Nagoya is Japan’s fourth most populated city and the third most popular urban area. The city consists of historical museums and sites including Nagoya Castle (one of Japan’s Three Famous Castles) and Atsuta Jingu (one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines).
If you’re more into the modern look of Japan, you can visit places such as Ocean 21 which is a shopping complex with futuristic feel, Science Museum that has one of the largest planetarium, or Nagoya Legoland which has attractions that your whole family can enjoy.
The Nagoya Castle (名古屋城 Nagoyajo) is currently going through renovation and is due to reopen in 2022. Nagoya Castle was built in 1612 by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nagoya Castle is known for its two golden shachihoko on top of the castle tower. Shachihoko, or shachi, are imaginary creatures with the body of a carp and the head of a tiger. Although you cannot go inside the actual castle, you can still visit the area around Nagoya Castle which has other buildings, Japanese gardens, souvenir stores and cafes. You will need to pay a small admission fee to enter the area.
To visit Nagoya castle, use Meijo subway line and get off at Shiyakusho Station. It is only 5-minute walk from this station.
Located adjacent to Nagoya TV Tower, this is a multi-level complex with parks, bus terminals, stores, and performance venues all rolled into one. The theme and symbol of the complex “Space Ship Aqua” is visible across all four floors including the rooftop. Theroof itself is designed to look like a floating space ship.
On the ground level, there is “Field of Green” where various flowers and trees are planted. Also on the ground level, there are many shops and restaurants. Ocean 21 takes only few minutes from Sakae station.
Japan’s first commercial radio broadcast began in Nagoya and through this iconic tower. Measuring 180 metres in height, it is one of the most famous landmarks in Nagoya along with Nagoya Castle. You can go up to 90 meter high Sky Deck which is indoor or 100 meter high Sky Balcony which is fenced balcony to enjoy the view of Nagoya city. The tower is located adjacent to Ocean 21 and close to Sakae station.
The Nagoya City Science Museum is a museum located in Sakae. The museum houses one of the largest planetariums in the world called “Brother Earth” with dome measuring 35 meters in diameter. Each session, up to 350 visitors can enjoy the star projection and special simulations of space travel from the comfort of the reclining chairs.
Other than planetarium, there are other amazing attractions such as -30 degree C Polar room and amazing aurora display, artificial tornado that goes up to 8 meter high, and Electric Discharge Lab.
To visit, use subway Higashiyma-Line or Tsurumai-Line and exit at Fushimi station.
Nagoya Legoland is a popular theme park that is suitable for Kids of any age. There are number of areas such as duplo area which is suitable for the littles ones, Knight’s Kingdom and Ninjago world which have exciting roller coaster and flying rides.
There is a hotel directly in front of Legoland called Legoland Japan Hotel. The hotel consists of different theme of Lego such as Pirates, Adventure, Ninjago and more. To visit Legoland, catch Aonami Line from Nagoya station until the last stop Kinjofuto station.
Opened in 1935, this art museum has a collection of samurai artifacts from the most senior of the three sub-branches of the house of the Tokugawa shogunate. At the Tokugawa Art Museum, you can view the historical tools of the Owari Tokugawa feudal lords, including Japanese swords and armor, written letters and drawings, tea ceremony utensils, Noh masks and costumes and many more.
The masterpieces gallery, number 1 to 5 exhibition rooms of the Tokugawa Art Museum are dedicated to the symbols of the samurai warrior (swords, armor and helmets), the daimyo’s tea ceremony room, the formal chamber of a feudal lord (daimyo), a recreated Noh theater and objects & furnishing room.
The Tokugawa Garden (徳川園 Tokugawa-en) is situated adjacent to the Tokugawa Art Museum. It can be visited separately or with a combined ticket to the museum. You can take a train to Ozone station via Meijo Line and walk in south direction for 15 minutes.
It is a beautiful Japanese landscape garden with small waterfalls, bridges, fresh greenery, autumn leaves, and flowers in all seasons. Within the garden, there is a French and Japanese fusion restaurant called “Garden Restaurant Tokugawaen”. While dining you can enjoy the magnificent view of Tokugawaen and Ryusenko.
Toyota museum or Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, was established by the Toyota Group, located in Nishi-ku in the city of Nagoya, central Japan. This museum shows the origin of now the internal automotive company Toyota. Toyota started as a textile firm and evolved over decades into an international automobile company. There is a museum shop, restaurant, cafe and library where you can enjoy. You can visit the museum from Nagoya station – 16 minutes walk or 5 minutes via taxi.
Located in the North Eastern side from Nagoya station, Endoji Shotengai is said to be one of the oldest shopping streets in Nagoya, and it is a historic shopping street that still has a nostalgic feel. The street consists of shops that started from Meiji period (over 100 years ago), as well as modern new shops. In the spring of 2015, the arcade was renovated and made a sister tie-up with the panoramic shopping street in Paris.
Many events are held throughout the year at the Endoji Shopping Street. On the first Sunday of every month, the flea market “Goen City”, and on the first Saturday of every month “Kimono in Endoji / Shikemichi” are held.
Noritake is famous world wide for their tableware and kitchenware. They are headquartered in Nagoya, Aichi Prefercture in Japan. The Noritake Garden (ノリタケの森, Noritake no Mori) was built on the company’s former factory grounds which is located approximately 15 minutes walk from Nagoya station.
The place includes gallery and museum where you get to see the wonderful collection of Noritake tableware, several stores for shopping and cafes & restaurants. The garden and red brick buildings are rarely seen in Japan and due to this reason, many locals hold wedding in Moritake Garden.
Atsutajingu (熱田神宮, atsuta shrine) is referred by locals as “atsutasan” or “Miya”and is said to visited by around 8-9 million people per year. Known to be founded over 2000 years ago, it is one of the most important shrines for Shinto.Amaterasu-Oomikami who is the goddess and the deification of the sun, is enshrined in Atsutajingu. One of the 3 sacred treasures of japan sword Of Kusanagi is located here as an object of worship and believed to contain the spirit of a deity. This sword is unfortunately not viewable to public.
The shrine grounds include an old giant camphor tree that is over 1,000 years old and is said to be planted by the renowned Buddhist priest Kobou Daishi. You can also enjoy the famous Kishimen which is like udon noodle. Variation of topics are available such as with tempura, yams, pork soup, etc. The restaurant is popular and you will need to wait in line most of the time. Sometimes you will need to wait 30-60 minutes if you go around lunch time.