From textiles to Toyota in the industrial hub of Japan
Aichi prefecture is the dynamic capital of Japanese industrialization.
Located in central Chubu, Aichi has long flourished as an important center of trade and manufacturing. It’s the home of automobile giant Toyota – so powerful they named a town after it – and generates more revenue from its industrial shipments than any other prefecture.
From pottery to textiles to cars and airplanes, it’s likely that it was Made in Aichi.
The main city in Aichi prefecture is Nagoya, Japan’s fourth-largest city and the industrial, economic and commercial hub of the region. Nagoya’s wide streets, twisting skyscrapers and one of the world’s largest train stations all bear the hallmark of Aichi industrialization; think clean, functional and modern. There’s some decent museums, plenty of great shopping, a castle, and a whole lotta’ pachinko – Nagoya is the birthplace of this gambling version of pinball.
Automobile fans will enjoy the novelty of heading to Toyota city, formerly Koromo, the all-encompassing stronghold of car maker Toyota. Toyota has a cosmopolitan feel, with an infrastructure catering to the large number of foreign workers employed by the car company, many of them second or third generation immigrants from Brazil and South America. The Toyota Kaikan showcases the company’s latest products and you can go on to take a tour of the Toyota car plant nearby.
Inuyama (Dog Mountain) is a popular day trip from Nagoya. The gorgeous Kiso river flows through a picturesque town with one of Japan’s oldest surviving wooden castles and a cheeky fertility shrine or two. Nearby is the Meiji Mura, an open-air architectural museum with more than 60 buildings from the Meiji period on display.
Aichi prefecture is famous for its historic hatcho miso, a soybean miso unique to Aichi that has been produced (though hopefully not fermented) for thousands of years.