Cabbages! This is the best word to describe Toyohashi City in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. It is known that Toyohashi has the oldest tradition of cabbage cultivation in the country, so it’s no wonder that you see cabbages almost everywhere when you visit. Not only that, but Toyohashi is also well known for its largest port for export/import of motor vehicles from the nearby Toyota City. If you have a chance to visit Toyohashi, here are three interesting things to do in the area!
The very famous Black Thunder chocolate bar was first made in Toyohashi in the year 1994. If you are a chocoholic, it will be nice to try this chocolate cookie bar mixed with rice puffs and coated with chocolate. You can bring these chocolate bars as a souvenir, as well as Kit Kat.
Ankake spaghetti, the local specialty of nearby city Nagoya, can also be found in Toyohashi. It is a kind of pasta with tomato-based sauce and thicker spaghetti compared to the regular ones. You can also add toppings such as chicken nuggets, sausage, cheese, and many more.
The Toyohashi Gion Festival is well known for its spectacular fireworks display. This festival is annually held on the third Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of July.
On Friday, you will be able to see the “Tezutsu Hanabi” or arm-held fireworks, which originated in Yoshida Shrine. The cannons are hollowed out bamboo cylinders tightly wrapped in ropes, and filled with three kilograms of black powder. On Saturday, around 12,000 fireworks and star mines will be lit; and on Sunday, there will be various performances such as Sasa Odori (dance performance).
Also known as Non Hoi Park, you can see many animals such as giraffe, hippopotamus, polar bear, etc. here. The park is famous for its Monet Corner, a section with displays of water lilies, weeping willows, and wisteria plants, which inspired Claude Monet’s paintings. The water lilies in the park were brought to Japan for its opening ceremony. Not only that, but you can also enjoy riding roller coasters and a Ferris wheel at this park.
Every prefecture and city in Japan have their own different versions of food and festivals. Before visiting Toyohashi, I thought that it was just a small village filled with cabbages. But to my surprise, there are actually a lot of unique stuff in the place. If you have any chance to visit Aichi Prefecture, don’t miss Toyohashi!