Located on the historic Tokaido Highway between Kyoto and Edo, Okazaki is a castle town with strong associations with the famous ruler, Tokugawa Ieyasu. In addition to its reconstructed castle and a museum detailing Ieyasu’s life, the town is home to a charming Kamakura period temple and a Heritage-listed miso factory.
Things to do in Okazaki
Visit the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Okazaki Castle, which was reconstructed in the mid-20th century to its original three-tiered design. Admire the samurai swords and reproductions of Edo Period fireworks in the castle museum while learning about the influential battles that took place here.
Stroll along the picturesque walking trails of Okazaki Park, home to the Ninomaru Noh Theater where you can experience the music, dance and drama of a traditional Noh performance. It also features a museum detailing the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu and a well where it’s believed water for the ruler’s first bath was drawn.
Another landmark associated with Tokugawa Ieyasu is the Takisan Tōshō-gū, a 17th-century Shinto shrine built in honour of the Shōgun. After paying your respects, admire the Kamakura period architecture of the adjacent Takisan-ji Temple enshrining the hair and teeth of the great warrior, Yoritomo.
Okazaki is known for the production of miso. A tour of the Hatcho Miso headquarters offers fascinating insight into the manufacture of this fermented soybean paste. See miso being made the traditional way as you explore its Heritage-listed building and discover the company’s long associations with Japanese Emperors.
Getting around Okazaki
Okazaki is an hour by train from Nagoya and around 1.5 hours from Nagoya Airport. Buses travel throughout Okazaki and its flat terrain makes it a popular destination to explore by bicycle.