22 Must-Go Places in Nagoya

Located between Tokyo and Osaka, Nagoya has nurtured unique culture including food. As one of Japan’s large city and the industrial center, the area offers lots to do. Here listed are the places you might be interested in.


Things to Do

1. Nagoya Castle

The Nagoya castle has been a symbol of Nagoya over 400 years. Built as a home of a son to Tokugawa Ieyasu who established the base of Edo period, it shows the prosperity his descendent commanded. After the burnt down of original buildings in 1945, the two keeps were reconstructed in 1959. The exhibition inside is interesting and the stroll in its garden is pleasant.

HP: www.nagoyajo.city.nagoya.jp/13_english/index.html

HP: www.nagoyajo.city.nagoya.jp/15_hantai/index.html (中文)

Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

2. Atsuta-Jingu Shrine


Atsuta Shrine with over 1900 year history is the oldest landmark in Nagoya.About 20 hectors ground at the south of Nagoya station is covered with thick forest. Some camphor trees there are estimated over 1000 years old. This shrine is ranked next to the Ise Shrine and the architectures symbolizing their high-status is impressive. It’s a good place to enjoy pleasant walk at the center of the city.

HP: www.atsutajingu.or.jp/en/intro/

Address: 1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

3. Shirotori Garden


The Shirotori Garden within 10 minute walk from Atsuta Shrine is the biggest Japanese garden in Nagoya. Around 3.7 hectors garden for a charge locates inside of the Shirotori Park. The garden is carefully designed with modern aesthetic with help of artisans in other areas including Kanazawa. Visitors can enjoy tea time in a traditional tea room or a modern restaurant as well.

HP: www.shirotori-garden.jp/english/index.html

Address: 2-5 Atsutanishi-machi, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

4. Osu Kannon & Osu Shopping District [City Center]

Osu Kannon, not far from the Nagoya station, is counted as one of the biggest Kannon statues in Japan. The history of the temple dates back to 1333. The temple is known for a flea market held on its grounds on the 18th and 28th every month as well as its neighboring shopping district, “Osu Shopping Arcade.” The area between two subway stations is packed with around 1200 shops and restaurants rather in a jumbled way.

HP: www.osu-kannon.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 2-21-47 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

5. Nagoya City Science Museum [City Center]


The science museum in Nagoya offers many attractive hands-on exhibitions: the world's biggest and top-end quality planetarium with a diameter of 35m, a -30 degree room to experience aurora images, a 9 meter-high twister for tornados, towering Tesla coils for electric discharge, and so on. The comprehensive exhibitions can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

HP: www.ncsm.city.nagoya.jp/en/index.html

Address: 2-17-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

6. TOYOTA Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology [City Center]


The museum run by Toyota group companies offers very comprehensive exhibition for better understanding of the history and the company’s spirit behind the modern development of the company. Their display varies from textile manufacturing to robotics and available in English as well. If you are interested in industrial manufacturing process, this place is a must-go.

HP: www.tcmit.org/english/index.html

Address: 1-35, Noritake Shinmachi 4-chome, Nishi-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

7. Toyota Automobile Museum [Nagakute-city]

Anthony Joh/Flickr

If you are a fan of automobiles, you should visit Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagakute, about 50 minutes from Nagoya station by public transportation. This museum is themed at the history of automobile since its birth. About 160 vehicles from around the world and various ages are showcased together.

HP: www.toyota.co.jp/Museum/english/

Address: 41-100 Yokomichi, Nagakute-city, Aichi (Google Map)

8. Tokugawaen Garden [Central Area]


This Japanese garden was belong to the Owari Tokugawa family, one of the family’s big three. There used to be the residence and the original garden was 44 hectares. The current garden is laid out in the typical Daimyo garden style with a pond offering various landscapes with great vertical intervals.

HP: www.tokugawaen.city.nagoya.jp/english/index.html

Address: 1001 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

9. Tokugawa Art Museum [Central Area]


This museum adjacent to the Tokugawaen Garden has magnificent collection of the household belongings donated by the descendant of Owari Tokugawa family. The collection boasts more than ten thousand furniture, household goods and clothes. The comprehensive display helps you to imagine the way of thriving Daimyo's life.

HP: www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp/english/index.html

Address: 1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

10. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park [Port Area]

This museum run by JR Central displays about 40 retired trains including a maglev, bullet trains, and steam locomotives. They are aimed at better understanding of trains' history and mechanics. Popular attractions are the train simulators, the train crew simulator, and one of the largest train dioramas in Japan. Educational exhibition can be enjoyed by all ages. English audio guide is available.

HP: museum.jr-central.co.jp/en/

Address: 3-2-2 Knjo-futo, Minato-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

11. Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium [Port Area]

Nagoya Aquarium is one of the largest and best aquariums in Japan. While its rivaling Kaiyukan in Osaka is more for dates, Nagoya Aquarium is more educational and focused on large sea animals. It consists of two buildings. One features large creatures such as orca, beluga wales and dolphins, and their shows. Another does smaller creatures and highlights "Sardine Tornado" display which hundreds of sardines spiraling in unison.

HP: www.nagoyaaqua.com/english/2015031013432314.html

HP: www.nagoyaaqua.com/cantonese/2015041016040638.html (中文)

HP: www.nagoyaaqua.jp/aqua/othe/engl/index.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-3 Minato-machi, Minato-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

12. Higashiyama Zoo & Botanical Gardens [East]

Higayshiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens covering 60 hectares is a pleasant place for a day out. The zoo exhibits approximately 500 species. The botanical garden features around 7000 varieties of plant, a large greenhouse, and scenic walking path. Among the animals in the zoo, Shabani, a western lowland gorilla from Sydney, is popular for his handsome looks.

HP: www.higashiyama.city.nagoya.jp/14_english/index.html

HP: www.higashiyama.city.nagoya.jp/21_zh/index.html (中文)

Address: 3-70, Higashiyama-motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya (Google Map)

13. Arimatsu Townscape

Arimatsu was a town built on the Tokaido highway for a break in 1608. The highlights are picturesque townscape with ten old wooden houses from the Edo period lined up and Arimatsu Shibori. Arimatsu Shibori is a kind of traditional tie-dyeing method. You can visit Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori Kaikan or shops dotted along the street to see the beautiful works closely.

HP: www.shibori-kaikan.com/kaikan-e.html

Address: Arimatsu, Midori-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

14. JR Central Towers

JR Central Towers above Nagoya station was the tallest landmark in Nagoya until its neighboring Midland Square surpassed it in 2007. Two towers are complex of office, hotel, and merchandize area including Takashimaya department store on the lower floors. Both tower have restaurants and lounges with a view run by Takashimaya and Marriott hotel on the top floor respectively.

HP: www.towers.jp/en/

Address: Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

15. Midland Square Sky Promnade

Midland Square is the tallest building in Nagoya nearby Nagoya station. The 247m tall building offers a semi- open-air observation deck named Sky Promenade on the top floors. It offers almost 360 degree panoramic views over Nagoya. You can dine at restaurants overlooking impressive views on the upper floor of 41F and 42F as well.

HP: www.midland-square.com/english/index.html

HP: www.midland-square.com/chinese/index.html (中文)

Address: 4-7-1 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-city, Aichi (Google Map)

16. Oasis 21 [Sakae]

Located in Sakae, one of the busiest downtown in Nagoya, Oasis 21 is a must-go modern landmark. It combines parks, a bus terminal, and commercial complex. You can relax at the green field, enjoy strolling around the walking path with a view on the glass roof, or marveled by beautiful night illumination.

HP: www.sakaepark.co.jp/en/

HP: www.sakaepark.co.jp/cn/ (中文)

Address: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku, Nagoya-city[ (Google Map)

17. Inuyama-jo Castle [Inuyama]

Inuyama castle locates in Inuyama, the neighboring town to Nagoya. It takes around 40 minutes by Meitetsu express train from Nagoya. The castle's history dates back to 1537 and the architectural style of the main building is the Japan’s oldest of its kind. The town of Inuyama has lots to see as well as Nagoya. If you stay in Nagoya more than two nights, you should consider to add this attractive place on your list-to-go.

HP: inuyama-castle.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 65-2 Inuyama Kitakoken, Inuyama-city, Aichi (Google Map)

18. Meijimura [Inuyama]


Meijimura is an architecture-themed park specialized in those from the Meiji period. Their magnificent collection consists of all kinds of buildings built after the late 20th century including residence, shops, churches, even industrial heritages. It takes about 1 to 1 and a half hour by express train or car from Nagoya.

HP: www.meijimura.com/english/index.html

HP: www.meijimura.com/chinese/ (中文)

Address: 1,Uchiyama, Inuyama-city, Aichi (Google Map)

19. Urakuen [Inuyama]

At the east of Inuyama Castle, there is a Japanese garden named Urakuen. Uraku was a brother of Oda Nobunaga, a dictator during the late Sengoku period, and one of the disciplines of Sen-no Rikyu, the master of tea ceremony. The highlight of the garden is Jo-an, one of Japan's most excellent teahouses. You can enjoy strolling at the beautiful garden, two other teahouses and his residence.

HP: www.m-inuyama-h.co.jp/urakuen/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1 Gomonsaki, Inuyama-city, Aichi (Google Map)

20. Tokoname Pottery Footpath [Tokoname]

Tokoname, the production site of Tokoname pottery, is a nice place for short stop before or after Nagoya visit with very convenient access. It's only one express-train-stop to the Centrair Airport. Within walk distance, workshops and galleries scattered around. INAX Museums with intriguing collections of potteries is also worth visiting.

HP: www.tokoname-kankou.net/english/

HP: www.tokoname-kankou.net/taiwan/ (中文)

21. Coffee Shop during breakfast hours

One of specialties in Nagoya is unique food culture. Coffee shops are one of best places to experience local's love for food in unique style. If you go to a coffee shop in the morning, you will be astonished by its breakfast deals by means of volume for its relatively cheap price or combination of meals. You cannot leave Nagoya without trying their famous Ogura toast.

22. Izakaya or Tebasaki Specialized Restaurants

Tebasaki is chicken wingtips and means deep-fried wingtips with spicy flavor in Nagoya. It's a must try, if you love chicken and a drink. There are countless restaurants including izakawa which offer Tebasaki plates in the town. Though other Nagoya’s specialties such as Kishimen or Miso-katsu cannot be accepted by some visitors, Tebasaki should work well, maybe.

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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