Chubu/ Aichi Pref.

Nishio 

A Castle Town with the Fragrance of Matcha

Nishio flourished as a castle town under the government of the Ogyu Matsudaira Clan from the early Edo period. Located to the south of central Aichi Prefecture, the city hosts a number of historical attractions, traditional events and entertainments, festivals and a wide variety of cultural assets. A mild climate and river fog rising from the Yahagi River create a perfect natural environment to grow good green tea, trees and plants. The production of tencha, the steamed green tea leaf which is the raw material of matcha green tea powder, is particularly famous in Nishio. Fishery products, such as cultivated eels and clams, are also some of its main products.

Sightseeing Highlights in Nishio

Kumaku Shrine

The shrine where Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Tokugawa shogun, visited before the battle and prayed for victory. The main shrine hall is the oldest Irimoya-zukuri style architecture in the prefecture.

Access 15-min. by Meitetsu Tobu Kotsu Bus from Meitetsu Nishio Station

Jisso-ji Temple

This temple is reputed to be where tea cultivation began in Nishio. A large temple bell and many other unusual historical assets from the Nanbokucho period remain.

Access 15-min. by taxi from Meitetsu Nishio Station

Choen-ji Temple

Shoei-do Hall next to the main hall displays the statue of samurai lord, Katsushige Itakura.

Access 25-min. by Meitetsu Tobu Kotsu Bus from Meitetsu Nishio Station

Nishio History Park

Classical Japanese castle structures, such as Chujaku-mon Gate and Honmaru Ushi Tora Tower, still remain in the castle ruins. The stone walls were restored around the castle keep and the tower in 2014.

Access 3-min. by Meitetsu Tobu Kotsu Bus from Meitetsu Nishio Station

Hirahara Waterfall

Several large and small waterfalls amidst natural forest will sooth visitors’ minds.

Access 15-min. by Meitetsu Tobu Kotsu Bus from Meitetsu Nishio Station

Saku-shima Island

The largest island in Mikawa Bay. Interesting art projects are held with the concept of “Festival and Art.”

Mt. Sangane

Beautiful view of Sanga Bay spreads out below Mt. Sangane. 70,000 hydrangea bushes colorfully adorn the approach in June and July.

Konren-ji Temple (Amida-do Hall is a National Treasure)

The oldest wooden building existing in the prefecture. Three statues of Amida are enshrined here.

Important Annual Events in Nishio

Tenteko Festival

January 3
Niike Hachiman Shrine

Men wearing funny costumes made with white radish dance along to the festive music. It is a festival wishing for a good harvest in autumn.

Toba Fire Festival

Second Sunday of February
Toba Shinmei Shrine

Widely known as a very unusual festival. Sacred wood is wrapped with straw and put in a large bamboo torch. Men climb up the torch and try to get the sacred wood and rope from the blazing fire.

Nishio Rokumangoku Cherry Festival

Late March to early April
By Midorikawa River, Honmachi Street, History Park

About 300 Yoshino-zakura cherry trees bloom beautifully along Midorikawa River. Special benches are set out under the lantern lights.

Spring Nishio Rose Festival

Mid May
Michi-no Eki Nishio Okanoyama

Rose is the symbol flower of Nishio. Lovely roses are gathered and sold.

Nishio Gion Festival

Mid July
In the city center

Samurai parade, mikoshi portable shrine procession and many other historical events are held under the summer night sky.

Kaifuku Kagi Lantern Festival

August 14
Mantoyama

Extremely old traditional Buddhist event with a 900-year history. People make bon fire which welcomes the spirits of the deceased returning to this world. Smoke from the fire ascending to the night sky is a solemn scene.

Yonezu River Festival

August 15
Yahagi River (downstream from Yonezu Bridge)

Lanterns flow on the river and fireworks decorate the night sky above. Such a colorful and romantic summer night scene.

Bo-no Te

Third Sunday of October
Tanuki Shinmei-sha Shrine

Traditional dance based on a Japanese martial art using a long stick (180 cm). Men skillfully control the stick and deliver an energetic performance.

Omanto Festival

Third Sunday of October
Nakahata Hachiman Shrine

A man runs in circle with a horse holding the horse’s neck. Valiant festival between man and horse.

Ohitsu-wari

Third Sunday of October
Muro Shinmei Shrine

Men who are in their climacteric year based on tradition compete to get the rice container with red bean rice inside. The winner smashes the lid of the container and eats the rice by hand.

Menso Festival

Fourth Sunday of October
Tenjiku Shrine

The only shrine in Japan which enshrines the deity of cotton. A ceremony which recreates the process of cotton production with old tools will be held.

Mikawa Isshiki Large Lantern Festival

August 26 & 27
Mikawa Isshiki Suwa Shrine

Six pairs of large lanterns, as large as 10 meters high, are hung and create a magnificent scene.

Hawaii Festival

Late August
Kira Waikiki Beach

Hula dance show by local practitioners and Polynesian dance by real dancers from Hawaii will be performed.

Nishio Matcha Day

Mid October
Nishio City Culture Hall

Free sampling of matcha, matcha milling experience with a stone mill, matcha factory visit and many other matcha events will be held.

Traditional Crafts of Nishio

Mikawa Itto-bori Carving

Itto-bori is a simple carving completed only by hand using chisels.

Kirara Bell

Clay bell applied mica (kirara) produces a lovely sound – A symbol of love and happiness.

Kira Red Horse

A samurai lord, Kira, used to patrol around the town riding on a red horse. Based on this story, a pretty handmade horse figure is the symbol of Nishio.

Kakujo-yaki Ceramic

Using local clay, tea ceremony Kakujo-yaki ceramic utensils are preferred by local people as they enhance the rich aroma and taste of matcha from Nishio.

Food & Specialties of Nishio

Matcha

Matcha green tea from Nishio is highly praised for its elegant aroma and taste. Important ingredient of matcha is tencha steamed tea. Nishio is one of the best tensha production areas in Japan. Nishio’s sencha and gyokuro green teas are also very famous.

Eel

Nishio produces the highest number of Isshiki Unagi eel in Japan. The eels are grown in an environment which is very similar to their natural habitat, therefore, their skin is soft and the meat is fatty.

Clams

People can enjoy clam catching at the beaches along Mikawa Bay from March to August. Grown in the beautiful seawater, clams from Nishio are large in size, tasty and nutritious.

Shrimp Cracker

A bite of this crispy cracker produces in an extremely rich taste of shrimp. A local specialty that Nishio has been proud of for over 100 years.

Japanese Sweets

A variety of traditional Japanese sweets using Nishio’s local specialties, such as matcha, large chestnuts and strawberries are very popular as a daily snack and gift choice.

Condiments

Mikawa Mirin (sweet rice wine) with 220 years of history is famous throughout the country. Tamari Shoyu soy sauce and Mame Miso fermented soy bean paste are also fine local specialties.

Nori Seaweed

Nori seaweed from Nishio is perfect in color, shimmer and aroma. Light texture and natural sweetness attracts people.

Access
Nishio Station on Meitetsu Nishio Line
Contact
Nishio City Tourism Association
TEL:0563-57-7882 / FAX:0563-57-2261
URL: http://www.240kanko.com

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