Inuyama, which literally translates to mean “the mountain of the dog” in English, is a historic city of the Aichi Prefecture, located just several kilometers away from the city of Nagoya. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Inuyama Castle, which stands among the oldest wooden castles of Japan.
Weather & Climate of Inuyama, Japan
Depending on one’s weather preferences when traveling, the month of visit must be well thought of when planning a trip to the city of Inuyama. Based on previous news reports, Inuyama features a pleasant weather and climate during the months of May – July, and September – October.
Those who wish to explore the city under warmer conditions may want to consider taking a trip during July or August. Conversely, those who prefer colder climates are advised to visit during the month of January, which serves as the city’s coolest month.
Guide to Inuyama, Japan – Inuyama Castle, Little World Museum, Japan Monkey Park, Etc.
The Inuyama Castle, or referred to as Inuyamajo by the locals, dates back to the year 1537 and stands among the twelve original castles remaining in all of Japan. Furthermore, its main keeps also serve as one of the few that have been designated as Japan’s national treasures, alongside those of the Matsue Castle, Hikone Castle, Matsumoto Castle, and Himeji Castle.
It sits atop the small hills located right next to the Kiso River, providing visitors with stunning views of the natural and urban beauty of Inuyama. The majority of its structures are made from rocks and wood that have all been well-preserved and untouched by modern alterations.
Some points of interest include a conserved set of steep stairs, various chambers, and a lookout that was once used to keep an eye out for approaching enemies.
Tourists can easily reach the castle from the Inuyama-Yuen Station or the Inuyama Station of the Meitetsu Railway Line by simply taking a 20-minute walk.
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily; Closed from December 29 to 31
Admission Fee: 550 yen per person
Address: 65-2 Inuyama Kitakoken, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0082
Meiji Mura Museum
The Meiji Mura Museum, which also goes by the name Meiji Village, is one of the best open-air museums housed by Japan. As implied by its name, the place features various displays that showcase the lifestyle and architecture of Japan’s Meiji Period – the time after the country’s feudal era had ended and Western influences started coming in.
As such, visitors can view more than sixty majestic buildings that feature Western-style architecture within the area, among other structures. Other interesting attractions include a prefectural office of Mie, sake breweries, schools, the former Kanazawa Prison, the former Imperial Hotel of Tokyo, and the St. Francis Xavier’s Cathedral of Kyoto.
Given the massive area of the Meiji Mura Museum, it is highly recommended that tourists take at least half a day of their trip to explore all the exhibits of the unique complex. The museum can be accessed by taking a Meitetsu Bus from the Inuyama Station to the Meiji Mura Bus Stop.
Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM, daily (March – July & September – October); 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM, from Wednesdays to Mondays (August); 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM, daily (November); 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, from Tuesdays to Sundays (December – February)
Admission Fee: 1,700 yen per person (Entrance fee only); 1,000 yen per person (Unlimited use of village train, tram, and bus)
Address: 1 Uchiyama, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0000
Little World Museum of Man
The Little World Museum of Man was established in 1970 and serves as a unique place that combines the concepts of an amusement park and an anthropological museum.
Its buildings feature various architectural styles that come from more than 22 different countries. In line with that, visitors are provided with various traditional ethnic costumes to choose from including those of Korea, Germany, and France.
There is also an open-air stage within the vicinity which serves as the main area for several world performances throughout the year. Such performances include acrobatics, dances, and ethnic music.
Visitors can also witness over six thousand artifacts from different parts of the world at the park’s main exhibition building. This section is further divided into subsections that feature one of the park’s five distinct themes, namely, the evolution of mankind, lifestyles, languages, interrelationships, and the spiritual worlds.
Of course, the park also houses a wide array of restaurants that offer international cuisines, as well as several souvenir shops.
The Little World Museum of Man can be accessed from the Inuyama Station by taking a Gifu Community Bus to the Little World Bus Stop, which takes about twenty minutes of travel time.
Hours: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM, daily except for the 2nd week of July (March – November); 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, closed on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and on December 31 (December & January - February); 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM, closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays (Holidays from January to February)
Admission Fee: 1,700 yen per person (For Adults); 1,500 yen per person (For Foreign Adults); 1,300 yen per person (For Senior Citizens); 1,100 yen per person (For Foreign Senior Citizens); 1,100 yen per person (For High School Students and Foreign Students); 700 yen per person (For Junior High School and Elementary School Students); 300 yen per person (For Children)
Address: 90-48, Imai Narisawa, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0005
The Urakuen is a popular Japanese garden of Inuyama, located just a few hundred meters from the Inuyama Castle. It is also known for housing one of the most significant teahouses of Japan – the Jo-an – which, interestingly, is also a designated national treasure of the country.
The Jo-an dates back to the year 1618 and was originally part of a Kyoto temple. This teahouse was built by Oda Nobunaga’s younger brother, Oda Uraku, who was a disciple of the renowned Japanese tea master, Sen-no-Rikyu. It was only moved to its current location in Inuyama during the year 1972, along with the Shodenin Shoin, a study room of the same temple.
At present, the serene garden welcomes visitors to enjoy a cup of tea or two at the Shodenin Shoin’s veranda and take a peek of the interiors of the Jo-an from the outside.
Tourists coming from the Inuyama Castle can easily reach the Urakuen in less than five minutes. Alternatively, those who will be coming directly from the Inuyama Station or Inuyama-Yuen Station can expect to reach the garden within 10-15 minutes by foot.
Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, daily
Admission Fee: 1,000 yen per person (Access to the Urakuen only); 1,300 yen per person (Access to the Urakuen and the Inuyama Castle); 500 yen per person (Additional fee for tea and snacks at the Shodenin Shoin)
Address: 1 Gomonsaki, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081
Japan Monkey Park
The Japan Monkey Park is situated on a hillside that overlooks the Kiso River. It not only serves as a unique amusement park of the historic Inuyama City but also stands as a zoological garden dedicated to informing the public of the various species of primates across the globe.
An estimated total of one thousand primates is taken care of at the 250,000 sq. m. complex. The massive vicinity allows these animals to live as freely as possible within well-maintained, natural habitats.
There is an educational center within the park for visitors to learn more information about these primates before actually going into the enclosures. Some of the most popular sections of the park include the Spider Monkey Inland Enclosure, Gibbon Inland Enclosure, Japanese Yaku Valley Monkey Enclosure, and the Squirrel Monkey Inland Enclosure.
It should be noted that since these primates are provided with a lot of freedom to go about their days, certain zones may off-limits to avoid possible conflicts. Fortunately, the entire place is filled with tons of signage that adequately inform visitors of the corresponding dos and don’ts.
For those traveling with kids, a separate section away from the enclosures serves as a fun amusement park that houses more than 35 different rides, a pool, and several restaurants.
Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Weekdays); 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM (Weekends and Holidays)
Admission Fee: 1,600 yen per person (For Adults); 800 yen per person (For Children); 200 – 500 yen per ride (Amusement Park)
Address: 26 Kanrin, Inuyama, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081
Map & Access to Inuyama, Aichi, Japan
The city of Inuyama is less than an hour away from Nagoya. The easiest and most convenient way for tourists to reach Inuyama is by taking a train on the Meitetsu Railway.
Several Meitetsu Railway trains depart every hour and go directly to Inuyama from the Meitetsu Nagoya Station. Tourists may choose from taking an express train or a limited express train for 550 yen per person or 910 yen per person, one way, respectively. The express trains take about thirty minutes to reach Inuyama, while the limited express trains take about 25 minutes.
Alternatively, tourists may also choose to initially take a JR train to the Takayama Line’s Unuma Station, where a Meitetsu train may then be taken to the city of Inuyama from the Shin-Unuma Station.
Hotels and Other Accommodation Options in Inuyama, Japan
Given the various attractions to explore in Inuyama, tourists are advised to consider booking a hotel for a night or two, as not to cram everything in one day. Fortunately, there are tons of accommodation options available within the city, which range from low-rate rooms to luxurious suites.
Meitetsu Hotel Inuyama
Meitetsu Hotel Inuyama is a short walk away from the Inuyama Castle. The place offers its guests with free WiFi connection, Japanese-style and Western-style rooms, and a hot spring bath section. All rooms come complete with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms. Guests can also avail of other services such as dry cleaning, karaoke rooms, and luggage storage for additional fees.
Rating: 8.5 out of 19
Address: 107-1 Inuyamakitakoken, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0082
Akariya Geihanro is a ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) that is located about a mile away from the Japan Monkey Park. Some of its most popular services and facilities include free WiFi connection, non-smoking rooms, private bathrooms, free use of bikes, continental breakfast every morning, and a relaxing hot spring bath.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Address: 41-6 Inuyamakitakoken, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0082
Inuyama Miyako Hotel
The Inuyama Miyako Hotel houses its own Japanese restaurant and public bath for guests to enjoy. It is situated 400 meters away from the Meitetsu Inuyama Station and is also conveniently located near the Inuyama Castle and Meiji Mura Museum. Each room at the hotel features air conditioning, a private bathroom, a fridge, an electric kettle, and a wooden writing desk.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Address: 35 Oaza Inuyama Aza Higashiyozaka, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081
Iruka no Sato Musica
Iruka no Sato Musica is a wonderful hotel that provides its guests with breathtaking lake views and charming Japanese-style rooms. Visitors can choose to rent out the standard rooms or larger rooms that come complete with seating areas. It should be noted that these rooms do not have their own set of private bathrooms but, fortunately, the hotel’s shared bathrooms are quite pleasant.
Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Address: 54 Shinodaira, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0017
Inuyama International Youth Hostel
The Inuyama International Youth Hostel is perfect for tourists traveling on a budget. Japanese and Western-style rooms are available for guests to choose from, all of which come complete with air-conditioning systems, workspaces, flat-screen TVs, and access to the shared bathrooms. Other services provided by the hostel include free parking, ironing/laundry facilities, internet connection, and vending machines.
Rating: 7.8 out of 10
Address: 162-1 Oaza Tsugao Aza Himuro, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0091
Rinkokan stands as a 3-star ryokan that provides tourists with a pleasant stay in Inuyama through its wellness area and traditional Japanese-style rooms. The Japan Monkey Park and Inuyama Castle are located less than a kilometer away from the ryokan and may be reached by foot, while a trip to the Meiji Mura Museum may be done through a 20-minute car ride.
Rating: 7.6 out of 10
Address: 8-1 Nishidaimonsaki, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081
Inuyama Guest House KODINMARI
The Inuyama Guest House KODINMARI is one of the best places to stay in while in Inuyama. It is conveniently situated near the main tourist attractions of the city and is known for providing its guests with exceptional services. All rooms at the guest house feature a Japanese setup, a terrace, a coffee machine, and a wardrobe, while a separate shared bathroom is available for all visitors to use.
Rating: 9.0 out of 10
Address: 4-6 Nishibabasaki, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081
The Inuyamakan is a fairly new ryokan that just opened early this year. Some of its most popular facilities include free parking and a hot spring bath. Although a traditional inn, all of its rooms feature modern air-conditioning systems, flat-screen TVs, an electric kettle, and a fridge. Guests are also welcome to enjoy an Asian breakfast every morning of their stay.
Rating: 7.0 out of 10
Address: 50-1 Inuyama Daimon Saki, Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan 484-0081