Nagoya Travel Guide
Once a city with virtually nothing to make it stand out from the crowd, the Japanese city of Nagoya has transformed itself into a city that wows each and every sense. From cultural monuments to relaxing parks to unwind in, from museums to fine dining, from temples to shopping opportunities, Nagoya has it all.
The city is the fourth largest in Japan and so a city guide to Nagoya will be very handy as you work your way through the many sights available. You will find Nagoya much friendlier and less overpowering than such cities as Tokyo or Hiroshima, but will still dazzle you.
There are many things to do in Nagoya but make a starting point with a visit to Tokugawa Art Museum and its peaceful garden called Tokugawa-en. The garden itself dates back to the 17th century but the museum is a new addition and the two together creates a charming blend of the old and new. Inside the museum you will discover many exquisite artefacts from the Orwai family who belonged to the Tokugawa family (the past rulers of Nagoya). There are many gorgeous pieces here, including replicas of a No stage and the daimyo’s home, but the highlight here is the hand painted scroll, The Tale of Genji, which dates back to the 12th century. The original scroll is so fragile that it can only be displayed for four weeks from November 10th.
Nagoya-jo is a beautiful castle dating back to 1610. Sadly, the original structure was razed to the ground during WWII but parts of it managed to survive, including three turrets, some gates and screen paintings. In 1959, reconstruction began with a gigantic shachi, made of gold-plate and decorated with dolphins (the city’s emblem), placed on top of the donjon.
If you enjoy visiting Japanese temples then you will fall instantly in love with Osu Kannon Temple. Dating back to the Kamakura period, it originally was located elsewhere but Tokugawa Ieyasu relocated it to its present location in 1612. Twice a month a flea market is set up at the front where you can haggle for bargains before or after visiting this magnificent temple.
If you are looking for a tourist attraction where very few tourists actually ever go to, then pay a visit to Atsuta Shrine. The famous Kusanagi no mitsurugi sword, making up one part of the three Imperial insignias, is held here. There are nearly 5000 additional artefacts here as well as various festivals held throughout the year. What makes this place so unique is the fact that only high priests and the Japanese emperor comes here.
Noritake Garden provides tourists the chance to unwind and let the stresses of travelling just float away. This park was created in the former grounds of the china manufacture and you can even watch pottery being created at the craft centre within the park before painting it yourself. You will also find a comfortable café as well as a gallery with a showroom where you can make purchases.
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is located within a former factory and consists of two buildings. In one, you will find a variety of cars, and in the other textile machinery. Starting its journey as a textile manufacturer, Toyota has become world famous for its production of cars and this museum will take you on a fascinating journey of its long history. Ideal for boys who like their toys, even the most girly-girls will be fascinated with the robots which create the cars.
Nagoya has no shortages of museums but the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art will certainly be of interest. You will find rows of stunning paintings and artworks, including those from the renowned Picasso, Klimt, Kishida Ryusei and Takahashi Yuichi.
You will find an excellent selection of restaurants in Nagoya, ranging from traditional Japanese fare to Pan-Asian and international cuisine. Whilst here, you should definitely try a few of the local delicacies which include uiro, a sweet made from sugar and rice flour, as well as the delicious misokatsu and tenmusu.
You will discover a variety of hotels in Nagoya ranging from business hotels and inexpensive options near the train station, to international hotel brands and luxury hotels. Rates will vary depending on location and what extras you prefer but all hotels feature English speaking staff.
Nagoya is a city where history comes alive, culture can be touched and explored and the food will take you on a journey to heaven. When you come to Nagoya you will find that you will be planning your next trip here even before you leave.