Top choice in Central Honshū

Due to war, earthquakes and development, few Meiji-era buildings have survived here. In 1965 this open-air museum was created to preserve this unique style, known for unifying Western and Japanese architectural elements. Over 60 buildings from around Japan were painstakingly dismantled, transported and reassembled in this leafy lakeside location. Favourites include the entry facade of Frank Lloyd Wright's Tokyo Imperial Hotel, Kyoto's St Francis Xavier's Cathedral, and Sapporo's telephone exchange.

Buses to Meiji-mura (¥420, 20 minutes) depart every 20 to 30 minutes from Inuyama Station's east exit. If you're driving, parking is ¥800.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Honshū attractions

1. Ōagata-jinja

1.61 MILES

This ancient shrine on a lovely hillside is dedicated to female Shintō deity Izanami and attracts women seeking marriage or fertility. See if you can find…

2. Tagata-jinja

3.38 MILES

Izanagi, the male counterpart of female deity Izanami, is commemorated at this shrine, with countless wooden and stone phalluses to celebrate. You can buy…

3. Dondenkan

3.87 MILES

A rotating selection of three to four of the 13 impressive floats from Inuyama Matsuri are on year-round display in this custom-made building.

4. Karakuri Exhibition Room (Annexe)

4.09 MILES

This small annexe of the town museum exhibits Edo- and Meiji-era karakuri ningyō (marionettes). On Saturday and Sunday at 10.30am and 2pm you can see the…

5. Uraku-en & Chashitsu Jo-an


Within the pretty garden of Uraku-en in the grounds of the Meitetsu Inuyama Hotel, you'll find 'Jo-an', one of the finest teahouses in Japan. One of…

7. Sankō-Inari Jinja

4.13 MILES

Just south of Inuyama-jō is this picturesque Shinto shrine with interesting statues of komainu (protective dogs), lovingly dressed in cloth collars.

8. Haritsuna Jinja

4.14 MILES

Just south of Inuyama-jō is this picturesque Shinto shrine. The tunnel of 20-plus red torii (gates) is particularly photogenic.