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Toyohashi is a city located in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.The city was founded on August 1, 1906. As of January 1, 2010, the city has an estimated population of 383,691 and a density of 1,468.62 persons per km2.The total area is 261.26 km2.The city is located in the east of Aichi Prefecture, and is the central city of the prefecture's Higashi Mikawa district. Mikawa Port is a major port for worldwide trade, and its presence has made Toyohashi an important city as the biggest import and export hub in Japan for automobiles, in volume terms.Compared to other ports around the world, Mikawa is roughly on a par with the German port of Bremerhaven.

The city also has a beach along the Pacific Ocean, where sea turtles have been seen laying eggs.By size, Toyohashi was Aichi Prefecture's second-largest city until March 31, 2005. It was on April 1, 2005 that Toyota city combined with six peripheral municipalities and saw its total population rise above 400,000 people, thus edging ahead of Toyohashi into second place. Meanwhile, Ichinomiya city combined with two peripheral towns and saw its population rise above 370,000, and may soon surpass Toyohashi.

Hamamatsu city is just across the border in Shizuoka Prefecture and saw large-scale municipal government mergers on July 1, 2005.There is some question as to whether Hamamatsu and Toyohashi might be merged in the future.Automobiles made by Toyota,Mitsubishi,Suzuki,Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, Audi,Porsche and Volkswagen are imported and exported through Toyohashi.The city acts as the port for approximately 50% of all automobile imports into Japan, and the volume of foreign-car imports is rising annually.Toyohashi was also the top producer of thread and textiles in volume terms during World War II.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Toyohashi is Chubu Centrair International Airport near Nagoya.From there, Toyohashi is about 70 minutes away via the Meitetsu Line (¥1590).A change of trains at Jingu-mae station is required.Toyohashi Railroad runs an hourly bus service from Centrair directly to Toyohashi station in 1 hour, 40 minutes.

By Rail

Toyohashi Station is on the Tokaido Shinkansen and the Tokaido Main Line.The Hikari shinkansen stops in Toyohashi Station approximately once every two hours, and the Kodama shinkansen stops twice an hour.Aside from the Tokaido Shinkansen and Tokaido Main Line,Toyohashi Station is the start of the Iida Line, Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line,Toyohashi Railroad Atsumi Line, and the Toyohashi Railroad Azumada Main Line, making it an important transportation hub.The Azumada Main Line of Toyohashi Railroad is a local shiden line running north from Ekimae station through Undō Kōen Mae station and Akaiwa station. The Atsumi Line runs along the Atsumi Peninsula.

By Bus

Toyohashi Railroad and KB Bus run a daily overnight bus from Shinjuku to Toyohashi(6 hours, ¥4500 each way, ¥8000 round-trip).Highway buses during the daytime only stop at the Toyohashi Kita stop of the Tomei Expressway.There are six daily Tokkyu buses from Tokyo station to Hamamatsu station, from which you can take a local train to Toyohashi (about 5 hours, ¥4420 (¥3770 Bus Fare + ¥650 Train Fare).

Key places to visit
Yoshida Castle, Toyohashi Museum of Natural History, Futagawa-juku Honjin Museum, Urigo Ruins, Maeshiba Tomyodai, Sannomaru Kaikan, Toyohashi Zoo and Botanical Park, Toyohashi Public Hall


Places to Visit

Yoshida Castle

Feudal lord Kohaku Makino built the castle in 1505 and originally called it Imahashi Castle. After the Warring States period, the castle was renamed Yoshida Castle and became the residence of Terumasa Ikeda.

Toyohashi Museum of Natural History

The Toyohashi Museum of Natural History opened in 1988 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the Toyohashi municipal government.It was established under the themes of evolution and natural history.The museum aims to promote better understanding of nature and life by broadening knowledge and deepening familiarity with nature.

Futagawa-juku Honjin Museum

During the period from 1601 to 1870, inns were built along routes for travelers,and Futagawa-juku was one such inn.The Honjin, or large inn for nobles and high-ranking officials, has been restored to its original splendor.The newly constructed warehouse style museum is open to the general public as the "Futagawa-juku Honjin Museum."Various features have been reconstructed, such as the "upper room," where Daimyo (lords) and other high-ranking officials could stay overnight or relax, the master's house, the inner garden etc.enabling visitors to get a feel for the Edo Era.

Urigo Ruins

Traces of houses built in the dugout style from around 2,000 years ago exist at Urigo close to the Toyogawa Estuary.The ruins were designated a national historic site in 1953.They mark a colony existing from the middle of the Yayoi period (ca 300 BC-ca AD 300) to the beginning of the Kofun period (ca 300-710), and it is thought that rice fields were cultivated using swampland around the Toyokawa Chuseki Pond, making this a site of considerable importance.Artifacts from the Yayoi period and 5 to 1 scale model of a restored dwelling are stored and exhibited at the Toyohashi Art Museum.

Maeshiba Tomyodai

This is Japan's second oldest wooden lighthouse with a tiled roof, restored in 1966.Barges carrying rice paid in rent departed from and arrived at Maeshiba Port, making this a major shipping landmark in the Edo Era (1600 - 1868).

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