Travel To Nagoya's Little-Known Spots! Local Food, Markets, And Cafes

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Visit Nagoya and discover the local atmosphere. This article introduces lesser-known places like shopping streets, and local food and specialties at cafes that will let you experience what makes Nagoya unique.

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Local marketplaces, morning markets, and shopping streets are familiar places to the Japanese that live in the area.

In this article, we’ll introduce less common ways to enjoy Nagoya, like indulging in seafood at marketplaces, searching for handmade accessories at a morning market, and tasting local food along a shopping street. You, too, can experience Nagoya like its residents.

Nagoya's Kitchen! Yanagibashi Central Market Marunaka Center

yanagibashi central market

Photo by pixta

Yanagibashi Central Market Marunaka Center is about a ten-minute walk from Nagoya Station. With more than 300 shops in this 4,000 square-meter center, this private market boasts Japan’s most outstanding size, carrying seafood, vegetables, seaweed, and cooking utensils.

Yanagibashi Central Market fish cake

The marketplace sells fresh ingredients to professional chefs and also welcomes the general public. Here, fresh seafood caught that day can be purchased for reasonable prices.

The center also has stores selling fish products (pictured above is a fried onion fishcake: 49 yen including tax) that are usually ingredients in oden or stew, but they can also be eaten as you browse the stores.

Some stores operate as restaurants or izakaya (Japanese pubs) during the day or night. In the afternoons, you’ll also see people that work nearby lining up at these stores.

The Freshest Meal! Tenpura & Wine Kojima

Tenpura & Wine Kojima

The owner of Tenpura & Wine Kojima, a restaurant in the market, loves tempura (seafood or vegetables deep fried in batter) and also trained at an Italian restaurant in the past. He made the decision to develop a tempura recipe that could be enjoyed with alcohol and thus opened this restaurant.

Tenpura & Wine Kojima

The most popular lunch menu is the Anago Ten Teishoku (890 yen including tax). The set meal includes conger eel, seasonal vegetables, soft-boiled eggs, shrimp, eggplant, and lotus root. It’s light in taste and isn't greasy.

Tenpura & Wine Kojima

Our writer’s recommendation is to sprinkle on homemade roasted tea salt. It adds a tea fragrance to your meal, making the tempura even more satisfying. They also have homemade spicy pickled daikon radish that is simply delicious!

Osu Shopping District – One of Nagoya's Most Lively Districts

Osu Shopping District

The Osu area is Nagoya’s jokamachi, or historical castle town. There are shrines and temples everywhere in this area, but Osu Kannon is the most famous out of them. The surrounding area flourished thanks to this temple and also resulted in development of Osu Shopping District.

Today, Osu Shopping District is ranked as one of Japan’s three major electric towns alongside Akihabara and Nihonbashi in Osaka. It is also famed for being where the concept of the maid cafe originated.

Events often take place in the shopping district, filling the area with more energy. There’s also plenty of gourmet food you can indulge in for reasonable prices!

Osu Shopping District

Karaage (Japanese deep-fried chicken) is the most popular food in the Osu Shopping District. You’ll find several specialty shops within steps of each other to the point that it fills the district with the amazing smell of karaage. This time, three shops were carefully selected by MATCHA’s editorial department.

1. Maruyoshi

Maruyoshi’s original Miso Karaage (pictured top-left, 540 yen including tax) is a great choice that also won first place in the New Nagoyameshi Dish Contest, an annual cooking contest held among Nagoya restaurants. It contains no garlic and no eggs and uses only miso sauce as seasoning. The karaage is fried in healthy, Japan-made rice bran oil, making it a popular choice for the health conscious!

The delicious flavors from miso will be apparent from the first bite. Their karaage has a chewy, satisfying texture.

2. Kin no Torikara

Kin no Torikara’s karaage (pictured top-right: 430 yen including tax) uses domestic skinless chicken breast with a secret recipe to give it a crispy outside and a juicy, tender inside. You can also add their original sauce or mayonnaise as a topping.

Our editorial department tried the shop’s plain karaage. The outside was crispy and the meat was very tender, making it very easy to eat many pieces.

3. Torigane Shoten

Torigane Shoten’s karaage (pictured bottom left, 530 yen including tax) has many options for customers to choose from. In addition to the shop’s original Torigane Karaage, they also offer karaage in flavors such as ponzu (a citrus-based sauce) with grated daikon radish, with Korean food flavoring (spicy), and Indian-style curry sauce. The size of the chicken meat used is slightly bigger than the previous two shops mentioned above.

The ponzu with grated daikon radish is highly recommended. The ponzu and radish add a refreshing flavor to the savory karaage, giving it amazing flavor.

The Historic Konparu Osu

Konparu Osu

Konparu Osu, established 70 years ago, is the store that popularized Nagoya’s distinct café culture. Its interior has remained the same from the time it started, giving the shop a retro vibe. The red sofas and wooden interior create a Showa-esque atmosphere.

Konparu Osu

Their sandwich menu has over 25 different varieties including cutlet, fruit, and egg sandwiches. The most popular choice is the Shrimp Cutlet Sandwich (930 yen including tax), through which you can taste a crispy, golden crust and the tenderness of the shrimp.

Konparu Osu

The shop places great dedication and precision in brewing their coffee. Their coffee is made using the nel drip method, with carefully-selected coffee beans. The milk poured over the coffee is also their own original method. Everything is made in the Konparu style.

Their iced coffee (400 yen including tax) especially is made by the customer themselves by pouring strong, hot coffee into an iced glass, then adding sugar and rich milk over it. The coffee is strong but is easy to drink.

Go Shopping for Treasures! Higashi Betsuin Handcraft Morning Market

Higashi Betsuin Handcraft Morning Market

The Higashi Betsuin Handcraft Morning Market occurs on the 28th of each month on the grounds of Higashi Betsuin Temple and has been held since 2013. More than 170 booths set up stalls at this market each time, making it the largest market in Aichi Prefecture.

All types of items are sold here, including vegetables, jams, bread, accessories, and flowers. The large variety of goods at the market is simply stunning, making this an ideal place for shopping.

Higashi Betsuin Handcraft Morning Market

There are stalls that serve freshly brewed coffee that fills the venue with a great smell. Dessert shops with adorable displays also set up shop at the market, making it feel as if you’ve come to an outdoor coffee shop.

Higashi Betsuin Handcraft Morning Market

In the spring you can enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

The Old, Yet New Shikemichi Streetscape


Shikemichi was a merchant town built alongside the construction of Nagoya Castle. The street’s name comes from the roads being widened to “shike” (approximately seven meters) to prevent the fires that the town was often plagued by.

The town is also is known for its warehouses covered in plaster, effective against fires, on top of stone walls. The street is filled with long-established shops that have run for several generations, along with shops renovated from old Japanese homes, giving the town its old, yet new ambience. Next, we introduce our recommended stores in Shikemichi.

Café de Lyon Bleu’s Exquisite Parfaits

Café de Lyon Bleu’

Café de Lyon Bleu is located by the Hori River running along Shikemichi. There are three shops in Nagoya, with this being the second Café de Lyon location. The owner, knowledgable on France, was influenced by the coffee culture there and wanted to recreate the same atmosphere in her own shop.

A popular dessert is their parfait, which has been featured in the media many times. The parfait is made with 40 to 50 different seasonal fruit varieties throughout the year.

Special attention is paid to the order the ingredients are placed in the parfait. It is arranged so that it can be deliciously devoured to the final bite.

Café de Lyon Bleu’

The parfait the MATCHA editorial department ordered was the Premium Strawberry Parfait (1,650 yen before tax). It looks almost too beautiful to eat. The strawberries are Benihoppe strawberries from nearby Shizuoka Prefecture. This strawberry variety has relatively large fruit, a vivid red color, with a flavor that is both sweet and sour.

Café de Lyon Bleu’

You can taste fresh Hokkaido cream, yogurt, jam, and handmade pie all at once with this parfait.

* The strawberry parfait is only available during strawberry season (March-May).

Explore, Eat, and Shop in Nagoya, Off The Beaten Path

To get to the spots introduced above, using the Chubu Centrair International Airport is very convenient, as it an airport with great access to Nagoya. You’ll find a different side to Nagoya by visiting spots that allow you to experience the kindness of the locals and the everyday atmosphere of the area!

Official Chubu Centrair International Airport Website:

There are many other exciting sightseeing spots near Centrair. Check them out in our Travel In Chubu Special Feature!

Written by miho
Sponsored by Chubu Centrair International Airport

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Tokyo, Japan

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