Chiryu is located on the island of Honshu, the largest of the three islands of Japan and is located in Aichi Prefecture which is close to the centre of Japan. It is within Mikawa plain, 25 minutes train ride from nearby Nagoya City which is the closest of the major cities. The city was founded on December 1, 1970.
The city covers an area of 16.34square km and is the third smallest of all the cities in the prefecture (region). Chiryu is famous for a special kind of Iris called a “Rabbit Ear Iris”. The head of the shrine prayed that the Irises would bloom for you.
Rows of Pine Trees along the Tokaido
Around the time that these trees were planted by order of the Edo government in 1604, Chiryu flourished as a rest area on the Tokaido, the 39th of the route’s 53 stations. Today, with over 170 pines covering a span of roughly 500 meters, visitors are treated to the Tokaido of a bygone era.
Chiryu Shrine – Two-story pagoda This pagoda, which stands on the grounds of Chiryu Shrine, the most prestigious shrine in the western Mikawa region, was erected in the Muromachi Period and has been designated as a nationally important cultural property. The shinbutsu bunri (separation of Shinto and Buddhism) directive established by the Meiji government threatened to do away with the pagoda, but caretakers saved the structure from destruction by removing its sorin (roof ornament), replacing its tile roofing, and changing its name to “Chiryu Bunko.”
Float Bunraku – Joruri Puppet Theater
Although joruri puppet theater Bunraku played out in the Gidayu ballad narrative style are performed in many places throughout Japan, Chiryu is the only place where you can see them performed on parade floats. Float Bunraku has been designated a national significant intangible folk cultural asset.
Ichiri Mound at Raikou-ji Ichiri mounds were originally constructed every 4 kilometers to mark distances on routes in the Edo Period. Roughly 9 meters square and 4 meters tall the mounds stood on both sides of the road. Usually, workers planted Japanese hackberries on the mounds, but the mounds in the Chiryu area are dotted with pine trees. The northern mound still maintains its remarkable original appearance.
Pine Trees with Rising Roots
When Minamoto no Yoritomo set up the shogunate capital in Kamakura, the Kamakura Kaido was built to create a link between the new seat of government with Kyoto. This pine, located near the roadside, earned its unique name because of its unusual roots, which rise 2 meters upward. Near the roots is a Kamakura Kaido monument, which features an excerpt from the famous Diary of the Waning Moon on its reverse side.
Chiryu Festival During the Edo Period, Chiryu was the 39th of the 53 stages of the Tokaido, serving as a popular rest area for travelers. The Chiryu Festival is held on May 2nd and 3rd every year on the grounds of the Chiryu Shrine, formerly known as Chiryu Dai Myojin, which has drawn great numbers of worshippers since its establishment.
The main Chiryu Festival and interval festivals, which alternate every other year, feature five floats (measuring 7 meters high and weighing 5 tons). During the main festivals, Bunraku (Japanese puppet theater) and karakuri doll shows, which have both been designated national significant intangible folk cultural assets, are performed on the floats as they wind their way along the parade route.
This festival is held at Akiba Shrine every September. During the day, young people from the city’s 6 smaller towns hoist the treasure box on their shoulders, singing a traditional song as they make their way around the city. In the evening, the marchers bring the treasure box back to Chiryu Shrine, where spectators are treated to a magnificent tube fireworks display.
Muryoju-ji Temple Irises Muryoju-ji Temple, the centerpiece of the scenic beauty of Yatsuhashi, is said to have been founded by Mitsuen Hoshi in 821. The Yatsuhashi Historical Preservation Center, located on temple grounds, features hundreds of designated cultural properties from the city and around the prefecture. In May, irises spring into bloom across the garden pond, a sight that is said to have inspired renowned poet Ariwara no Narihira to write a poem that began with the Japanese word for iris (kakitsubata). During the “Rabbit Ear Iris Festival,” held annually from April 27 to May 26, people from all across Japan come to Yatsuhashi, a place that overflows with history and tradition.
Henjo-in Temple (Mikawa Three Koubou Holy Temples) Henjo-in, the first of the Mikawa Three Koubou Holy Temples, is home to the “Mikaeri (looking-back) Koubou Daishi” one of the three self-portrait figures carved by Koubou Daishi, Every month, on the 21st day of the lunar calendar – the commemorative anniversary of Koubou Daishi’s death – shops line the road approaching the temple to give a warm welcome to visitors from near and far.
Chinese Juniper at Manpuki-ji Temple
This Chinese Juniper, an evergreen needleleaf of the cypress family, has been selected as a prefectural natural treasure. Believed to be over 500 years old, the tree still retains is majestic power.
A Bright Town — Chiryu for Everyone
“Bright” means a community that acts as a guiding light for surrounding areas as well as the happy faces of Chiryu residents, “Everyone” means people who live in, work in, visit, or are in any other way part of the Chiryu Community.
The Future of Chiryu – Community Connections
The “town of care and consideration” that Chiryu City strives to be is a place where people can live in peace without having to worry about accidents, disasters, their health, or their livelihood. Chiryu also aims to be a “town of active citizen participation, where residents take pride in creating their ideal community and are actively involved in city affairs.
Chiryu Station, a transfer point for the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line and Mikawa Line, serves over 30,000 incoming, outgoing, and transfer passengers every day, making it an important transportation hub for the Nishi-Mikawa area, ‘ In order to improve the living environment and municipal performance in the urban district based around the station,. Now currently engaged in a continuous grade separation project on the railway, a land adjustment project in the vicinity, and road maintenance work. These projects are expected to be completed by 2023. It is believe that moving forward with these endeavors will completely transfigure the area around Chiryu Station, the gateway to our city.
Chiryu City Corporation Chiryu Civic Centre 472-8666 3-1, Hiromi, Chryu City, Aichi Phone: 0566-83-1111 extension (331.332.335) Facsimile: 0566-83-1141
E-mail: i…@city.chiryu.lg.jp , j-u…@city.chiryu.lg.jp
Chiryu City Tourism: http://www.city.chiryu.aichi.jp/category/7-0-0-0-0.html