Central Honshū

Izanagi, the male counterpart of female deity Izanami, is commemorated at this shrine, with countless wooden and stone phalluses to celebrate. You can buy souvenirs from ¥800. The Tagata Hōnen-sai Matsuri takes place on 15 March at Tagata-jinja, when the highly photogenic, 2m-long, 60kg 'sacred object' is paraded excitedly around the neighbourhood. Arrive well before the procession starts at 2pm. Tagata-jinja is five minutes' walk west of Tagata-jinja-mae Station on the Meitetsu Komaki line (¥300 from Inuyama, nine minutes).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Central Honshū attractions

1. Ōagata-jinja

1.77 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. Meiji-mura

3.38 MILES

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…

3. Dondenkan

4.53 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.

5. Karakuri Exhibition Room (Annexe)

4.86 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…

6. Sankō-Inari Jinja


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

7. Haritsuna Jinja

4.94 MILES

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

8. Uraku-en & Chashitsu Jo-an

4.99 MILES

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…