One of the Japanese National Treasures is Inuyama Castle, located in the city of Inuyama which is also in the Aichi Prefecture, 25 kilometers north of Nagoya. This castle is also said to be the oldest castle in Japan where it was completed in 1537 and was built by a relative of one of the greatest Samurai Warriors of the Edo period in Japan. The castle is also called Inuyama Hakutei Castle. 

Now, this National Treasure is one of Nagoya's top tourist destination attracting not only locals but foreigners here to see the beautiful castle architecture and its surroundings, especially the Kiso River which runs next to the castle. History also states that the castle was originally completed in 1440 but this was heavily debated, however this still remains as one of the oldest castles in Japan and standing at a height of 25 meters from the ground level, but it is located on a hill overlooking Inuyama City. 
Inuyama Castle
At the top of the castle, you can see the beautiful view of Inuyama City 
Visitors can also go up to the top level where you can get a beautiful panoramic view of Inuyama City. In total, there are four main floors and two basement floors in Inuyama Castle. Outside the Inuyama Castle area, visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the Inuyama Artifacts Museum and the Karakuri Exhibition Room to see some of the historical pieces on display.

Inuyama Castle Shrine (Sanko Inari Shrine)
Sanko Inari Shrine at Inuyama Castle
As you exit the Inuyama Castle, you will head towards the Sanko Inari Shrine, which is a beautiful Shinto Shrine where you can observe Japanese people doing prayers. You are allowed to walk around the shrine and as you exit the shrine area, you will pass the beautiful red arches called Torii which is one of the best places to take photographs. 

Inuyama Castle Information;
Inuyama Castle Ticket Prices
  • Address: 65-2 Kita-Koken, Inuyama-shi, Aichi
  • Opening Time: 9.00 AM till 4.30 PM
  • Open: Daily
  • Closed: December 29-31
  • Tickets Adult: ¥550 (2016)
  • Tickets Child: ¥110
Below are random photos taken at Inuyama Castle and the beautiful views from the castle top. 
The steep wooden staircase inside the castle
A replica model of the Inuyama Castle at one of the museums outside the castle
View of Inuyama city from the castle
View from the rooftop of Inuyama Castle
Inuyama city view


How to go to Inuyama Castle

From Nagoya - Take the Meitetsu Line which takes about 40 minutes and exit at the Meitetsu Inuyama Yuen Station. From the station, it is only a 15 minute walk to Inuyama Castle. 

If you want, you can take a taxi to the castle, but note that taxis in Japan are not cheap. I would recommend taking a slow walk and admire the Japanese small town lifestyle which is so different from the major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. 

Recommendations for Inuyama Castle

For those planning a day trip, this would be the best as you can take a train from Nagoya in the morning, visit Inuyama Castle and its surroundings, then head to Inuyama Old Town for some awesome Japanese food and then head back to Nagoya after dinner. 

Alternatively, you can choose to spend a day or two here as Inuyama does have some interesting attractions like Meiji Mura Village which is a massive outdoor village museum and theme park. There are proper hotels here with Tatami style rooms and staying here will allow you a glimpse of the typical small Japanese city lifestyle. 

There is also the Inuyama Temple Town where small streets are lined with street vendors selling local produce. Other attractions in Inuyama include the Urakuen Japanese Garden and The Old Isobe House from the Edo period. The best time to visit Inuyama is also in Autumn to see the beautiful foliage colors. 

Inuyama Castle is one of four important national treasure castles of Japan. The four castles are Himeji Castle, Matsumoto Castle, Hikone Castle and Inuyama Castle which are listed as the most beautiful castles while there are a total of 12 castles found throughout Japan. 

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