|Schauwecker's Japan Travel Blog|
by Stefan Schauwecker, webmaster of japan-guide.com
This blog is intended to record some of my travel activities in Japan.
2010/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Inuyama
April 6, 2010 - full bloom
Today I visited Inuyama, a small city just north of Nagoya, which attracts tourists with a handful of relatively interesting sights, including an old feudal castle, an excellent open air museum and lots of cherry trees.
Only four out of Japan's approximately one hundred remaining feudal castles are designated national treasures, the highest national designation for cultural assets. Two days ago, Scott visited one of the four, Himeji Castle, followed by my report yesterday from Hikone Castle, another of them. Without intent, today's report brought me to yet another of them, Inuyama Castle. No report, however, is planned for Matsumoto tomorrow, where the fourth stands.
Inuyama Castle is considered to have Japan's oldest standing castle tower, dating from 1537. The castle is relatively small, but from its top floor balcony it offers dramatic views over the Kiso River, which flows below and is nicknamed Japan's Rhine River for the landscape's apparent similarity with Germany's Rhine Region.
Cherry trees are planted all over the castle grounds and along its approaches. When I visited today, the trees were at full bloom, although some of them have started to drop some first petals. Nevertheless, the sight of the blossoms should remain beautiful for a few days to come.
Most of Inuyama's other tourist attractions also have their share of cherry trees, including Urakuen Garden at the foot of the castle, and Meiji Mura, an excellent open air museum devoted to Japan's early modern architecture of the Meiji Period (1868-1912), located a 30 minute bus ride from Inuyama Station.