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Introducing Inuyama

Inuyama's Kiso-gawa (river), aka the 'Japanese Rhine', paints a pretty picture beneath its castle, a National Treasure. By day, the castle, quaint streets, manicured Uraku-en and 17th-century Jo-an Teahouse make for pleasant strolling, while at night the scene turns cinematic as fishermen practise ukai by firelight (Jun 1 - Oct 15).

Just south of the temple are the shrines Haritsuna Jinja and Sankō-Inari Jinja, the latter with interesting statues of komainu (protective dogs).

Since 1635, townsfolk have celebrated the Inuyama Matsuri (Festival) on the on first Saturday and Sunday in April. A scaled-down version is held on the fourth Saturday in October. A government designated Intangible Cultural Asset, the festival features a parade of 13 three-tiered floats strewn with 365 lanterns. Atop each float elaborate karakuri ningyō (marionettes) perform to music.