance till 16:30)
- Holiday: Mondays
- Website: http://s-migishi.com
5. Bisai Fireworks Festival
This is one of biggest river festivals celebrated in Japan. Over 5000 fireworks are released on the banks of Kiso river. Main site is full during peak time, if you don’t get an appropriate place to experience, nice view is available from rooftop of Diamond city Kirio mall.
- Place: banks of Kisko River
- Time: August
6. Ichinomiya City Museum
Museum contains all the old memories of the past. History of Ichinomiya can be learnt here. Right from the Jomon period upto now, how life of this people around kiso river changed over the time. Special exhibition prints can be seen in the “Fifty-three Stages of the Tokaido” of Hiroshige Utagawa.
- Name: Ichinomiya City Museum
- Address: 2390 Myoko-ji Yamato-cho Ichinomiya-shi 491-0922
- Access: About a 7-minute walk from Nagoyahonsen Meitetsu “Myokoji” station.
- Website: www.icm-jp.com
7. Kiso River Bank
In 1885, cherry trees were planted on the banks of this river. Today Kiso river is surrounded by about 400 old cherry trees with different variety of cherry trees including Higan cherry, wild cherry, Yoshino cherry trees. The road on the riverbank packed up with the purple cherry trees on both sides covering the sun as if nature is welcoming the visitor makes it very tempting to visit.
- Best Time: Cherry Blossom Festival (March 25 to April 10)
- Access: 15 minutes via National highway No. 22 from Meishin Expressway Ichinomiya
8. Myokoji Temple
Myokoji Temple is very large and old temple in ichinomiya. It was founded in 13th century by a young monk who was known to be bodhisattva. It was zen temple. Zen techniques are ancient meditation techniques invented by the monks of that period.
- Access: About 7 minutes walk from Nagoyahonsen Meitetsu “Myokoji” station.
9. Yarn Market
Outside Masumida, side of streets are full of locally produced yarns and fabrics. This place is known for world class yarns. There is a famous shop called “ishii shoten”. This store has wide range of modern and vintage Eisaku Noro yarns. Clothing can be availed at discount prices and can be negotiated. There is large craft fair in May or early june. With over 100 stalls, selling handcrafted articles like leatherwork, spinning, weaving, and dyeing. This place is known for its textile production worldwide.
10. Gokurakuji Park
This park is on the banks of Kiso River. There is rental cycle shop in the park. Cycling or a healthy long walk along with the side of Kiso River is very delightful. Avoid hot summer season and cold winter season. So, What are you waiting for!! Come and explore Ichinomiya.
Have a good trip and travel!