Aichi Arts Center
Aichi Arts Center is a cultural complex that was opened in the center of Nagoya City in 1992 to act as a base for art and culture in Aichi Prefecture. It comprises the following facilities: the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, which houses a rich collection of work from Japan and abroad, with a focus on 20th century art; the Aichi Prefectural Art Theater, which includes the Main Theater, Concert Hall, and Mini Theater; and the Aichi Prefectural Arts Promotion Service, which consists of an Art Space, Art Library, and Art Plaza.
Courtesy of Aichi Arts Center
Ichinomiya City is a designated core city in Aichi Prefecture’s northwesterly Owari region, with a population of approximately 380,000 people.
Masumida Jinja was Owari Province’s Ichinomiya (first shrine), and the area of the surrounding town came to be known by that name. Cotton textile manufacture has flourished here since the Edo period, and with the shift to the production of composite silk-and-cotton textiles and then wool, the moniker “Ichinomiya, textile town” emerged.
From ancient times, Ichinomiya developed as a key location for transportation both by water, with the presence of the magnificent Kiso River to the northwest, and by land, over roads such as the Kamakura Kaido and Minoji. It is currently the site of nine interchanges, and served by routes including the Meishin Expressway and the Tokai-Hokuriku Expressway.
In recent years, Ichinomiya has been working hard to strengthen the brand power of the high-quality Bishu fabric it is so proud of, and to promote industry and tourism, together with the thriving natural world of the Kiso River.
Tokoname City is located on the west coast of central Chita Peninsula, and has a population of approximately 60,000 people.
It is known as the site where the Kotokoname style of pottery was produced from the latter part of the Heian period. Tokoname City is home to one of the Six Ancient Kilns recognized as heritage sites in Japan, alongside Seto, Shigaraki, Echizen, Tanba, and Bizen. The Tokoname kiln is thought to be the oldest and largest of the six. As the city faces the sea, it developed a shipping industry, supplying Tokoname ware throughout the country by water.
The nature of pottery produced shifted along with contemporary demand, such as teapots from the Edo period, or tiles and earthenware pipes from the Meiji era, and ceramics continues to be the main industry even today. The Pottery Footpath retains the atmosphere of the Showa era, its heyday, at every turn—scattered with chimneys, kilns, factories, and so on—making it a popular spot for tourists.
Chubu Centrair International Airport, positioned offshore, acts as a gateway to the sky for the Chubu region.
Arimatsu, Nagoya City
Arimatsu is a town located in the southeast of Nagoya City. Following the Tokaido, a major land route connecting Kyoto and Edo (modern-day Tokyo), this town developed from the Edo period through the production and sale of Arimatsu Narumi Shibori.
Arimatsu was founded by the Owari clan between the Tokaido’s Narumi and Chiryu stations, and Arimatsu Narumi Shibori is a form of tie-dyeing that was devised as a souvenir for travelers journeying along the road. Since that time, the town of Arimatsu developed together with Shibori.
Nagoya City has designated the area as an “Old Town Preservation District”; in 2016 Arimatsu was selected by the state as an “Important Preserved District for a Group of Traditional Buildings,” and in 2019 received Japan Heritage certification from the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Scenery reminiscent of Edo period ukiyo-e artwork spreads along the Tokaido, and one can feel the culture of that period even now in the townscapes, festival floats, and Arimatsu Narumi Shibori.
Located in the center of Japan and blessed with marine and mountainous natural environments, Aichi is the fourth most populous prefecture in Japan (with 7.52 million inhabitants as of July 2021).
Aichi is known for its manufacturing industry (producing cars, robots, textiles, ceramics, and the like)but, in fact, it also has a thriving agricultural industry, producing more flowers than any other prefecture in Japan.
This is also a region that produced many of the military generals who influenced Japan’s history in the Sengoku (“Warring States”) period (c. 16th century). As well as the townscapes still lining roads that have served people and goods since long ago, and traditional crafts such as Shibori (tie-dye) and pottery, the area’s unique culinary culture also contributes to its charm — examples include Nagoya meshi 1 and the luxurious “morning service”2 at coffee shops.
- 1 A general term for the unique meals and sweets eaten widely, at home and at restaurants, in the area around Nagoya in Aichi.
- 2 Morning service refers to the offer of food such as bread or eggs for free or at a discounted price when ordering a drink at a coffee shop during morning hours.