NagoyaCopyright: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com
NagoyaAs testified by epic movies like Shogun and Ran, Nagoya City is pure history, centred around Nagoya Castle. It was Expo 2005 that put Nagoya on the world map. Post-Expo, Nagoya is positioning itself both as a centre for hi-tech industries and as a tourist gateway. Toyota Cars, old and new famed ceramics, Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, dolls and robots castles, feudal villas and farmhouses pearls, and a plethora of shopping and nightlife spots await you in this not-so-obvious choice of a Japanese destination.
The CityNagoya, the fourth largest metropolis of Japan with more than two million inhabitants, is known worldwide for being a manufacturing city, even though it has nothing to envy of siblings such as Osaka or even Tokyo. The city has plenty of bars, cafes and shopping malls where to end your day after long visits to the temples or Nagoya Castle, or perhaps after hiking through the Nakasendo Kiso Valley.
Do & See
Let the city guide you. You don't have to put much effort into finding what to do or where to go in a city like Nagoya. Kick off your trip from Nagoya Castle and end it walking the Nakasendo Kiso Valley.
"Nagoya meishi" is the way Nagoyans define their cuisine. The range of dishes includes miso-flavoured pork cutlets, fresh local seafood and, naturally, the misonikomi udon: thick wheat noodles boiled in miso broth with leeks, chicken, and other ingredients. Spoil yourself with one of the best unagi dishes in the entire country.
When visiting Nagoya, you will find plenty of cafes ranging from small local places to big coffee shop chains offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you are a cake lover, you will not have problems finding a cafe serving delicious cakes: try Café Gentiane JR Nagoya Station, they serve the cutest animal-shaped desserts in the city.
Bars & Nightlife
The best nightclubs dot the Sakae and Nishiki precincts, where bars and clubs regularly host world-famous DJs and musicians. Here, you can choose to go to a local bar, the so-called "izakaya", and spend your time with the locals or opt for a more international bar if you don't feel too confident with your Japanese skills just yet.
As its size and status suggest, there are plenty of shopping opportunities in Nagoya, particularly in the Sakae district. Located next to Nagoya Station you'll find the Meitetsu department store for high fashion boutiques, designer and accessory outlets. Other malls, which also double up as places for entertainment, include Central Park, located beneath the TV towers, and Osu Shopping Arcade on Niomon Street. On the mornings of the 18th and 28th of each month, close by Osu Kannon station, the fun-to-browse-through Osu Flea Market takes place with its mishmash of genuine antiques.