Translated by Hilary Keyes
Nagoya Travel Guide: Check Out This Modern Yet Ancient City In Aichi
Aichi prefecture is centrally located in Japan, and home to Nagoya, a city famous for its unique food culture. Let's look at the sightseeing spots, routes and souvenirs that make this region so popular.
Written by ニコ
What Kind of Place Is Nagoya?
Aichi prefecture is a municipality centrally located in Japan. Nagoya city, the largest in Aichi, is located in the western side of the prefecture.
Nagoya is perhaps best known for its unique food culture, called Nagoya meshi, the most famous dishes of which are hitsumabushi and miso katsu, which will be discussed later in this article. These and other dishes are behind the recent influx of visitors to the prefecture; Nagoya is slowly being internationally recognized as a foodie destination.
Not only that, but Nagoya is also home to some incredible historical structures, such as Atsuta Shrine, where the legendary sword, Kusanagi no Tsurugi, wielded by the folklore and mythological figure Yamato Takeru no Mikoto, was originally enshrined.
In this article, we will explain the various charms of Nagoya, how to reach the city from various parts of Japan, transportation information within the city, recommended sightseeing spots, and more.
Table of Contents:
1. Nagoya City Area Guide
2. How to Reach Nagoya
3. Transportation within Nagoya
4. Weather and What to Wear in Nagoya
5. Best Sightseeing Spots
6. Model Itinerary for Nagoya
7. Nagoya's Festivals and Events
8. Popular Local Dishes in Nagoya
9. Cafes in Nagoya
10. Souvenirs from Nagoya
11. Hotels in Nagoya
12. Nagoya Tourist Information Centers
13. Other Important Travel Information
Nagoya City Area Guide
1. Nagoya Station (Mei Station) Area
Nagoya Station is where you will find Nanachan, the huge mannequin with a seasonal wardrobe that stands as a symbol of the station itself. This is a flourishing shopping district as well.
2. Sakae Area
The landmark of this area is the Nagoya TV Tower, which rises over the city from Hiyashi Odori Koen park. There are shops that deal in high-class ingredients and cafes popular with young people here, making this the largest downtown area in Nagoya. Because of the number of delicious restaurants and the like here, this area is also quite popular with tourists.
3. Fushimi and Osu Area
The Fushimi and Osu area is another very popular shopping spot in Nagoya. Here you will find places catering equally to both mainstream and subcultures; you can find practically anything here it seems. There are also numerous clothing stores in the area too, so fashionistas might find themselves never wanting to leave this place.
4. Nagoya Castle and the Culture Path Area
This is an area full of historical spots ranging from the ever-popular Nagoya Castle to the stunning Tokugawa Garden; here you will find many unusual historical sites.
How to Reach Nagoya
Let's start things off by first looking at how to travel to Nagoya.
As Nagoya is located in the exact middle of the Japanese islands, it can easily be accessed via the shinkansen, expressways, or by plane from anywhere in the country.
Traveling from Tokyo to Nagoya - By Train
If you are looking for the fastest and cheapest route to Nagoya, then the shinkansen is our recommendation.
The bullet train runs frequently, starting from the early morning, and a one way trip from Tokyo Station to Nagoya Station will take about 2 hours and cost from 10,000-15,000 yen. As there are so many trains departing on this route, it is also very convenient for travelers when making their plans.
Traveling from Tokyo to Nagoya - By Bus
Highway buses leave from most major terminal stations and designated stopping areas and travel along Japan's major expressway routes. These buses range in price from 2200-8000 yen, which is very reasonable. Many of the highway buses run at night too, so if you use your travel time for sleeping, you will be able to arrive at your destination and save on one night's accommodation cost as well. You can expect to be on the bus for about five to seven hours, but bus companies have recently been offering more spacious seats, and providing blankets, mini pillows, back pillows, slippers, toothbrushes and other amenities to their passengers, making this option quite comfortable. However, as it is a long journey, if you or someone you are traveling with is prone to motion sickness, it is a good idea to bring the appropriate medicine and items with you, just in case. For more on places to take a break when traveling by bus, see Helpful Spots Around Nagoya Station For Night Bus Riders.
Traveling from Tokyo to Nagoya - By Rental Car
It is also convenient to take the Tomei Expressway when traveling to Nagoya. If you are a driver and have a valid license, it might be fun to drive to Nagoya using a rental car instead.
The highway tolls and fees will cost from 4980-7110 yen, plus the cost of the rental itself. However, if there are a large number of passengers in the vehicle sharing the price, then this is a very cheap option indeed. It takes anywhere from four to six hours to drive to Nagoya. If there is more than one driver in your group, both the cost and the driving burden itself will also be reduced, and this means that you can be off on your way and stop wherever you like without having to worry about train or bus schedules. This is one of the perks of taking a rental car. On the other hand, however, you have to be careful because there are also risks, such as if there are traffic jams, if you get lost, or in the worst case scenario, are involved in an accident as a result of driving on unfamiliar roads.
For more information on traveling from Tokyo to Nagoya, please see Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Nagoya! A Thorough Comparison, and for more about renting a car in Japan, see All You Need To Know About Renting A Car In Japan.
Going from Kyoto to Nagoya
From Kyoto Station to Nagoya Station it takes about 40-50 minutes by shinkansen and costs 5070 yen.
Traveling from Osaka to Nagoya
If you are traveling from Osaka to Nagoya, then the shinkansen departing from Shin-Osaka Station to Nagoya Station is your best option. It will take an hour to an hour and 20 minutes, and cost 5830 yen.
Transportation Within Nagoya
Transportation within Nagoya is well-developed; there are many trains, subways, and buses, and most sightseeing spots are easily accessed from at least one of these options. Now we will take a closer look at these means.
The central transportation method in Nagoya is the subway. There are six lines in total: the Higashiyama, Meijo, Meiko, Tsurumai, Sakuradori, and the Kamiiida lines. Of these lines, the Meijo line was circularized in October of 2004.
The Meijo line connects to the other subway lines at Sakae, Motoyama, Kanayama, and other stations, meaning that it is very easy to change trains and move about the city. And since the main tourist attractions in the city are within walking distance from the subway, this tends to be the most convenient and fastest way to get around. The subway fare is 200 yen for one ward and 330 yen for five wards.
Trains (JR, Meitetsu, Kintetsu)
Nagoya is home to three railway systems including the JR lines; the Meitetsu line which travels between Aichi and Gifu prefectures, and the Kintetsu lines, which travel through the Kansai region. The JR Tokaido Honsen line and the Chuo Honsen line run through Nagoya city. The subways and the Tokaido line connect at Nagoya and Kanayama stations, while the Chuo line connects at Nagoya, Kanayama, Tsurumai, Chikusa, and Ozone stations. This means that it is possible to transfer on the Meitetsu at Nagoya, Kanayama, Sakae, and Ozone stations. The Tsurumai line extends to both Akaike Station and Kamiotai Station, which makes it easy to reach Inuyama city and Toyota city as well.
The Kintetsu, which operates through Mie, Nara, and Osaka, connects to the subway at both Nagoya and Hatta stations. There are clear and easy to follow signs in all of the stations as well, so please check the directions carefully before you head on your way.
If you are traveling about to the popular tourist spots in Nagoya, then taking the Me-guru Nagoya Sightseeing Bus is your most convenient and affordable option. There are also some discounts at different tourist facilities available to those with this ticket as well.
1 Ticket (1 use): Adults 210 yen, children 100 yen
1 Day Ticket (unlimited use): Adults 500 yen, children 250 yen
The main city bus terminals are located at Nagoya and Sakae stations, and the fee for the bus is a flat 210 yen. The main subway stations also have their own bus terminals with routes that extend throughout the city. Meitetsu buses and highway buses also depart from Nagoya Station, so depending on your destination, the bus can be a very convenient means of transportation.
If you would like to travel to many different places, then we recommend getting their special one-day pass as well. There are three kinds of one-day pass tickets, those for buses only, subway only, and buses and subways, so please select the best one for your sightseeing plans. You can also receive discounts at various places if you have one of these passes, so make sure to check out all the details when you purchase one.
In Nagoya, the majority of the sightseeing and urban areas are located quite close together, meaning that it is also very convenient to get around the city by bicycle. There are shops that offer bicycle rental services in the city, so if you look for them in advance, you might be able to do all your sightseeing from a bike instead.
The Weather and What to Wear in Nagoya
The temperature is not that high during the spring, so it is a good idea to have a spring coat or jacket with you, especially on windy days. Although it gets warmer after Golden Week, there is a possibility of it being quite chilly in the morning and night, so dressing in easily removed layers is your best plan.
The summers in Nagoya are some of the hottest in Japan. If you are going to be visiting at this time, then taking proper measures against the strong UV rays and heat are vital, not to mention watching out for signs of heat stroke. Make sure to have a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses with you, and to drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated.
Although the mornings and evenings will be cooler, the heat from the summer tends to continue in the early fall. Summers are said to last forever in Nagoya, but you will only need to be dressed for summer while the sun is out. It is a good idea to have a jacket or coat for the evenings and early mornings.
The winters in Nagoya are as severe as the summers. There tends to be heavy snowfall and severe cold weather, so taking proper measures and dressing for these conditions are vital.
12 Best Sightseeing Spots
Now let's take a look at our most recommended places to visit in Nagoya. Please think of this list as a guide to help you plan out your own sightseeing adventures.
1. Nagoya Castle
The symbol of Nagoya is without a doubt the kin no shachi, or glittering golden dolphin of Nagoya Castle.
This castle was first built in 1612. Although it burned down during the Second World War, the five-storied castle tower (48 m) and the smaller tower (24 m) were rebuilt and received their golden dolphins in 1959.
Within the large castle tower, there are displays of many important cultural properties, including historical records and illustrations on room partitions, while the third through fifth floors have an actual-size reproduction of the kin no shachi, and the Ishibiki experience, where you can sit in and ride a traditional Japanese palanquin. And, through light and sound, you can learn about the daily lives of those within the castle and in the town around it, which will give you a keen insight into the history of the castle and of Nagoya city itself as well.
On weekends and holidays, the Nagoya Hospitality Battle Corps, a forerunner of the military command team trend, give must-see performances at the castle gates. At present, restoration work on the inner citadel palace is being undertaken, and the Omoteshoin Vestibule, on which work began in May 2013, is open to the public. If you can wait just a little bit longer, all work on Nagoya Castle is predicted to be finished in 2018. Admission is 500 yen for adults, but free for those junior high school aged and younger. The castle is open to the public from 9:00-16:30, with last admission allowed at 16:00. To learn more about the castle, check out Nagoya Castle - Let's Go See The Symbol Of Nagoya.
Address: Nagoya, Chuo, Honmaru 1-1
Access: Me-guru Bus Nagoya Jyomae stop; 5-minute walk from Exit 7 of Shiyakusho Station, Meijo line
Hours: 9:00-16:30 (last admission to tower 16:00)
Closed: Dec. 29th-Jan.1st
Admission: Adults 500 yen
2. Tokugawa Garden
Tokugawa Garden is a Japanese-style garden featuring a path around a pond that is one of the former daimyo gardens of Japan built during the Edo era. It is said that the path of the clear streaming water, flowing from a waterfall down a valley to a sea-like pond is said to represent a symbolically condensed form of the natural landscapes of Japan as a whole.
Furthermore, the differences in elevation and terrain and use of the natural forest in this garden, as well as the three-dimensional arrangement of the stones in the garden enable the viewer to appreciate a nearly never-ending stream of rich landscapes, while expressing the gravity and impressiveness of a daimyo garden as a whole. And with seasonal plants such as fresh spring leaves, momiji in fall, tree peonies, and irises, this is a garden that will have you feeling as though you have been drawn into the past, seeing the world through the eyes of the Japanese feudal lords themselves.
Address: Nagoya, Higashi, Tokugawacho 1001
Access: 10-15 minute walk from South exit of Ozone Station, JR Chuo line; 10-15 minute walk from Exit 3 of Ozone Station, Meijo line
Hours: 9:30-17:30 (last admission 17:00)
Closed: Mondays (if a holiday, the next day), Dec. 29th-Jan.1st
Admission: General 300 yen, 100 yen for over 65s residing in the city and free for junior high age and under
3. Osu Kannon Temple
The official name of this temple is Kitanoyama Shinfukuji Hoshoin, but it is affectionately known as Osu Kannon Temple. After suffering extensive damage during the Second World War, this temple was fully rebuilt in 1970. The Osu Library located here is home to about 15,000 historical manuscripts and books, including rare copies of the oldest historical book in Japan, the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters).
Osu Kannon Temple
Address: Nagoya, Chuo, Osu 2-21-47
Access: 3-minute walk from Exit 2 of Osu Kannon Station, Tsurumai line
4. Atsuta Shrine
Atsuta Shrine is a popular shrine that has been affectionately known as 'Atsuta-san' for many years and is recognized by many to be a great power spot. Seeing about 6.5 million visitors each year, people both from Nagoya and from around the country come here to pay their respects to this eternally reverent location. The Kusanagi no Mitsurugi, or the Grass-Cutting Sword, a part of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, which was once a treasured item passed down through the Imperial family line, is said to have been housed here originally. From time immemorial the Imperial Court and Japan's military commanders of old would gather here to pay their respects. Indeed, this shrine is often believed to be on par with Ise Grand Shrine in terms of its historical importance.
Address: Nagoya, Atsuta, Jingu 1-1-1
Access: 3-minute walk from Jingumae Station, Meitetsu Nagoya line; 7-minute walk from Jingunishi Station, Meijo subway line
Hours: Shrine - none, Treasure Hall 9:00-16:30 (last admission 16:10)
Closed: Shrine - none, Treasure Hall last Wednesday of the month and December 25th-31st
5. Arimatsumachi Namihozonchiku
This area is where you will find a wealth of historical buildings, as it is home to cultural properties designated by the city of Nagoya, and is a preserved architectural example of a historical cityscape. Built during the closing days of the Edo era, the profound architectural designs have been well maintained; there is one house in particular that is the largest in Arimatsu, the Okabe family mansion. It is composed of the main building, a workshop, and two warehouses, and is considered to be vital because of its unusual status as a historic building. These types of buildings are rare to find intact for very long. The area around this mansion has also been preserved, making it a great place to take photos of the Japan of the olden days.
Arimatsumachi Namihozonchiku: Okabe Mansion
Address: Nagoya, Midori, Arimatsu, Arimatsucho Okanminami #164 and #165
Access: 10-minute walk from Arimatsu Station, Meitetsu Nagoya line
6. Nagoya Noh Theater
The Nagoya Noh Theater is an excellent and very elegant example of Japanese architecture, built from fragrant wood and featuring a Noh stage built from Japanese cypress wood; this theater fits 630 seats. This Noh stage is still used for traditional performing arts such as Noh and Kyogen, as well as for various events such as international conferences and even wedding ceremonies. Moreover, in the attached exhibition room, visitors can learn about the history and charms of Noh and its music through various displays which are easily understood even by those who have never heard of Noh before. This is an excellent place to experience both Japanese history and culture.
During performances, headphone guidance programs in both Japanese and English are available for free here as well.
Nagoya Noh Theater
Address: Nagoya, Naka, Sannomaru 1-1-1
Access: 10-minute walk from Exit 1 of Sengencho Station, Tsurumai line; 12-minute walk from Exit 7 of Shiyakusho Station, Meijo line
Closed: Dec. 29th-Jan.1st
Admission: Museum is free
7. Nagoya TV Tower
This tower is located in the heart of Sakae, in Hisayodori Park.
From the 90 meter high Sky Deck and the 100 meter high Sky Balcony, you can see the mountain ranges of Ontake, Shirayama and all across the city, which makes this the perfect place to see all of Nagoya at a glance. This is also somewhat of a historical building as it was the first radio signal tower built in Japan, constructed in 1954. In 2005, it became the first nationally registered Tangible Cultural Asset, and underwent a massive renewal and renovation, reopening on April 26th, 2012.
Nagoya TV Tower
Address: Nagoya, Chuo, Nishiki 3-6-15
Access: 5-minute walk from Hisayo-odori Station, Sakuradori and Meijo lines; 5-minute walk from Sakae Station, Higashiyama and Meijo lines
Hours: Jan.-March 10:00-21:00, April-Dec. 10:00-22:00 (last admission 20 min before closing)
Closed: None (unless for maintenance)
Admission: Adults (junior high and up) 700 yen
8. Nagoya City Science Museum
The Nagoya City Science Museum opened in March 2011 and is home to Brother Earth, the world's largest planetarium dome, which has an inner diameter of 35 m.
The exterior design of this museum, which emphasizes the sphere of the dome, is very modernistic, and there are also four large-scale interactive displays in the center as well, where you can experience the illusion of the aurora in a room that's -30 degrees Celsius, and see an artificial tornado that reaches 9 meters high. Being able to actually experience these and other phenomena for yourself makes learning about them even more fun.
Nagoya City Science Museum
Address: Nagoya, Naka, Sakae 2-17-1 (Fine Arts and Sciences Forest, Shirakawa Park)
Access: 5-minute walk from Hirokoji Fushimi city bus stop; 5-minute walk from Exit 5 of Fushimi Station, Higashiyama or Tsurumi lines
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (if a holiday, the next day), 3rd Friday of the month (if a holiday, the 4th), year end
Admission: Museum and Planetarium Adults 800 yen, high school 500 yen; Museum only Adults 400 yen, high school 200 yen, junior high and under free
9. Tokugawa Art Museum
The Nagoya Tokugawa Art Museum is where you will find items and works of the Tokugawa family of feudal lords, including precious and legendary pieces, which were donated by the marquis Tokugawa Yoshichika to the city. Here you will see items that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. This collection features items of Tokugawa Ieyasu's, including heirlooms that have been passed down from the founder of the family, Yoshinao, and other artifacts that were used in the daily lives of this widely influential family - there are well over 10,000 pieces.
Tokugawa Art Museum
Address: Nagoya, Higashi, Tokugawacho 1017
Access: 15-minute walk from the south exit of Ozone Station, JR Chuo line; 30 minutes by city bus from Nagoya Station
Hours: 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30)
Closed: Mondays (if a holiday, the next day), end of the year
Admission: General 1200 yen
10. SCMaglev and Railway Park
Opened on March 14th, 2011, this center introduces the progress of high-speed railway technology through vehicle exhibitions ranging from conventional lines to superconducting linear trains, with a focus on the Tokaido Shinkansen. There are precise dioramas of the railways, a shinkansen driving simulator, and many other fun and educational exhibits where you can learn about the history and development of the railways.
Address: Nagoya, Minato, Kinjofuto 3-2-2
Access: 2-minute walk from Kinjofuto Station, Aonami line
Hours: 10:00-17:30 (last admission 17:00)
Closed: Tuesdays (if a holiday, the next day), Dec. 28th-Jan.1st
Admission: Adults 1000 yen, elementary to high school 500 yen, under 3 200 yen
** The simulator is lottery based and has a separate fee.
11. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Starting with the koalas, the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden is home to over 500 different species of animals. There is the Sekai no Medakakan, where examples of rice fish from around the world live, and a Shizendobutsuen, where nocturnal animals live. There is an incredibly popular petting zoo, the Kodomo Dobutsuen, where small children can come face to face with many cute little animals. In the botanical garden there are about 7000 different kinds of plants, a large greenhouse, many seasonal gardens and a tranquil Japanese garden where you can hear the calls of wild birds as well. There is also an amusement park here, making this the ideal spot to visit if you are traveling with children.
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Address: Nagoya, Chikusaku, Higashiyama Motomachi 3-70
Access: 3-minute walk from Exit 3 of Higashiyama Koen Station, Higashiyama subway line; 7-minute walk from Exit 6 of Hoshigaoka Station, Higashiyama subway line
Hours: 9:00-16:50 (last admission 16:30)
Closed: Every Monday (if a holiday, the next day)
Admission: Adults 500 yen, junior high school age and under free
Nanachan Ningyo is a huge mannequin that stands outside the Meitetsu Young Building. Shortened to Nanachan, this is a popular meeting place outside Nagoya Station. It was set up in 1973 in order to commemorate the first anniversary of the establishment of the Seven Hall. Her clothes are changed to suit the seasons, (she even wears bathing suits), and is a part of many different events as well. In fact, the clothing she wears may be related to the Meitetsu Department store, or are also related to social events, public awareness campaigns or charities as well. By all means, please pay a visit to Nanachan when in Nagoya!
Model Itinerary for Nagoya
There are so many different sightseeing spots to enjoy in Nagoya, and since you're there, why not take in as many as possible? For those who feel that way, this is our recommended sightseeing route to take. Please consider it a guide to your journey.
A Convenient One Day Around with Me-guru! Using the Me-guru Bus
As we mentioned earlier, Me-guru is a popular sightseeing bus that travels throughout Nagoya city that offers a 1 Day unlimited ride ticket, meaning that you can smoothly travel from place to place without having to worry about transportation fees.
Depart in the Morning
1. Start at Nagoya Station's Nanachan: start out from this popular meeting spot, check out her latest look, and take a commemorative photo! Nanachan's fashions change every season, so it's a lot of fun to see her style.
2. Walk to Noritake no Mori: founded 100 years ago, the porcelain maker Noritake opened this institution in 2001. Surrounded by greenery, you can enjoy tours of the ceramic factory, see the museum exhibiting Old Noritake works, and even take part in a painting lesson. Plus, you can look at and purchase your own Noritake porcelain at the outlets that are directly managed by the company. There are also restaurants, cafés, and so on here that serve their wares using Noritake dishes. The whole building is barrier free and fully accessible.
3. Nagoya Castle Tour: the symbol of Nagoya. You can experience the history and culture of Nagoya on a deeper level here by viewing the valuable materials exhibited inside the castle and through displays that will teach you more about the daily lives of the people at that time.
4. Lunch (Nagoya's famous hitsumabushi): the unagi-based (eel) hitsumabushi is one of the best representations of Nagoya Meshi. Finely sliced eel broiled in a soy-based sauce is served in a round wooden dish filled with rice - it is a very satisfying dish. The first bite should be of the dish as it is, in order to taste the basic flavors of the eel and other ingredients. For the second portion, add the wasabi and sliced green onion to the dish, in order to bring out more of the flavors. And for the third and final portion, pour the provided tea over the unagi and rice and eat it up like a chazuke. Please give this three-part method of eating this dish a try!
5. Tokugawa Garden: take a leisurely stroll through this historic garden that was loved by Lord Tokugawa, and enjoy the atmosphere of the season around you.
6. Nagoya TV Tower: a historical building, the view from its observation deck is wonderful, and it is a lot of fun to compare the views between day and night here. It goes without saying that you can enjoy the sights of the city as well as of the surrounding mountains from this observation deck.
7. Take a break at Komeda Coffee, Nagoya's famous coffee shop. You're sure to enjoy their very satisfying cups of coffee. Why not enjoy a cup with a 'shironoir' or a pancake sandwich too? Have a short break and savor the flavors of your trip.
8. Go shopping in Sakae or Oozu and have dinner at night: Nagoya has two very famous shopping streets, Sakae or Oozu. There are many shops and commercial facilities located in these areas, so you can shop to your heart's content here. This area is lively at night as well, and here you can really get a feel for the Nagoya of now. You are sure to have a great time here.
Nagoya's Festivals and Events
Here are some of the many festivals that take place in Nagoya each year.
This is an unusual festival wherein a play is performed by Karakuri ningyo, or mechanical dolls. It takes place annually in May at Wakamiya Hachimansha Shrine located near Yabacho Station on the subway.
This is a fantastical bonfire and cormorant fishing festival that takes place annually from June 1st to October 15th. It is a pleasure cruise event that is a rare sight for anyone to see in modern Japan. For reservations and more information, please check their official website (Japanese).
This festival, held at Atsuta Shrine near the Jingunishi, JR Atsuta, and Meitetsu Jingumae stations, is a showy fireworks display meant to dispel any lingering bad weather from the summer rainy season. See the official schedule on the Atsuta Shrine website for more details.
World Cosplay Summit
This is a cosplay festival, where people from around the world gather to dress up in various genres of fashion and as their favorite characters. This event will be held from July 29th-August 6th 2017 at Oasis 21 and at the Aichi Arts Center.
For more details on this, please refer to the officialWorld Cosplay Summit website.
The Nagoya Festival is held every October (October 15th-16th in 2017) and is one of the largest festivals to take place in the fall. This festival features processions honoring the three unifiers of Japan, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu and sees roughly 650 people parade through the streets. To learn more about this fun festival, see Nagoya Festival: Experience The Time Of The Samurai!.
This is an international art festival that is held in Aichi once every three years. Centered around contemporary art, this event draws numerous young artists and art fans from around the world.
Popular Local Dishes in Nagoya
As we mentioned at the start, Nagoya is quite famous for its regional foods: miso katsu, hitsumabushi, misonikomi udon noodles, kishimen noodles, ten-musu (rice balls filled with shrimp tempura), and many, many others. There are so many foods to love here that foodies just might find themselves unable to leave Nagoya.
Although katsu (breaded and fried pork cutlets) are eaten all across Japan, miso katsu is a Nagoya-specific dish where the katsu is thoroughly covered in a rich miso sauce. This is perhaps Nagoya's most popular dish of all and differs greatly from tonkatsu, which is katsu coated in a Worchester-based sauce.
Hitsumabushi is an unagi (eel) based dish. In general, unagi dishes tend to be served in multi-tiered food boxes, but for hitsumabushi, the grilled eel is covered in dashi before being eaten. Quite similar to ochazuke, the combination of the sweet sauce and the dashi is indescribable.
Cafes in Nagoya
Nagoya is also a city where coffee culture is fully developed, and there is a special emphasis here on morning breakfast sets. Even if you only order a coffee or another drink, you might find yourself being served a free order of toast with an egg or other breakfast delights too.
Komeda's Coffee is perhaps the best known coffee shop to have come from Nagoya. The toast that comes with their morning coffee comes in three different variations: with a boiled egg, egg spread or with ogura an (a thick red bean paste).
The most popular food on their menu, however, is their 'shironoir', a thick Danish topped with vanilla soft serve ice cream. The heat from the fresh Danish melts the soft serve, blending the two flavors together and creating a dense, filling sweetness.
Those taking the night bus or spending time around Nagoya Station should also check out Helpful Spots Around Nagoya Station For Night Bus Riders for more cafes and other spots that are open early or 24 hours a day.
Souvenirs from Nagoya
It goes without saying that a city of gastronomical delights must also have some delicious souvenirs too. Here are our top seven most recommended souvenirs.
These are adorable little one-bite sweet buns that come filled with either red bean paste or chocolate cream.
Made with rice flour, this sweet has an interesting texture to it, and is one of the classic souvenirs sold in Nagoya.
Crisp and not too sweet, this is a snack that even adults love.
This is a cute frog-shaped bun filled with koshian, a fine sweet red bean paste, that is loved by everyone.
This is a treat similar to dorayaki; the pancake-like bun has a sweet red bean paste filling inside it.
Although we have mainly focused on sweet souvenirs, this is a savory daikon radish pickle that has been preserved in sake lees. It is one of the standard foods people purchase as a souvenir in Nagoya.
This is a light castella-style cake filled with adzuki beans; there are many people that purchase this souvenir over and over.
Other than sweets, golden shachihoko, Arimatsu shibori fabrics, pottery, and other items are all quite famous products from Nagoya. Food or goods, what a hard decision to make!
Hotels in Nagoya
As Nagoya is rather popular, the prices of hotels in the city tend to be somewhat on the high side, but if you take a close look around, there are many more reasonable hotels to choose from in the city.
A business hotel within a 1-minute walk from the Marunouchi Subway Station and a 4-minute walk from Fushimi Station, this is a convenient hotel for those wanting to keep their overall travel costs low.
This hotel features its own natural hot spring, which is the ideal place to soak away the fatigue you might feel after traveling and sightseeing. We recommending taking a morning bath there too!
An 8-minute walk from Sakae Station, this hotel brings a taste of European elegance to the heart of Nagoya.
Nagoya Tourist Information Centers
The Nagoya Station Tourist Information Center, the Oasis 21 i-Center, and the Nagoya Kanayama Tourist Information Center are three of the great multi-lingual facilities where you can find out more about the city of Nagoya and its sightseeing spots.
You can also take a look at the Nagoya Info city-specific website to find out more.
Other Valuable Travel Information
The article below will show how much the food costs in Japan, so take a look when planning your budget.
If you need to exchange currencies, go to the bank, or try the ATM at 7-Eleven.
If you're short on cash, look for the ATM with the "PLUS" logo, which offers cash advance with credit cards.
The article below will show the simple phrases you can use when checking into hotels.
"Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi" is a service for the visitors from abroad. Be sure to download the application in advance.