Visit Inuyama Castle and Take a One Day Stroll Around a Historical Town



Visit Inuyama Castle and Take a One Day Stroll Around a Historical Town


Nagoya city is known primarily for its shopping and gourmet food, but that’s not all it has to offer. There are a lot of sightseeing spots to visit as well. Come join DiGJAPAN! As we take you on a walking tour around Inuyama castle, a national treasure of Japan.
Inuyama Castle, Nagoya


Getting There

It's easy to get to Inuyama, but the quickest and most convenient way is by express train. From Nagoya Station, the Meitetsu Inuyama Line will take you straight to Inuyama station, the gateway of Inuyama castle, in about 30 minutes.
Inuyama Station

As you leave the ticket gate, you will see the tourist information office on your left. We recommend you get a map here. It is very helpful for checking where you are and where sightseeing spots are.
Inuyama Tourist Information Center

There are two exits at Inuyama Station but you will find plenty of signs in English. They did a great job at showing the way so don’t worry about getting lost!
Signs in Inuyama


Explore the Castle Town of Inuyama

It takes about 20 minutes on foot from the station to reach the castle but you won’t feel it at all. There is so much to see on the way. The road to the castle once flourished with activity when Inuyama castle was initially built. Now the street is lined with stores, stylish cafes and souvenir shops. You will also spot many old and well-preserved traditional buildings. These are a treasured sight you get to see while enjoying the scenery and food of Inuyama city.
Inuyama town stroll
Inuyama hot dog
Inuyama castle town

Following the signs you'll first get to the former Isobe family residence. This is an old building with 150 years of history! In the Edo period (1603 - 1868) it used to be a fabric shop, and now it is registered as a Cultural Property of Japan. Make sure to stop by on your visit and learn about Japanese architecture in the Edo era. Also, you can visit it for free!
Former Isobe Residence in Inuyama
Former Isobe Residence in Inuyama
Former Isobe Residence in Inuyama

While walking around the town we saw many women dressed in yukata (a lighter, summer version of a kimono). There are shops that offer a kimono rental service so if you are interested, try wearing a yukata robe to immerse yourself in the culture and charm of this castle town.
Yucata-clad girls in Inuyama
Kimono and Yukata rental in Inuyama

The town streets are brimming with history.
Historical town streets of Inuyama

Along with the Yukata rental shops, there are many restaurants, cafes, and a variety of goods shops.
Shops in Inuyama, Nagoya
Shops in Inuyama


Showa Yokocho, the Food Street

There are delicious restaurants all over the town, but if it's a little snack you're craving then look no further than Showa Yokocho. Stepping into this street will take you back to Japan's Showa era (1926–1989). The retro-looking shops have chairs and tables in the back that will allow you to enjoy a snack even in busy periods.
Showa Yokocho
Showa Yokocho, Inuyama
Showa Yokocho

The most popular street food at the moment is the Koi Komachi Dango! The shop is in an easy-to-find spot at the entrance of Showa Yokocho. Since it is a popular shop, there is almost always a line in front of it making it even easier to recognize.
Koi Komachi Dango

Koi Komachi Dango became famous on social media mainly from its unique looks. It’s quite different from your average dango sweet dumplings, which normally look just like plain white balls. Its colorful appearance makes it really stand out. Once you brave the line, we recommend the ‘Haikara Koi Komachi Set’. This set treats you to two colorful dumpling sticks and a matcha ice tea.
Colorful dango in Inuyama Showa Yokocho

Each dumpling has its own flavor! Two of which are always changing with the season. 
Colorful dango in Inuyama Showa Yokocho

Flavors (from top to bottom): honey lemon, peach-flavored bean paste, strawberry-flavored bean paste, ripe mango-flavored bean paste (seasonal flavor).
Colorful dango in Inuyama Showa Yokocho

Flavors (from top to bottom): Amaou strawberry-flavored bean paste, Japanese summer orange-flavored bean paste, edamame-flavored bean paste, spicy kinako-flavored bean paste (seasonal flavor).
Colorful dango in Inuyama Showa Yokocho

The Inuyama Castle

After enjoying a few treats we can resume our walk along the main road toward Inuyama castle. The scenery begins to open up and we are greeted by a bright red torii gate.
Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama

Here you will find Sanko Inari Shrine. The shrine grounds lead straight to Inuyama castle so be sure to visit on your way.
Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama

This is one of the shrines in Japan where you can practice a ritual called zeniarai. It is said you can bring economic fortune by washing your money in a specific way. An offering is needed to perform this cleansing, just ask for instructions at the shrine's office and follow the signs.
Zeniarai money cleansing at Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama
Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama

The shrine features a row of red torii gates that make for a great photo spot. This style of gates is mostly known from another Inari Shrine in Kyoto, although you will find this one considerably less crowded.
Red torii gates at Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama

After passing through the gates, you will see that the ema (wooden prayer plaques) are heart shaped here. This shrine is said to bring luck with love, so do not miss the opportunity to write your own love wishes on one of them.
Heart-shaped ema Sanko Inari Shrine in Inuyama

Once you pass through the torii and climb up a hilly slope, you will reach the entrance to Inuyama Castle!
Entrance to Inuyama Castle
Inuyama Castle Entrance


The castle tower will appear in front of you when you pass the entrance. This is the oldest castle tower in all of Japan! It has been designated as a national treasure by the Japanese government and is quite famous.

Inuyama Castle

You can also visit the inside of the castle. This tower is 4 stories high and the first floor to the third floor are exhibition corners. On the fourth floor you can overlook Inuyama city and enjoy a great view! However, the wooden staircase inside the castle tower is extremely steep, so please be careful when you go up and down and hold onto the handrails.
Inuyama Castle
Exhibition corner at Inuyama Castle
Exhibition corner
View from Inuyama Castle
View from the top floor
View from Inuyama Castle
Inuyama Castle

You can grab a souvenir at the shop inside the castle after your visit. There are goods from Inuyama castle sold only here.
Inuyama Castle souvenir shop

This is the mascot character of Inuyama City. You will find it not only in the stores but also around town, even on vending machines.
Inuyama souvenir goods

Inuyama town mascot

Before heading home, be sure to browse the local shops. They have many items that you can only find in Nagoya like chicken wing-flavored snacks and ogura toast-flavored cookies!  
Jagarico Tebasaki


Nagoya ogura toast-flavored cookies

Inuyama city has many wonderful things to see, great food and fun shops to visit. If you are traveling to Nagoya we highly recommend adding Inuyama to your trip!


Inuyama Castle | 犬山城
Access: Approx. 20 min. walk from Inuyama Station on the Meitetsu Inuyama line, direct line from Nagoya Station
Visiting time: 9: 00am - 5: 00pm (last entry time is 4:30pm)
Price: Adult 550 yen. Elementary / middle school student 110 yen
Website (Japanese-only):

About the Author
Lee Carrotylee is from Taiwan. She graduated in literature at Doshisha University and lives in Kyoto. She feels like she could live in Japan no matter how many years and never get bored of it, because of the constant change of the seasons. She's committed to delivering deep Kansai travel information to people who love Japan.


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