What to Expect
You will enjoy four Japanese traditional cultures through one-day excursion from the castle town ‘Inuyama’ in Aichi to two small towns Seki and Mino in Gifu.
First you will visit a National Treasure Inuyama Castle which is the oldest castle in Japan. You can touch and feel the authentic wooden building, climbing steep and narrow steps toward the upper floor. On each floor, you will see some antiques, maps and documents to learn stories about the castle. From the top, you will have a panoramic view while strolling along the outside balcony.
Secondly you will visit another National Treasure, tea-house ‘Joan’ in Inuyama. It is located in a beautiful Japanese garden near the castle, You will find a simple aesthetic value based on Zen Buddhism in it. You could also drink matcha-tea in an adjacent tea-house in the same garden. Once,matcha-tea tasting gave samurai a moment of relief between battles. You might feel it,too.
Next you will visit Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum. You can not only learn the history and the forging-process of swordsmiths but also enjoy seeing many masterpieces of swords and knives. Many visitors give a sigh of admiration to see them. Then you will drop in some cutlery shops where you enjoy shopping for souvenirs.
Finally you will visit a small cozy town Mino, the hometown of Japanese paper ‘Washi, which was registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2014. You can learn how hand-made durable paper ‘Washi’ is fabricated. You can also enjoy strolling around traditional building areas which include beautiful old houses and fancy shops.
*The attached video is an demonstration of Sword forging in the Seki Traditional Sword Smith Museum.