Inuyama-jo: An Original Castle and a National Treasure
Inuyama is the first of two original castles I've been in, and due to the weather during this visit, I might make a second trip. There are some cherry trees which should make for nice photos in the spring, but the real beauty at this castle is supposedly in the fall. Note that the castle put up scaffolding for some emergency repairs a few months ago, but it is supposed to be removed this week.
Inuyama Station and Inuyama-Yuen Station are about half an hour north of Nagoya on the Meitetsu Line. JR travel is more difficult and requires a long walk from Unuma or transfering to the Meitetsu Line.
Inuyama-jo is about 15-20 minutes from Inuyama Station, the easiest approach; take the west exit and head west, turning right at the second light (five or six blocks). Follow the one-way street in the direction of travel right up to the entrance of the temples and castle. There are several shops and restaurants along this street as you get closer to the castle, including a fairly large souvenir shop across the street from the temple gates. Some small museums are also in the area.
The castle is open 9:00-17:00, and admission is 500 yen - 1200 yen if you go to Urakuen, an old traditional Japanese tea house where you can have some tea, too. I think the additional 700 yen is a little pricey unless you're a Japanese tea nut. The other major tourist attraction in town is Meiji Mura, an outstanding open-air architectural museum that I'll write about soon.