Anatola Zajac

Anatola Zajac

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


When it comes to cities in Japan, Okazaki is one that often flies under the radar. Nestled in the Aichi Prefecture, this charming city is brimming with history, culture, and natural beauty that are waiting to be explored. From its rich historical significance to its stunning landmarks and mouthwatering cuisine, Okazaki offers a unique and authentic experience for visitors.

In this article, we will uncover 38 fascinating facts about Okazaki that will paint a vivid picture of this hidden gem. We will delve into the city’s ancient origins, its noteworthy landmarks, its role in Japanese history, its vibrant festivals, and so much more. Whether you’re planning a visit to Okazaki or simply curious to learn about this enchanting city, prepare to be captivated by its beauty and allure.

Table of Contents

The Name Origins

Okazaki is located in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The name Okazaki is derived from the combination of two ancient Japanese words: “oka,” meaning hill, and “saki,” meaning cape.

Rich Historical Background

Okazaki has a rich historical background and is known for its connection with the famous warlord Tokugawa Ieyasu. It served as the birthplace and early home of Ieyasu, who later went on to become the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Cherry Blossom Capital

Okazaki is often referred to as the “Cherry Blossom Capital” of Japan. During spring, the city is adorned with beautiful cherry blossoms, attracting visitors from around the world.

Atsuta Shrine

Okazaki is home to the historic Atsuta Shrine, one of the most important and revered Shinto shrines in Japan. It houses the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one of the three sacred imperial regalia of Japan.

Higashi Park

Higashi Park, located in Okazaki, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is especially beautiful during the cherry blossom season.

Okazaki Castle

Okazaki Castle is a magnificent symbol of the city’s history. Although it was destroyed during World War II, the castle has been reconstructed and now serves as a museum. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and learn about its significance.

Traditional Culture

Okazaki is known for its preservation of traditional Japanese culture. Visitors can experience tea ceremonies, traditional festivals, and various local crafts, which provide insights into the city’s rich cultural heritage.

Technology Hub

Okazaki is not only steeped in history and tradition but also a hub for technological advancements. The city is home to several research institutes and industries focused on cutting-edge technology.

Famous Local Delicacies

Okazaki is renowned for its local cuisine. Some of the must-try dishes include hitsumabushi, a grilled eel dish, and kishimen, thick udon noodles served in a soy-based broth.

The Okazaki Festival

The Okazaki Festival is a vibrant and lively event held annually in the city. It features traditional dances, parades, music performances, and fireworks, attracting crowds of locals and tourists alike.

Educational Institutions

Okazaki is home to several prestigious educational institutions, including Okazaki Women’s Junior College, Okazaki Medical University, and Aichi Shukutoku University.

Industrial Development

Okazaki has witnessed significant industrial growth over the years. It has become a center for manufacturing, particularly in the automotive and electronics industries.

Festivals and Events

Aside from the Okazaki Festival, the city hosts various other festivals and events throughout the year, such as the Hanami River Festival and the Okazaki Fireworks Festival, showcasing its vibrant culture and community spirit.

Natural Beauty

Okazaki is blessed with abundant natural beauty. The city is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, including rivers, mountains, and lush greenery, offering opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Population and Area

As of 2021, Okazaki has a population of approximately 392,000 people and covers an area of around 387 square kilometers.

Sister Cities

Okazaki has established sister city relationships with cities around the world, including Toledo in the United States, Châteauroux in France, and Ipswich in Australia. These connections promote cultural exchange and international cooperation.

Historical Landmarks

In addition to Okazaki Castle and Atsuta Shrine, the city is home to other historical landmarks such as Tatsuki Shrine, Rokusho Shrine, and the ruins of Odawara Castle, all of which offer glimpses into Okazaki’s past.

Sports Culture

Okazaki has a vibrant sports culture, with baseball, soccer, and traditional martial arts like kendo and judo being popular among its residents. The city boasts numerous sports facilities and supports a variety of athletic clubs.

Accessible Transportation

Okazaki is well-connected by transportation networks. The city has efficient train and bus systems, allowing easy access within Okazaki and to other major cities in Japan.

Dynamic Cityscape

Okazaki offers a dynamic cityscape that balances modern infrastructure with historical charm. From bustling shopping streets to serene parks, the city provides a diverse range of experiences for residents and visitors.

The Shudo-ji Temple

The Shudo-ji Temple, designated as a National Treasure of Japan, is located in Okazaki. It is renowned for its exquisite architecture and serene atmosphere, attracting many visitors seeking spiritual solace.

Cultural Exchange Programs

Okazaki actively engages in cultural exchange programs with other countries, welcoming international students and promoting mutual understanding and learning.

Fertility Shrine

Okazaki is known for its fertility shrine, Kanayama Shrine. It is visited by couples seeking blessings for conception and safe childbirth.

Regional Products

The region surrounding Okazaki produces various local products, such as Mikawa Tanuki Soba, Mikawashi Wagyu beef, and Mikawa Miso. These delicacies showcase the unique flavors of the area.

Cultural Heritage Sites

Okazaki is home to several designated cultural heritage sites, including the Higashi Omachi Karasayama Tombs, which date back to the 5th and 6th centuries.

Scenic Cycling Routes

Okazaki offers scenic cycling routes along its rivers and through rural areas, allowing cyclists to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings while exploring the city.

Traditional Craftsmanship

The city prides itself on traditional craftsmanship, particularly in pottery and lacquerware. Visitors can witness these intricate art forms and even take part in hands-on workshops.

Okazaki Park

Okazaki Park is a popular spot for leisure and recreational activities. It features spacious lawns, playgrounds, and a large pond, making it a perfect destination for families and nature enthusiasts.

Local Legends and Folklore

Okazaki has its share of local legends and folklore, passed down through generations. These stories add to the city’s mysterious and enchanting atmosphere.

Vibrant Craft Markets

Okazaki hosts vibrant craft markets where local artisans showcase their handmade creations. These markets provide a unique shopping experience and an opportunity to support local businesses.

Okazaki Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Okazaki Zoo and Botanical Garden is a popular attraction for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. It houses a wide variety of animals and a beautifully landscaped botanical garden.

Annual Sumo Tournament

Okazaki hosts an annual sumo tournament, attracting sumo wrestlers from all over Japan. Sumo enthusiasts can witness the traditional sport up close and cheer for their favorite wrestlers.

Historical Walking Trails

There are several historical walking trails in Okazaki, allowing visitors to explore the city’s rich history at their own pace. These trails often lead to significant landmarks and offer glimpses into the past.

Mosaic Tile Museum

Okazaki is home to a unique Mosaic Tile Museum, which showcases beautiful mosaic artwork and provides insights into the history and techniques behind mosaic tile production.

Local Sake Breweries

Okazaki is known for its sake production, with several local breweries offering tours and tastings. Sake enthusiasts can learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of sake flavors.

The Mikawa Bushi Folk Dance

The Mikawa Bushi is a traditional folk dance that originated in Okazaki. It is often performed during festivals and events, adding a touch of traditional culture to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Support for International Students

Okazaki is recognized for its support and integration of international students. The city provides resources and programs to help them adjust to life in Japan and make their educational journey a fulfilling one.

Okazaki City Museum of Art

The Okazaki City Museum of Art showcases a diverse collection of artwork, including both traditional and contemporary pieces. It hosts rotating exhibitions and cultural events, contributing to the city’s vibrant art scene.


In conclusion, Okazaki is a fascinating city with a rich history, vibrant culture, and remarkable attractions. From its scenic landscapes to its traditional festivals and modern developments, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Okazaki. Whether you are interested in exploring historical sites, indulging in local cuisine, or immersing yourself in the local traditions, Okazaki offers a unique and unforgettable experience. With its warm and welcoming atmosphere, it is no wonder that Okazaki has become a popular destination for tourists from all around the world. So, if you’re ever planning a trip to Japan, be sure to include Okazaki in your itinerary for an authentic and captivating experience.


1. What is the best time to visit Okazaki?

The best time to visit Okazaki is during spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasant and the cherry blossoms and autumn foliage are in full bloom.

2. How can I get to Okazaki?

Okazaki is easily accessible by train from major cities like Tokyo and Nagoya. It is also possible to reach the city by bus or car.

3. What are some must-visit attractions in Okazaki?

Some must-visit attractions in Okazaki include Okazaki Castle, Hatcho Miso Museum, Okazaki Park, and the Takeshima Island.

4. Is there any local specialty food in Okazaki?

Yes, Okazaki is known for its delicious Hatcho Miso, Hitsumabushi (grilled eel dish), and Akamiso nikomi udon (udon noodles in red miso soup).

5. Are there any festivals celebrated in Okazaki?

Yes, Okazaki hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Okazaki Fireworks Festival, Okazaki Hanabi Matsuri, and Hikiyama Festival.

6. Are there any accommodations options in Okazaki?

Yes, Okazaki offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, ryokans (traditional Japanese inns), and guesthouses to suit different budgets and preferences.

7. Is Okazaki a suitable destination for families?

Yes, Okazaki has family-friendly attractions such as the Okazaki Zoo and Botanical Garden, Okazaki Children’s Museum of Art, and the Okazaki Inari Park.

8. Can I explore Okazaki on foot?

Yes, Okazaki is a relatively small city, and many of its attractions can be explored on foot. However, public transportation options are also available.