Toyohashi City is one of 38 cities belonging to the Aichi Prefecture, with a population of 372,710, as of March 2015. Found in the southeastern area of Nagoya, its area is 261.86 square kilometers. It’s just like any modern city, with its tall buildings and busy streets, but it has also preserved its unique Japanese culture and customs.
Most Loveable City
Toyohashi has been labeled as the most loveable city in Japan since the cultures of east and west meet here. A peaceful and pleasant town, many of Toyohashi’s residents are Nikkei. They are native Japanese immigrants whose descendants have lived abroad but returned to Japan. You can find Brazilians and Peruvians of Japanese descent living and work in Toyohashi.
Located in the middle of Tokyo and Osaka, it has a warm climate and is abundant in nature. The Toyohashi’s representative flower is the azalea, and its tree is the camphor tree. The large Toyogawa River flows through the city, adding a beautiful landscape to it. The Toyokawa Bridge connects the cities of Toyohashi and Toyokawa.
Education in Toyohashi
The Aichi University Campus in Toyohashi has many pines, cherry, and camphor trees, some being over a hundred years old. The University also has a library that has a collection of approximately 1,750,000 books and is one of the biggest libraries in the whole of Japan. Aichi University has a very high evaluation of its educational standards, so much so that 98.5% of students graduating from Aichi University find employment easily.
Toyohashi is both the industrial and cultural center of the East Mikawa region since it has a very important port where large automobile manufacturers use it to import and export vehicles. Toyohashi Port is a part of Mikawa Port, a very important port known in Japan as the location for the shipping of automobiles. The big and famous car brands like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen all import and export through the Toyohashi Port.
The History behind Toyohashi, Japan
Archaeologists have found human remains dating as far as the Japanese Paleolithic Period of about 10,000 BC. Numerous remains and artifacts were also found on the pottery making the era of the prehistoric Jomon period and Yayoi period. Burial mounds, typical of the Kofun period, were also uncovered.
During the Nara period, the area was still called Mikawa Province. The land prospered, and during the Sengoku period, it became a contesting ground between other warlords and the Imagawa clan. Makino Kohaku, a retainer of Imagawa Ujichika built Yoshida Castle in 1505 to secure his dominion on eastern Mikawa Province
At the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate, Yoshida Castle became the center of Yoshida Domain. The Meiji government soon took over in 1868, and in 1869, Yoshida was changed to Toyohashi. The additional villages and districts were added to expand Toyohashi to what it is now.
Toyohashi became a city in 1999. Toyohashi Zoo was opened in 1899 and the Toyohashi Railway Asumadai Main Line started operations in 1925. The Tonankai earthquake in 1944 inflicted considerable damage to the city. Even more, the damage was done to the city during the 1945 Toyohashi Air Raid, which destroyed more than 60% of the city.
A Guide to Visiting Toyohashi in Japan
The sea and the mountains surround Toyohashi, and this characteristic has given the city many interesting things to do and places to visit.
- Toyohashi Zoo and Botanical Gardens are zoological and botanical gardens at Non-Hoi Park. They have excellent reviews as being highly educated and fun, especially for children. The park has a zoo, a botanical park, a natural-history museum, and an amusement park. The amusement park has some fun rides, the museum has an entire skeletal display of dinosaurs, and the zoo animals roam freely in an open space.
- The Temple of Fumonji, a Soto sect Buddhist Temple, is hidden away in the mountains. With some hundreds of years of history, it is also known as “The Temple of Autumn Leaves of Toyohashi City”. The temple and its several structures were designated under Important National Cultural Heritages. In autumn, its breathtaking beauty is alive with all the trees showing off their autumnal colors. The Maple Festival will happen here from November 25 to December 3, 2017.
- The Toyohashi City Museum of Art and History, which opens from 9AM-5PM, will show you archaeological and ancient finds and cultural artifacts from the Edo and Meiji Periods. This is necessary stopover during your visit, for those who want to learn more about Toyohashi.
- There are two parks that show Japan’s beautiful unique gardens and they are the Toyohashi Park and the Miyuki Park. Great places to relax and enjoy nature with its trees of pine, oak, cherry, and maple.
- The Yoshida Castle, full of history, will keep you entertained as you learn its incredible story. The Yoshida Castle, built on the west bank of Toyogawa River, is a flat-land castle once known also as Imabashi Castle, and later as Toyohashi Castle. The castle was the center of several battles during the Sengoku Period and has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. It had existed under many owners, clans, and Domains. Yoshida Castle came under the Yoshida Domain and the last daimyo of Yoshida, Matsudaira Nobuhisa, surrendered the Castle to the Meiji Government in 1868.
The Imperial Japanese Army took over the castle in 1871 and it remained in the hands of the military until World War 2. A large fire destroyed most of the castle in 1873 and almost nothing now remains of the original structures except for some remnants of the stonework on the moats, but it still worth to visit.
- The Yoshida Shinto shrine is a Buddhist temple where many generals used to go to worship. One of these generals is Minamoto Yoritomo. In honor of Lord Yoritomo, a procession was born and thus was the beginning of the Toyohashi Gion Festival. During the festival, fireworks are launched. Hand-held fireworks were then used for every festival. Toyohashi has now become popular due to these magnificent displays of fireworks during festivals.
- The Imo Bog (Imo Shitsugen) is a wetland or bog located at the west side of Yumihari Mountains. A wooden walkway was built where you can walk across the swamp. As you go along you will encounter many unique plants, animals, and fungi. The park is part of the Toyohashi Nature Trail and is the habitat of the Shiratamahoshikusa, a rare plant with pure white small flowers, peculiar of the Mikawa region.
Other rare plants are the Mikawashinjugaya and the Mikawabaikeiso. You can find many insectivorous plants and a variety of rare birds, insects, amphibians, mammals, butterflies, and even land snails. The Imo Bog was considered a natural monument of Aichi Prefecture in 1992.
- The Katahama Jusan-ri Beach, a sea turtle nesting spot, is also popular for seine fishing and angling. A seine is a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water while the bottom is held down by weights. You can seine fish from the shore or from a boat. Ometahama Beach, which faces the Pacific Ocean, is a sandy beach with lots of vegetation and a beautiful cliff. The Loggerhead sea turtles, a known endangered species, come here to lay their eggs from May to August every year.
The Best Hotels around Toyohashi
- Hotel Associa Toyohashi is one of the top preferred hotels by Toyohashi visitors. It’ll take a minute or so to get there walking from the Toyohashi Train Station, has excellent choices of food, friendly staff and rated as a very nice and comfortable hotel.
- Loisir Hotel Toyohashi boasts of three restaurants, room service and massages, free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, a health club, and free area shuttle. The hotel is within 5 km of Toyohashi Orthodox Church, Toyohashi Museum of Art and History and Yoshida Castle and booking here is highly recommended by its guests.
- Matsuyone is a ryokan or a traditional Japanese inn is a nice option if you want to stay away from modern hotels. Matsuyone rooms are air-conditioned and have a flat-screen TV and come with free parking.
- Comfort Hotel Toyohashi newly opened in 2016 and considered as a good budget hotel near the Toyohashi Station. It is clean, modern, with free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking.
- Hotel Arc Riche Toyohashi is a modern and elegant hotel very near Toyama Station. It provides their guests with great views of the city, excellent food, and a restful stay in clean accommodations. Surely your hotel stay will be as enjoyable as the Toyohashi attractions themselves.
- If you are a Japanese or International student with a budget, the Toyohashi Tech Campus has an International House with 50 rooms and Student Dormitories with 499 rooms. Newly arrived short-term students from partner universities or Japanese students with Japanese scholarships can stay in the affordable campus. The cost of living in the university residences will be more affordable than the private apartments in the city.
News of Great Restaurants around Toyohashi
Toyohashi has become a large multi-cultural paradise and as a result, has many amazing dishes to taste and discover.
- Restaurant Kei serves wonderful French food at a steep price but is very much worth it with its food and great service. Its meals are gourmet, and it is a fine dining restaurant, so come properly dressed. It is rated #3 out of the 1,613 in all the restaurants in Toyohashi. Its address is 1-55 Ekimae Odori, in Hotel Arcriche Toyobashi, Toyohashi 440-0888, Aichi Prefecture.
- For great Japanese cuisine, head to Gyokaizammai Genya Restaurant. The exterior of the restaurant lures you in with warm lights and flowers. It is moderately priced but rates 4.5 out of 5 stars. Their ambiance and presentation of meals are neat and superb, and their menu has a variety of choices, and the taste is excellent as well. To eat here, head to 1-50 Matsubacho, Toyohashi 440-0897, Aichi Prefecture.
- The number one restaurant in all of Toyohashi is Tamagawa Toyohashi Hirokoji Main Shop Restaurant. You know it’s excellent when even the locals love it, and it isn’t endorsed to tourists too much. While here, it’s recommended you order their curry udon, which is the restaurant’s specialty. Its address is 1-13 Hirokoji, Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.
What Is the Weather Like in Toyohashi?
The summer season in Toyohashi, from July to September, is hot and very humid just like the other cities in Japan. Winter, which is from December to February, is windy and cold but no snow. If it does snow, it is very rare. During the rainy season, especially in the month of June, rainfall is heavy.
Typhoons are common in the month of September. Spring, during March to May, is very pleasant, with all the cherry blossoms in full bloom. It’s the perfect time to find a nice park and have a picnic right under a beautiful cherry blossom tree. During autumn, from October to November, the muggy heat of summer is lifted off, temperatures get cooler and the leaves on the trees show off their beautiful colors.
Where is Toyohashi on the Map of Japan?
Toyohashi is found in the south-eastern part of Aichi Prefecture on the map. On its east side is Shizuoka Prefecture and on its west are Mikawa Bay and Atsumi Peninsula. Enshu Bay of the Pacific Ocean borders Toyohashi in the south. Due to the presence of the Kuroshio Current offshore, the city has a temperate climate.
Kuroshio is a fast ocean current starting from the east coast of Luzon, Philippines, and Taiwan flowing towards the north-eastward part of Japan. Carrying large amounts of heat, the Kuroshio Current influences the climate of the adjacent lands.
What Is the Nearest Airport to Toyohashi?
The nearest major airport that handles international and domestic flights from Tokoname, Japan, is the Chubu Centrair International Airport, which is 66 km away from Toyohashi, Japan.
Another major airport that has domestic and international flights from Shimada, Japan is the Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport. It is 74 km from Toyohashi, Japan.
Visit Toyohashi when you can, and learn a little bit more about Japan.