Nagoya (名古屋) is the capital and largest city of Aichi prefecture, in the Chubu region of Honshu.
Three famous local figures later helped to put Nagoya firmly on the map of Japan. Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu all hailed from around Nagoya, and all shared the ambitious goal of unifying Japan under one government. Tokugawa finally succeeded in 1603 after winning in the Battle of Sekigahara, and established the Tokugawa Shogunate, which would rule Japan for the next 250 years.
Soon after uniting the country, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the construction of Nagoya Castle for his son. He then ordered the people of nearby Kiyosu (on the outskirts of Nagoya) to move to the area around the castle, and a town soon came into being. Cotton, ceramics and lumber were the main industries sustaining the town as it grew into a small city.
Following Japan's opening to the world during the Meiji era, Nagoya rapidly industrialized and established transportation links with the rest of Japan that would allow it to easily export its goods. During World War I, Nagoya became known for its foundries as well as its machinery and heavy industry exports, which would continue to grow throughout the 1930s.
The 1920s marked the beginnings of the automotive industry in Nagoya, which continues in importance to the current day. At the heart of the industry is the Toyota Motor Corporation. Starting from humble beginnings as a loom-making company, Toyota entered into the automobile business in the 1930s. It now stands as the world's largest automaker, and continues to dominate the local economy along with the car-making giants Honda and Mitsubishi.
During World War II, much of Nagoya's manufacturing infrastructure turned to the production of military goods, making it a prime target for bombing raids. Almost 25% of the city was destroyed during the war, with almost half the population fleeing to the countryside to avoid the attacks.
The end of the war marked a new start for Nagoya. Car-friendly wide streets and boulevards were bulldozed through the rubble of war, making for the city of today.
Nagoya now ranks as one of the nation's economic powerhouses, and is home to the head offices of Toyota Motor Corporation, Brother Industries, Daido Steel, Makita, Denso Corporation, INAX, Suzuki Motor, Honda Motor, Noritake, NGK Insulators, Olympus Optical, Yamaha and many others. Unlike other parts of Japan, which borrowed heavily for elaborate and expensive public works projects in the bubble years of the 1980s, kechi ("miserly") Nagoya held to a pay-as-you-go philosophy, and has not been as adversely affected by the post-bubble recession as other major centers.
The booming economy has also brought many foreigners to the area, and the region now hosts a thriving community of Japanese-descent Brazilian immigrants, who help to keep the wheels of the local economy spinning. With its strong economy and growing population, Nagoya is a city to watch in the coming years.
ClimateNagoya's climate varies greatly throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from a low of 4°C (39.2°F) in January to a high of 27°C (80.6°F) in August. The city is known for its incredibly hot and humid summers like many cities in Japan, with high temperatures routinely surpassing 30°C (86°F)in August, so those with an aversion to heat would be better off visiting in the milder temperatures of the spring or autumn.
OrientationWhile divided into 16 wards or ku (区), the focal points of this sprawling agglomeration are Nagoya Station (名古屋駅) to the north, Sakae (栄) to the east and Kanayama (金山) to the south.
Nagoya Convention and Visitors Bureau
Nagoya Station Tourist Informationphone: +81 52-541-4301address: 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku
phone: +81 52-323-0161address: LOOP Kanayama 1F, 1-17-18 Kanayama, Naka-ku
phone: +81 52-963-5252address: Oasis 21 B1F, 1-11-1, Higashisakura, Higashi-ku
- A small number of air flights operate daily from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Centrair Airport, for the benefit of international passengers. Otherwise, Nagoya is no less than three hours away by taking the Narita Express limited express train to Tokyo's Shinagawa station, then changing to the Tokaido Shinkansen.
Chubu Centrair International AirportJapan's third major international gateway, is on an artificial island 30 minutes south from the center of town. Facilities include two hotels, restaurants, a shopping concourse, and an onsen spa with views of the runways. Centrair opened in 2005, and this airport replaced the preexisting Nagoya airport, also taking over its IATA code NGO.
The best way of connecting between Centrair Airport and central Nagoya is the Meitetsu Airport Line. The fastest trains are the all-reserved "μSKY" trains, which depart for Nagoya every 30 minutes. The journey takes 28 minutes at a cost of ¥1230. Slower Limited Express trains offer first class (reserved) and ordinary class (non-reserved) seating and take 37 minutes for the run to Nagoya - the standard fare is ¥870. Japan Rail Passes are not valid for the Meitetsu, though you can exchange your rail pass voucher at either the airport or at Nagoya station.
Buses run hourly from Centrair Airport to the Meitetsu Bus Terminal, taking about 1 hr 20 min at a cost of ¥1200. The bus also stops at a few major hotels, including the Nagoya Tokyu, Nagoya Kanko and Hilton Nagoya.
For large groups, Tsubame Airport Limousine offers private van service between Nagoya and Centrair Airport. Vans seat between six and nine passengers, and the cost for the service depends on the destination. As an example, trips to Nakamura-ku, where Nagoya Station is located, cost ¥12000.
Slightly more expensive than the van is a taxi... one hailed directly by yourself is extremely expensive. A trip to Nagoya station will run approximately ¥15000-16000.
Nagoya AirportWhile all other companies have moved to Chubu, regional flights by Fuji Dream Airline still use the old Nagoya Airport (). Flights are available to a number of domestic destinations: Aomori, Iwate, Niigata, Kochi, Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Kumamoto, and Yamagata. Most flights are code-shared with Japan Airlines. Shuttle buses connect to Nagoya station in 30 minutes for ¥700.
The fastest service on the Tokaido Shinkansen is the Nozomi. With the Nozomi you can travel from Tokyo in 1 hr 40 min (¥11090), Kyoto in 35 min (¥5800) and Shin-Osaka in 50 min (¥6560).
Users of the Japan Rail Pass cannot use the Nozomi, but can use the slightly slower Hikari services that run through Nagoya twice every hour. The all-stations Kodama services operate to/from Tokyo twice per hour.
Thru Nozomi trains from western Japan reach Nagoya from Okayama (1 hr 40 min, ¥11290), Hiroshima (2 hr 20 min, ¥14230) and Hakata station in Fukuoka (3 hr 20 min, ¥18540). If using the slower Hikari or Sakura you will need to change trains at least once, either at Okayama, Shin-Kobe, or Shin-Osaka. Note that while there are three direct Hikari trains that leave Nagoya in the morning towards Hiroshima and Fukuoka, there are no such direct Hikari trips from these cities to Nagoya.
If you wish to sacrifice travel speed for savings, you can take advantage of the Puratto (Platt) Kodama Ticket, which offers a discount for Kodama services if you purchase at least one day in advance. You get a reserved seat and a coupon for a free drink (including beer) which can be redeemed at a "Kiosk" convenience counter inside the station. With this ticket a trip to Nagoya costs ¥8300 from Tokyo (3 hr; 2 trains per hour), ¥4300 from Kyoto (1 hr; 1 train per hour) and ¥4400 from Shin-Osaka (1 hr 15 min; 1 train per hour). A few early-morning Kodama trains cannot be used with this ticket.
Discounted tickets can also be purchased in advance through Japan Railways' official SmartEX App, available in English and other languages - look for Hayatoku fares.
Nagoya serves as the terminal point for the hourly Wide View Shinano, a JR Chuo Line limited express train to the mountain resort town of Nagano (3 hr) via Matsumoto (2 hr). The Wide View Hida JR Takayama Line limited express connects Nagoya with Takayama (2 hr 30 min), with some runs continuing to Toyama (4 hr).
Local trains (which can be used with the Seishun 18 Ticket) take about 6 hours from Tokyo (¥6260), 2 hr 15 min from Kyoto (¥2590) and 2 hr 45 min from Osaka (¥3350). Several train transfers are required, and travel times do not include rest stops.
Nagoya is also served by the Meitetsu (名鉄) and Kintetsu (近鉄) private railways. If coming to Nagoya from Osaka, a travel option that comes cheaper than the Shinkansen is a Kintetsu limited express service called the Urban Liner (アーバンライナー), which runs from Osaka-Namba station. The Urban Liner departs at 0 and 30 minutes past the hour, covering the journey in about 2 hr 15 min at a cost of ¥4260. (The shinkansen, by comparison, makes the run from Shin-Osaka to Nagoya in under an hour for ¥6560.) Japan Rail Passes are not valid for the Urban Liner.
As Nagoya is a major city, there are many day and overnight buses which run between Nagoya and other locations throughout Japan, which can be a cheaper alternative than the shinkansen or local trains. Some of the main bus operators include Nagoya-based Meitetsu Bus and JR Tokai Bus, along with Willer Express. In addition to major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe, highway buses run from places including Mount Fuji, Kanazawa, Takaoka, Toyama, Takayama, Matsumoto, Nagano, Niigata, Sendai, Fukushima, Hiroshima, Okayama, Shikoku and Kyushu.
Most buses will pick up and discharge passengers around Nagoya station, either near the station's shinkansen exit or at the nearby Meitetsu Bus Center. An exception is Willer Express, which will use either Sasashima Live south of Nagoya station or Noritake 1-chome west of Nagoya station.
Buses between Tokyo and Nagoya are very frequent. Direct trips take 5-6 hours, but some trips could take up to nine hours depending on the route and stops. Buses charge in the range of ¥3500-5000 for daytime trips and ¥4000-6500 for overnight trips. Discounted fares are sometimes available based on the date of purchase.
Many buses also operate to the Kansai region: Meishin Expressway buses leave several times per hour, operating to Kyoto (2 hr 30 min, ¥2550), Osaka (3 hr, ¥3000) and Kobe (4 hr 15 min, ¥3400). A few buses also travel to Nara (2 hr 30 min, ¥2550). Discounts are given on round-trip purchases.
Willer Express bus journeys can be booked online in English, and Willer's Japan Bus Pass is valid on all of their routes with some exceptions. Note that Willer also sells tickets for Meitetsu Bus and other bus operators on their website, but these trips are not valid with Willer's Japan Bus Pass. Both the Willer and Meitetsu buses leave from the Shinjuku Highway Bus Terminal (Busta Shinjuku), above the JR tracks at Shinjuku Station, which is served by many of Japan's highway bus operators.
JR Bus reservations can be made in English through their Kousoku Bus Net web site. You can also make reservations in train stations at the same "Midori-no-Madoguchi" ticket windows used to reserve seats on trains. Buses depart from Tokyo Station - Yaesu Exit (八重洲口) and from Busta Shinjuku.
Taiheiyo Ferry (太平洋フェリー) +81 52-398-1023. Offers overnight car ferries to Sendai (21 hrs 40 mins) and Tomakomai in southern Hokkaido (40 hr) on the SS Ishikari and SS Kitakami from the Nagoya Ferry Terminal (Japanese).
The ferry terminal is south of Noseki stn (野跡駅) on the JR Aonami line (あおなみ線 Aonami-sen）. Get off at the station and board a city bus bound for Feri futo (フェリーふ頭) bus stop (takes 7 to 10 min). Shuttle bus also available from the downtown Meitetsu Bus Center (名鉄バスセンター） next to Nagoya Station. Bus departs from 4F, platform 2 at 17:20 and arrives at the ferry terminal at around 17:55. For further details, check out the ferry's website.
Nagoya is a big automotive industry center, and it shows. The street network is extensive and even downtown locations can be easily reached by car. On the downside, trains and subways are less convenient than in Tokyo or Kansai, and more expensive. For those travelling with a JR Rail Pass, note that the train network doesn't have many stations in the city and you'll probably find yourself using the bus or subway a lot, something your pass won't cover.
- The red Sakuradōri Line (桜通線) curves southwest from Nagoya Station.
- The purple Meijō Line (名城線) runs in a loop around the eastern side of the city, connecting Sakae and Kanayama; the Meikō Line (名港線) spur branches from Kanayama to Nagoya Port.
- The yellow Higashiyama Line (東山線) connects Nagoya, Fushimi, Sakae, and Fujigaoka.
- The blue Tsurumai Line (鶴舞線) connects Fushimi and Osu Kannon, then goes south.
Subways run every several minutes between about 005:30 until about 00:30AM. Fares range from ¥200 to ¥320. One day passes can be bought for ¥600 (bus), ¥740 (subway), and ¥850 (bus & subway).
On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays you can also take advantage of the cheaper Donichi-Eco-Kippu (ドニチエコきっぷ） one-day subway ticket which offers unlimited subway travel for ¥600. Tthis pass is often not available from subway ticket machines and may have to be purchased in person from a station employee at the ticket gate.
City transportation one day passes also offer discounted entry at various attractions in Nagoya, including Nagoya Castle and the Toyota Museum.
Wi-Fi access is available in most subway stations. More information about public transportation in Nagoya can be found on the official website of the Nagoya Transportation Bureau.
Taxis are a viable option in this car city, especially as the basic fee is only ¥480. The catch is that the basic fee only takes you 1.3 km compared to 2 km in most other parts of Japan. But for shorter distances within the city, a taxi is not only much more convenient than descending to those dark, unappealing subway stations, but also as cheap as the subway if there are at least two of you.
phone: +81 52 654-7080(site in Japanese) Large aquarium featuring a number of different marine environments, including killer whales.
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technologyphone: +81 52-551-6115address: 4-1-35 Noritake Shinmachi, Nishi-kuBuilt on the site of one of Toyota's original loom factories, this museum tells the story of the Toyota corporation, from its beginnings as an industrial loom manufacturer to its transformation into one of the world's largest car manufacturers. Includes large loom machinery and car display halls as well as a hands-on "Technoland" with interactive science exhibits. Museum also includes a library, video library with personal viewing booths, restaurant, cafe, and gift shop. Displays, brochures, and audioguides available in English and several other languages. Barrier-free access for disabled visitors. Freespot Wi-Fi access available.
phone: +81 52-212-0001address: 2-17-25 Sakae, Naka-kuCollection of 2,000 works including pieces by Modigliani, Laurencin, and Utrillo, as well as those of local artists, such as Takanori Ogisu and Tamiji Kitagawa.
phone: +81 52-231-1700Trumpeted as a famous landmark, particularly the two golden carp (金の鯱 kin-no-shachi) on the roof. The original castle was home to Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan's famous warlords. Largely destroyed during the war, the current castle is a concrete replica of the original, and was completed in 1959. The Castle houses an interesting museum (no flash photography on 1st floor), observation deck, and surrounding gardens. Free English tours with volunteer English speaking Japanese guides are sometimes available. See also Japanese castles.
Atsuta ShrineThis shrine houses the sacred Kusanagi no mitsurugi (草薙神剣) sword, one of the three Imperial regalia of Japan — but unfortunately nobody but the emperor and a few high priests get to see it. There are some 4,400 other artifacts on the grounds though and the shrine hosts some 70 festivals every year.
Shirotori GardenIn this Japanese garden you can see and feed koi fish in large ponds, take a look at the tea ceremony house, and also view the beautiful waterfall. On spring the plum trees bloom beautifully and on autumn you can enjoy the night illumination.
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Artsphone: +81 52-684-0786address: 1-1-1 Kanayama-cho, Naka-kuLike any world-class art museum, the MFA in Boston, USA has far more in its archives than it can reasonably display. This sister institution is one way to make the most of the extensive collection.
phone: +81 52-751-2121address: nittai-ji, 1-1 Hōhōchō, Chikusa-kuAmong the 165,000 m² of temple grounds is the 15 meter Gandhara-style Taian Pagoda, which houses relics of the Buddha that were presented to Japan by the king of Thailand. Unlike any other temple in Japan, Nittai-ji does not belong to a particular sect, and is instead managed by a different sect every 3 years.
Shirakawa ParkBeautiful trees, Nagoya Science and Modern Art Museums.
phone: +81 52-935-6262address: 1017, Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-kuDisplays some treasures of the Tokugawa family. Located next door to the beautiful Tokugawa-en Japanese gardens (additional admission charge required).
Kōshō-ji Templephone: +81 52-832-2801Koshoji Temple was established in the 17th century by the Tokugawa family. The temple hosts the annual "1,000 Lantern Festival." There are numerous restaurants and universities surrounding the Koshoji Temple area.
Shiroyama Hakusan ShrineFormerly the Suemori Castle, the present day Shrine hosts festivals that feature Japanese dance and music.
Tōgan-ji TempleDating back to the 16th century, this temple features a statue of the seated Buddha and has many ties to Hindu religion, particularly a temple honoring the Goddess Saraswati, who is honored in a Benzaiten Festival every May 7–8. Toganji also contains a huge wood block said to purge past sins if touched with one hand.
Nagoya City Science MuseumLocated in the city centre, this museum houses loads of interactive exhibitions and a planetarium. It's mostly geared towards children and there is very little information in English, although they offer a guide app.
Arako Kannon Templephone: +81 52-361-1778address: Arako-cho, Nakagawa-kuThis small temple is the oldest building in Nagoya, with original construction on the site dating from the Heian Period (8th century). Despite several fires which destroyed older portions of the temple, the Tahoto pagoda on site remains intact after 472 years.
phone: +81 52-231-6525address: 21-47 Osu 2-chome, Naka-kuFounded in the Kamakura era (1192-1333), this temple was moved to its current location by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1612. The present main temple on the site was reconstructed in 1970. Check out the main hall or buy an お守り (omamori) charm in the gift shop for good luck. The grounds in front of the temple are host to a small flea market twice every month.
FujigaokaFujigaoka is known for its cherry blossoms (sakura) trees in the spring lining the streets. It is close to the site of the 2005 World Expo held in Nagakute, a 15-min linear motor car (Linimo) train ride from Fujigaoka station. This quaint little area at the edge of town has a plethora of shops, boutiques, patisseries and coffee shops. They also hold a market the 3rd Sunday of every month.
phone: +81 52-971-8546address: Hisaya-ōdōri kōen, Naka-kuStanding 180 meters tall, the Nagoya TV Tower is Japan's oldest - predating even the Tokyo Tower. Take an elevator to the 100-m-high sky balcony for great views of Hisaya-odori park and Sakae. Under the tower is a small terrace with tables and a number of small food stands.
Hisaya-Odori ParkNice trees and fountains, Nagoya TV Tower observation deck. On weekend afternoons and evenings, local musicians set up in and around the park and strut their stuff for the passers-by.
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Artphone: +81 52-971-5511address: Aichi Arts Center, 10F, 1-13-2 Higashisakura, Higashi-kuCollection features international and Japanese 20th century art, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Max Ernst, German Expressionists, Surrealists, and postwar US artists. Japanese collection features the art of Yuichi Takahashi, Ryuzaburo Umehara, Sotaro Yasui, Taikan Yokoyama, and Shunso Hishida. Two private collections donated to the museum also include Edo-period paintings and traditional crafts.
- Ride the gold and white Nagoya Sightseeing Bus Me-Guru past many of the city's main attractions. Operates T-Su. Offers hop-on-hop-off hourly service Tu-F from 09:30-17:30, and Sa Su every half hour. Closed M, year-end holidays. Daypass: adults ¥500, children ¥250. (includes discount on featured attractions). Single ride: adults ¥200, children ¥100. Daypasses may be purchased getting on the bus. 1-day transport passes also accepted.
- Catch a traditional Japanese Noh play at the Nagoya Noh Theatre. (Subway: Shiyakusho stn.)
- Go for a jog (or a walk) around beautiful Meijo Park (名城公園 Meijo Koen), one of Nagoya's largest green spaces, and take in the great view of Nagoya Castle (Subway: Meijo-Koen station, Meijo line). Showers and lockers available.
- Higashiyama Park (東山公園 Higashiyama-koen). (Higashiyama-koen station). Features a zoo, conservatory, monorail, roller coasters, "sky tower" and a great deal of open space.
phone: +81 52-221-0737address: Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, 1-1 Ninomaru, Naka-kuWatch the big boys of Japanese sumo battle it out in Nagoya. An annual tradition. Tickets are generally available at the counter unless it is the first or last day. Ticket prices start at ¥3,200 and up. The cheapest seats are fine for first-time sumo watchers and are not much worse than the ¥4,700 seats.
Osu Summer FestivalYearly street festival held in the shopping streets around Osu Kannon temple. Featuring live stage performances, street performers, Brazilian samba parade and cosplay parade.
World Cosplay SummitAn otaku's dream come true. Watch as anime fans from around the world dress up as their favorite characters and parade around the streets of Nagoya. The Summit culminates with the World Cosplay Championship (世界コスプレチャンピオンシップ Sekai-kosupure-championshippu), pitting teams from a number of countries as they show off their costumes and perform stage shows. Cheer on your nation's entry or just stare in wonderment at the strangeness of it all.
Nagoya Castle Summer Night Festivalphone: +81 52-231-1700A traditional-style summer festival, complete with lanterns, numerous styles of traditional bon-odori (盆踊り ) circle dancing (to honour family ancestors), festival stalls, and a beer garden under an illuminated Nagoya castle.
phone: +81 52-527-8808address: Midland Square Bldg. 5F, Meieki 4 chome 7-1, Nakamura-kuOn the 5th floor of the towering Midland Square building, this complex boasts 7 screens with stadium seating, and shows a range of popular Hollywood and Japanese mainstream movies.
phone: +81 52 541-3109address: La Vamo Sasashima 2F, 4-60-14 Hiraike-cho, Nakamura-kuLocated in a relatively new entertainment complex, this large movie theater contains 10 cinemas with stadium seating and shows a mix of Hollywood and mainstream Japanese films.
phone: +81 52-733-3959address: Imaike Star Bldg. 2F, Imaike 1 chome 6-13, Chikusa-kuOne of Nagoya's smallest theatres (with only 40 seats), the Cinémathèque shows a mix of foreign and art films (Japanese subtitles only), and contains a small cinema shop.
phone: +81 52-931-1701address: Higashi-sakura 2 chome 23-7, Higashi-kuDowntown movie theatre showing foreign and Japanese art films (Subtitles in Japanese only.)
The Chūnichi Dragons (中日ドラゴンズ Chūnichi-doragonzu) , winners of the 2007 Japan Series, play in the Central League of Japanese Professional Baseball. Check out one of their games at the Nagoya Dome (Japanese) in Ōzone, northeast of downtown. (15 min walk E of JR Ōzone stn. (Chūō line) via S exit, Subway: Nagoya-dome-mae-yada (Meijō line))
- Ōsu Shopping Arcade, subway Ōsu Kannon exit 2 (straight ahead one block, turn left into the temple grounds and go straight on through the gravelled temple area). A series of old style shopping arcades packed with mom-and-pop stores, ¥100 shops, traditional crafts, used computers and a fantastic range of clothing stores. There is a little bit of everything. Ōsu is the shopping area and Osu Kannon the temple just to the west side. In fact, the shopping area extends from Ōsu Kannon temple in the west to Banshō-ji (万松寺) temple and Ōtsu-dōri street (大津通り) in the east. Outside of the main shopping arcade, there are also a number of streets with a wide array of different specialty shops.
- Akamon-dōri (赤門通り） is known for the bright red banners hung along the street, and hosts a variety of stereo and electronics stores as well as used record shops. On the 28th of every month, Daikō-in temple (大光院) hosts a small temple festival（縁日 ennichi) on Akamon-dori with traditional street food stalls and lots of burning incense.
- Ōtsu-dōri (大津通り） marks the eastern boundary of the Ōsu shopping area. On the lively stretch of Otsu-dori north of Kamimaezu subway station you will find the Ōsu 301 Building (大須301). The building is known for its small dragon sculpture and Chinese theme, and contains a number of small shops. Continuing north on Ōtsu-dōri, you will also find the small but funky Gatten-shōchi （合点承知） building, a mini-mall featuring fashion accessories, food stands, and various fortune tellers.
- Sakae offers good department store shopping, restaurants and night-life. Take a walk atop the rooftop promenade of the Oasis 21 shopping arcade and get a nice view of the TV Tower.
MaruzenOffers a reasonable selection of English books, magazines, and newspapers on the 3rd floor, including travel guidebooks, maps, a wide array of books on Japan, and Japanese language study materials.
Sanseido Booksaddress: 11F, JR Central Towers above JR Nagoya StationOffers a corner with English books, magazines and newspapers. Features books on Japan plus a decent selection of current nonfiction titles and business books. A small selection of guidebooks are also available.
phone: +81 52-331-3799address: Ishou Mansion Bldg. 2F, Kamimaezu 2-4-6, Naka-kuFormerly Mondo Books, this English second-hand bookstore and cafe lounge is run by two friendly and knowledgeable local expats and a fluently bilingual Japanese woman. Features a selection of affordable books on a variety of subjects and a cafe and event space. Offering service in English, Spanish and French.
Best bets for cameras and electronics include Bic Camera, a massive 5 story camera and electronics megastore across the street from Nagoya station (on the Taikō-dōri side). Ōsu Market also has a number of large and small electronics shops, including Goodwill (computers and peripherals - otaku culture fans will also want to check out the maid cafe in the basement), DOS Para and others. Unfortunately, some of the electronics shops in Osu (such as Goodwill) are not located on the main shopping streets, and you may have to ask around to find them. There are also two Eiden electronics superstores located in Fushimi and near JR Ōzone stn on the JR Chūō Line.
The other Nagoya classic is shrimp tempura, particularly when wrapped up in rice and dried seaweed and turned into a handy portable package known as a tenmusu (天むす).
The city is also known for uirō (外郎), a confectionery made out of rice flour and sugar; a little firmer than gelatin but not as sticky as mochi. Many different flavors are available, including red bean (小豆 azuki） and green tea (抹茶 matcha）.
Nagoya's noodle specialty is kishimen (きしめん), a flat, broad noodle often served in a miso or soy sauce broth. Available in most restaurant-gai in shopping centres or close to major railway stations.
Hitsumabushi (ひつまぶし) is an eel dish. Hitsumabushi is served with rice in a small box, and can be eaten three ways. First, just the eel and rice; second, with green onions and nori, and third, with tea or soup stock poured over it.
- Café de Metro, 1F Kanayama station (North Exit). Serves up basic curry and donburi dishes, including a decent misokatsu, for ¥480 with coffee/tea, or ¥680 with miso soup and pickles.
- Jerry's UNO, Located near Fureai Plaza in the Osu shopping district, to the giant manekineko statue's left (your right if you are facing the statue). It's a nice little taco shop that will run you about ¥500 per taco. They also have a nice selection of international beers.
phone: +81 52-252-8810address: Osu, 3−6-18The place to try another Nagoya specialty - misokatsu, pork cutlet with red miso. The standard set is teppan tonkatsu, and it comes to your table on a sizzling hotplate over a bed of shredded cabbage; then a special person performs the ritual of drowning it in sauce. If you're really hungry, go for the waraji - a huge portion of pork loin flattened before frying so that it overhangs the plate. From the subway station, go under the highway overpass and look for the building with the sumo champion pig stenciled on its side, to your right. This is the head store; there are five more around the city, including two at the Nagoya station.
phone: +81 52-264-0663address: Fujimatsu Building 2 FL, 1-8-11 Shinsakae, Naka-kuTex-mex restaurant and bar operated by Mexican-born and American-raised owner Rudy and his wife Takako. Features a variety of Mexican dishes and a selection of premium tequilas.
- Yamamotoya Sōhonke (山本屋総本家), 25-9 Meieki, B1F Horinouchi Bldg (on Sakura-dori not far from Exit 6 of the Nagoya subway station). The home of the classic Nagoya miso dish nikomi udon, consisting of thick, chewy, handmade udon noodles served in boiling hot miso sauce/stock. Fairly pricy at ¥1200 for a basic bowl and rather difficult to eat — diners are provided with bibs to protect themselves from soup spray — but the effort is worth it.
phone: +81 52-937-7474address: ALA Daikan-cho Bldg. 1F, 40-18 Daikan-cho, Higashi-kuFrench bistro operated by long time expat chef Jean-Luc Ravion, (member, Culinary Academy of France). Offers home-made ham, sausages and other traditional French food. Wine from the Loire also available.
SplurgeNagoya's nouveaux riche are catered for by several luxury department stores and many first-class restaurants, which are sometimes difficult find for auto-less tourists.
Arena Veniniphone: +81 52-757-5100Chikusa-ku, Kiribayashi 1-4-1 Ikeshita Hills 1F. An outstanding yet small Italian restaurant in a very small on the street behind the Chikusa Ward office across the street from Ikeshita station.
phone: +81 52-930-2770address: Daikancho 39-18, Higashi-kuExcellent high-class Italian food (like seafood risotto, broccoli pasta or herb-stuffed pork rolls), but also delicious oven-baked pizzas. All this in three superbly furnished rooms. The main room is baroque-style with chandeliers and has not only a live pianist, but also a live opera singer every night (dress code for this room).
phone: +81 52-932-7887address: 1001 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-kuThis eatery serves Japanese-French cuisine with views of the beautiful Tokugawa-en Japanese gardens located next door.
Serge Gen's Restaurant Group NAGOYAphone: +81 52-209-2333address: 11-26 Nishiki 3-Chome, Naka-kuFive top-quality restaurants in the heart of Nagoya, Japan. From Italian cafe, Yakiniku, Sushi, to catered party events.
Around Nagoya station, there are a lot of places for cheap drinking. Sakae is the big nightlife district, in a loose triangle formed by the Sakae, Yaba-cho and Osu Kannon stations. Sakae has a large red light district as well, but as with most of Japan, there's no sense of danger so don't worry about drifting around. There are countless izakayas around Kanayama station, both cheap chains and more upscale places.
If the bar and club scene is not for you, try Nagoya Friends and their bimonthly international parties. Always a dynamic mix of foreigners and Japanese. At the party it's all you can drink and eat (~¥3000).
Serge Gen's Restaurant Group Nagoyaphone: +81 52-209-2333address: Address: 11-26 Nishiki 3-Chome, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi 460-0003Five top-quality restaurants in the heart of Nagoya, Japan. From Italian cafe, Yakiniku, Sushi, to catered party events.
phone: +81 52-202-7077address: Pola Building 2F, Sakae 2-9-26, Naka-kuAn American sports bar that attracts a mixed crowd with live music on Sundays.
Yama-chan(Japanese) Known for its tebasaki (手羽先) fried chicken wings (one of Nagoya's specialties), this seemingly ubiquitous chain of izakayas is one of Nagoya's favorites. English menu available.
phone: +81 52-231-5534address: Montesharine Bldg. 1F, Sakae 1 chome 10-30, Naka-kuNear the Hilton hotel, Cigar Club Kanou offers food, drink and a wide array of cigars (with a walk-in humidor.)
The HubThis nationwide chain of affordable British-style pubs has three locations across the city, offering cocktails, bar food/pub grub, an English menu and some basic service in English.
Sakaephone: +81 52-962-8682address: Ark Building 1F, 3-22-7, Nishiki, Naka-ku,
Fushimiphone: +81 52-220-0082address: C Forest III Bldg. 2F, Sakae 1-4-10, Naka-ku
Nagoya Station Area (Meieki)phone: +81 52-533-4882address: M-san Dainingu Biru 1F, Meieki 3-15-11, Nakamura-ku
Kanayamaphone: +81 120-29-5688Washington Hotel plaza 2nd floor.
Sakaephone: +81 120-77-1868A few doors away from iD Bar.
MyBarphone: +81 52-971-8888address: Tatenomachi Bldg. B1F, 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-kuRun by a Canadian expat, MyBar offers hockey night on Monday evenings. Serves imported beers and cocktails, Italian food, tacos, and burgers.
phone: +81 52-262-7893address: Aster Plaza Bldg. 2F, 4-14-6 Sakae, Naka-kuAn Australian pub. Free Wi-fi, internet terminal access with food or drink purchase. Offers weekly Sunday brunch (11:30AM-4PM) and Thursday trivia night (8:30-11PM).
Nagoya has some good clubs. A lot of the DJs who play Tokyo also pass through Nagoya. Many of the most popular clubs are located in Sakae and Shin-sakae-machi (just east of Sakae and south of the Naka ward office).
Be aware that even on week-ends, on less popular nights, clubs empty or even close early (around 2-3AM) in Nagoya. This is a sharp contrast to Tokyo, where most people come by train and have to stick around for good or for bad until the first train in the morning. In auto-city Toyota, however, many people come by car; they can and will go home early if they are bored.
Gay and Lesbian dance events are held monthly by the Nagoya Metro Club at LOVER: z across from the CBC-TV building in Shinsakae-machi.
MaverickIn Fushimi, it attracts foreigners and Japanese for weekend dance events. Entry fee is usually ¥2000-3000, with a couple of drinks included.
phone: +81 52-251-0382address: 3-1-15 Sakae, Naka-kuThe most popular and well-known club in Nagoya. Nagoya's largest club, 5 different floors of style and music. R & B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Hard House, All Mix, 70s & 80s disco.
phone: +81 52-242-7544address: Hasegawa Bldg. 2F, 3-2-29 Sakae, Naka-kuFood and drinks from ¥500 including pasta, hamburgers, and steak dishes. TVs covering live sports events. Music from noon with DJs, occasional live music. Hip Hop, Reggae, R&B.
Club DaughterHas something happening almost every night, so you'll never be stuck for something to do. It's a small place though. To western clubbers, it may seem more like a basement party than a club, and if you're going out on a Monday or a Tuesday, you may find it pretty empty. Fridays and Saturdays, though, the place is normally packed. Drinks are about ¥600 each, entry varies, check on the site.
Club JB'sAnother good Nagoya club, around the corner from Club Daughter.
Lush The Undergroundphone: +81 52-242-1388address: Marumi Kanko Bldg. 3-4F, 3-4-15 Sakae, Naka-kuHas two floors for one price, upstairs is hip-hop at maximum volume levels, while downstairs more dance music is played. Always a happy crowd without annoying bouncers, on weekdays ladies pay ¥1000 and guys ¥1500 with 1 drink included. Foreigners welcome.
Club MagoIn Shin-Sakae on the basement level of the Flex-building. Great for house, techno, electro-clash, progressive house. ¥2500-3000 cover.
phone: +81 52-951-6085address: 1-10-15 Higashisakura, Higashi-kuJazz club featuring Japanese and international jazz artists.
phone: +81 52-264-8211address: Nagoya Parco Department Store East Building (東館 Higashi-kan), 8F, 3-29-1 Sakae, Naka-kuOne of Nagoya's main live houses, featuring a wide array of Japanese and international rock and pop music acts.
phone: +81 52-571-2588address: 2-11-4 HabashitaAwesome ryokan-style hostel with a great vibe. Offers internet access, air conditioning, and security lockers. The hostel has a nice garden in the background and an onsen-style bath.
Capsule Inn Nagoyaphone: +81 52-331-3278address: 7F Kanayama 4-1-20Showing its age, but kept clean and still a perfectly functional capsule hotel. Reservations accepted and you're free to come and go, payment on arrival by cash or credit card. Hotel is for men only.
phone: +81 52 253 7710address: 2-4-2 Kanayama, Naka-kuSmall hostel in central Nagoya. Offers parking, internet access, luggage storage, air conditioning and security lockers.
Toyoko InnThe popular no-frills Toyoko Inn chain operates six hotels in Nagoya. Toyoko Inn Club members can check in from 3PM.
phone: +81 52-223-1045address: 1-4-20 Marunochi, Naka-ku
phone: +81 52-953-1045address: 3-9-3 Nishiki, Naka-ku
Nagoya-eki Sakuradori-guchi Honkanphone: +81 52-571-1045address: 3-16-1 Meieki, Nakamura-ku
Nagoya-eki Sakuradori-guchi Shinkanphone: +81 52-562-1045address: 3-9-16 Meieki, Nakamura-ku
phone: +81 52-453-1047address: 7-16 Tsubaki-cho, Nakamura-ku
phone: +81 52-934-1045address: 2-22-21 Higashi-Sakura, Naka-ku
phone: +81 52-953-5111address: 3-15-30 Nishiki, Chuo-kuThis business hotel is in the middle of the Sakae dining and shopping district. The rooms are comparatively clean and the staff speaks English; internet access is included. ¥9800/single.
Daiichi Fuji Hotelphone: +81 52-452-1111address: 13-17 Tsubaki-cho, Naka-kuThis business hotel is a few blocks from train station on a street lined with business hotels. The rooms are very small; internet access is included if you have an Ethernet cable. ¥6200/single, ¥9450/twin.
phone: +81 52-324-3434address: 1-11-7 Kanayama, Naka-kuThis business hotel was built in 2005 and has very clean rooms; in-room internet access and breakfast is included. The staff has some limited English ability. ¥6800/10,800/13,000 for single/small double/double.
phone: +81 52-937-3535address: 3-16-16 Aoi, Higashi-kuIn-room internet access. The staff has some limited English ability. Large breakfast buffet, Western & Japanese, ¥1,000/adult, ¥800/child, 7:00-9:30AM. Rooms: ¥6,300 single, ¥12,390/15,540 twin for two/three, ¥23,520/29,400 Japanese-style for three/five.
address: Nagoya StationA 3-minute walk from a Nozomi Shinkansen train to a well-marked elevator portal takes you to the 15th floor check-in level. This often-full five-star hotel (¥20,000-70,000/night) is equipped with ten good restaurants, which tend to be jammed, but the adjacent office tower also has more than 20 restaurants on two levels ranging from inexpensive noodle eateries to high-end sushi places. Note that if you have a concierge room reservation, you need to go to the concierge level (35th floor) to check in. Rooms are extremely clean and comfortable.
phone: +81 52-231-7711address: 19-30, Nishiki 1-chome, Naka-kuFounded in 1936 as the Nagoya State Guest and still going strong. Rooms from standard (¥15,015) to suite (¥346,500). Free parking.
phone: +81 52-571-5055Provides monthly furnished and non-furnished apartments for a range of budgets. Popular with longer-term visitors seeking to avoid the hefty deposits required by traditional Japanese landlords.
phone: +81 52-581-0100address: 1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-kuThis city-run center for newcomers to Nagoya provides useful information about upcoming local events through their free monthly publication The Nagoya Calendar (available at numerous locations around the city) and offers various multilingual services for foreigners on longer stays or taking up residence in the city. Their headquarters near Nagoya Station also includes a lending library with books on numerous topics in English and other languages.
As elsewhere in Japan, ATM machines at post offices and 7-Elevens allow international cash withdrawals.
Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank Foreign Exchange Shopphone: +81 52-541-6330address: 1-2-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku(Website in Japanese)
- phone: +81 52-222-1077, +81 52-222-1078, +81 90-3483-6949 (Emergency), +81 80-6637-6131 (Emergency)address: Shirakawa Daihachi Bldg 2F, 1-10-29 Marunouchi, Naka-kuProvides consular services for Brazilians and issues Brazilian visas for foreign visitors to Brazil
- phone: +81 52-972-0450address: Nakato Marunouchi Bldg 6F, 3-17-6 Marunouchi, Naka-kuOffering limited consular services for Canadians in Nagoya
- phone: +81 52-581-4501address: Nagoya Kokusai Center Bldg 6F, 1-47-1 Nagono, Nakamura-ku
- ZIP FM 77.8 (site in Japanese) Broadcasts Global Voice Weekend Magic a ten-minute long program in English on daily life and events in the Nagoya area for earlybirds at 5:40AM on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Avenues: Voices of Central Japan Quarterly magazine featuring articles on local history and culture, reviews of attractions, events, restaurants and bars. Available free at International Center and for a fee at Maruzen Bookstore in Sakae.
- Japanzine Monthly tabloid-style magazine published in Nagoya featuring a section on local events, concerts, job listings, and a restaurant/bar map and guide. Available free at numerous businesses catering to foreign residents, and at Maruzen bookstore in Sakae.
- RAN Magazine A magazine focused on life in Nagoya and the city's culture and arts scene. Features articles on a wide array of topics. Available online and for free at businesses catering to foreigners around the Nagoya area.
- Nagoya Calendar Monthly magazine featuring event information, daily-living advice, movie & TV listings, and a community bulletin board. Available free at International Center, the Maruzen Bookstore in Sakae, and several subway stations.
- ET People Small monthly magazine aimed at English learners. Offers restaurant/bar map and listings in English. Available free at numerous bars and restaurants around the city.
- Inuyama, with its picturesque castle, kinky fertility shrines, and nearby Meiji Village, is a short day trip from the city. From Meitetsu Nagoya station next to Nagoya station, there are express trains (around a 30-minute ride) to Inuyama station or Inuyamayuen station. From either station, Inuyama castle is about a 20-minute walk to the west and is on the south side of the river. The entrance is on the south side of the castle grounds.
- Gifu - Visit Gifu castle (take a bus from the train station). Ride the cable car up the mountain (or hike), feed the squirrels (they jump on your arm and eat from your hand), visit the museum, enjoy the amazing view from the top of the castle. See the Nagaragawa fireworks display during the summer festival.
- Tokoname, on the first express train stop from Nagoya airport, is a ceramic centre dating back from the 9th-century Heian period. The old town by the hill next to the train station features streets decorated with industrial ceramic pieces and pottery shops with pottery displays inside old brick furnaces.
- Okazaki - Take in the castle, tour the miso factory and enjoy the fresh suburban air.
- Ise, home to Japan's holiest shrine, is within striking distance.
- Tsushima - Visit Tenno River park in the spring to see amazing cherry blossoms and wisteria.
- Tajimi - Visit Eihoji Zen Temple. A beautiful walk down to the river. Be sure to see the bamboo grove (takebayashi).
- Hida-Takayama - Check out the Edo-era atmosphere of this famous historic town.
- Kiso Valley - Walk the historic Nakasendo highway, an old post road running through the valley's beautiful green hills and well-preserved towns.
- Asuke, where you can visit the Korankei Gorge and enjoy the changing of leaves in autumn and blossoms in spring.
- Gujo Hachiman, an idyllic town where 80% of Japan's plastic food replicas are created.
- Magome to Tsumago, a nice hike between the two historic villages in the Nagiso/Nakatsugawa area.
- Tadachi, a nice hike along many waterfalls.
- Yoro - Waterfalls, fancy onsen and Japan's most bizarre park.