Japan Chronicles Part 8 (2017) | Nagoya

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Everything you need and want is in Nagoya. Overlooked and somewhat overshadowed by its neighbors, Tokyo and Osaka, Nagoya City is one of the best places I’ve been in Japan. I was not able to visit the city when I first went to Japan almost 5 years ago, but I was able to finally see it in 2017. To be honest, I did not have any expectations in this city because I rarely hear it from people I know who have been to the country. For some reason, Nagoya is not always part of the usual Japan itinerary. 

So when my officemates and I found a seat sale going to Nagoya, I immediately booked our tickets. At first I thought, Nagoya will be a perfect base when we explore the Japanese Alps. It will also be the perfect home base for day trips to the Nakasendo Trail, which is part of feudal Japan's ancient network of highways. But on our 2-day stay in the city, we really enjoyed its laid-back vibe that we just cancelled the idea of going out of the city. 

What to see in Nagoya
Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle is one of the city’s most iconic attractions. It may not be as grand as Himeji Castle and Osaka Castle, but its historical significance makes it worth visiting. Due to Nagoya’s strategic location, this castle served as one of the post stations during the early Edo period under the Tokugawa Shogunate. At that time, it was one of the most significant castles in Japan because it connects two of the five important trade routes, the Tokaido Highway and the Nakasendo Highway.
the small but beautiful Nagoya Castle
Nagoya TV Tower and Oasis 21 Building
Standing 180 meters high in the center of Nagoya, Nagoya TV Tower was the first TV tower of its kind in Japan when it was built in 1954. It is one of most popular sightseeing spots in Nagoya, as its Observation Deck offers the best panoramic views of the city, the Japanese Alps, and Ise Bay. It also has a restaurant and a beer garden. 
Nagoya TV Tower
Adjacent to Nagoya TV Tower, you will find the futuristic Oasis 21. Also known as a “Spaceship-Aqua,” the light passing through its glass roof creates awesome ripples. The perimeter of the glass roof has walking path where you can explore and look like you are floating in the air. Under the glass roof, you will find an area called “Galaxy Platform,” which is lined with various shops and restaurants. At the basement level, you will find a bus terminal for Nagoya City Buses as well as long-distance highway buses.

Sakae Shopping Street
That one area we spent most of our time in Nagoya was Sakae Shopping Street. The best can be found here, from traditional Japanese stuff to western luxury goods. You will also find three large department stores where you can literally shop until you drop - Parco, Matsuzakaya and Mitsukoshi (Japan's oldest surviving department store chain). You will also find familiar international brands like Louis Vuitton, Zara, H&M, Forever 21, and local favorites too like Uniqlo, Muji, and ABC Mart (the best place for sneaker heads).
the busy streets of Nagoya
busy but pedstrian-friendly
I took this photo because I loved this Japanese lady's bag!
lots of delicious sweets in Nagoya
my friend Maki who was super happy with his North Face shopping haul :)
that one time I hoarded shoes haha!
Other things to see and do in Nagoya
  • Atsuta Jingu Shrine
  • Shirotori Garden
  • Toyota Techno Museum
  • Tokugawa Art Museum
  • SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
  • Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
  • Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
  • Osu Traditional Shopping Street
  • Noritake Garden
  • Nabana no Sato (Winter Illumination)

How to get around Nagoya
Nagoya and its suburbs cover a relatively large area, but it’s all connected by a superb public transport system. If you are staying in Sakae, which is the downtown area, getting around is pretty easy on foot. You may also get around using the Meguru loop bus for tourists, a loop bus line connecting Nagoya Station to various attractions in the city like Nagoya Castle, Toyota Techno Museum, Sakae, Tokugawa Art Museum, among others. Subways and trains are also the fastest and most convenient ways of getting around Nagoya. 

*If you have a JR Pass, it may not be as useful unless you travel out of Nagoya. 

Planning a trip to Japan? Check out Nagoya’s best hotels below!

Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier

4-11-27 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya 450-0002, Aichi Prefecture
Check Rates and Availability

Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae
2-20-1 Nishiki, Naka, Nagoya 460-0003, Aichi Prefecture
Check Rates and Availability

Hilton Nagoya

1-3-3 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008, Aichi Prefecture
Check Rates and Availability

Check out my other Japan 2017 posts right here:
Japan Chronicles Part 7 (2017) | Kyoto in One Day

Whoa! Finally this is the end of my Japan 2017 series! I'm trying to finish all my backlogs from 2017 and 2018 so stay tuned for more travel blogs! Next on the blog, Indochina! Thank you for dropping by! :)

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