Nagoya, Japan is a vibrant and bustling city that offers a unique blend of traditional and modern Japanese culture. Located in the heart of Japan, Nagoya is a popular destination for travelers who want to experience the best of what Japan has to offer. From its rich history and culture to its delicious food and bustling nightlife, Nagoya has a lot to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Nagoya, it’s important to have a comprehensive travel guide that can help you navigate the city and make the most of your time there. From the best time to visit and where to stay to the top attractions and must-try foods, this guide has got you covered.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Japan or a seasoned traveler, this Nagoya travel guide will help you plan the perfect trip to this amazing city. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through the best of Nagoya, Japan.
Getting to Nagoya
Nagoya is a bustling city located in the central region of Japan. It is easily accessible by air, train, and bus. Here are some of the ways to get to Nagoya:
Nagoya is served by two airports – Chubu Centrair International Airport and Nagoya Airfield. Chubu Centrair International Airport is the main international airport and is located on an artificial island in Ise Bay. It is well connected to major cities in Japan and other countries. Nagoya Airfield, on the other hand, is a domestic airport and is located in the eastern part of the city.
Travelers can take a direct flight to Chubu Centrair International Airport from major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei. From the airport, travelers can take the train or bus to reach their destination in Nagoya.
Nagoya is well-connected to major cities in Japan by train. The city has two major train stations – Nagoya Station and Shin Nagoya Station. Nagoya Station is the main station and is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen, which connects Nagoya to Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. Shin Nagoya Station, on the other hand, is served by the Tokaido Shinkansen and the Chuo Shinkansen, which connects Nagoya to Nagano and Tokyo.
Travelers can also take the JR Tokai Bus, which operates between Nagoya and major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
Nagoya is also well-connected to major cities in Japan by bus. The city has two major bus terminals – Meitetsu Bus Center and JR Bus Terminal. Meitetsu Bus Center is located near Nagoya Station and operates buses to major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. JR Bus Terminal, on the other hand, is located near Shin Nagoya Station and operates buses to major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagano.
Where to Stay in Nagoya
When planning a trip to Nagoya, one of the most important decisions to make is where to stay. Nagoya has a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Nagoya:
Sakae is the downtown area of Nagoya and is a great place to stay if you want to be in the heart of the city. There are plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars in the area, as well as several major department stores. Sakae is also home to Nagoya TV Tower, which offers great views of the city. Some of the best hotels in Sakae include the Nagoya Tokyu Hotel and the Hilton Nagoya.
If you’re looking for convenience, Nagoya Station is the place to stay. The station is a major transportation hub, with connections to JR lines, the Shinkansen, and several other train lines. There are also several shopping and dining options in the area. Some of the best hotels near Nagoya Station include the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel and the Meitetsu Grand Hotel.
Osukannon is a historic area of Nagoya that is known for its traditional shops and street vendors. It’s a great place to stay if you want to experience a more traditional side of Nagoya. Osukannon is also home to Osu Kannon Temple, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Nagoya. Some of the best hotels in Osukannon include the Hotel Mystays Nagoya Nishiki and the Hotel Silk Tree Nagoya.
Fushimi is a great place to stay if you want to be close to some of Nagoya’s best museums and art galleries. The area is also home to several universities, so it has a lively and youthful atmosphere. Some of the best hotels in Fushimi include the Nagoya Fushimi Mont Blanc Hotel and the Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae.
Overall, Nagoya has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. When choosing where to stay, consider your itinerary and what activities you plan to do during your stay in Nagoya.
Top Attractions in Nagoya
Nagoya is a city that is rich in culture and history. It has a lot to offer to its visitors, from its stunning architecture to its delicious cuisine. Here are some of the top attractions that you should not miss when visiting Nagoya:
Nagoya Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Nagoya. It was built in the 17th century and has been designated as a National Treasure of Japan. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a moat, making it a perfect spot for a relaxing stroll. Visitors can also explore the castle’s interior and learn about its history and significance.
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is a must-visit attraction for car enthusiasts. It showcases the history of the Toyota Motor Corporation and its contributions to the automobile industry. Visitors can see a variety of exhibits, including vintage cars, manufacturing equipment, and interactive displays.
Atsuta Jingu Shrine
Atsuta Jingu Shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. It is believed to house the sacred sword, Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, which is one of the three Imperial Regalia of Japan. Visitors can explore the shrine’s grounds and admire its beautiful architecture and gardens.
The Sakae District is a bustling area in Nagoya that is known for its shopping, dining, and entertainment. It is home to many department stores, boutiques, and restaurants, as well as theaters and cinemas. Visitors can also enjoy the district’s lively nightlife scene.
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is a popular attraction for families with children. It features a variety of marine life, including dolphins, whales, and penguins. Visitors can also watch live shows and learn about marine conservation efforts.
These are just a few of the many attractions that Nagoya has to offer. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or entertainment, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Things to Do in Nagoya
Nagoya is a vibrant and exciting city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or entertainment, there is something for everyone in Nagoya. Here are some of the top things to do in Nagoya:
Visit the Nagoya Castle
The Nagoya Castle is one of the most popular attractions in Nagoya. This impressive castle was built in the 17th century and is a great place to learn about Japanese history and culture. Visitors can explore the castle grounds, climb to the top of the castle tower, and enjoy stunning views of the city.
Explore the Tokugawa Art Museum
The Tokugawa Art Museum is home to an impressive collection of Japanese art and artifacts. Visitors can see a wide range of items, including samurai armor, swords, and ceramics. The museum also has a beautiful garden that is worth exploring.
Take a Trip to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is a great place to learn about the history of the Toyota Motor Corporation. Visitors can see a wide range of exhibits, including cars, engines, and other technological innovations. The museum also offers guided tours and hands-on activities.
Enjoy the Nagoya City Science Museum
The Nagoya City Science Museum is a great place to learn about science and technology. Visitors can see a wide range of exhibits, including a planetarium, a dinosaur exhibit, and a space exhibit. The museum also has a hands-on science lab where visitors can conduct experiments.
Visit the Atsuta Shrine
The Atsuta Shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. This beautiful shrine is home to a wide range of artifacts, including swords and other treasures. Visitors can also enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful gardens.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Nagoya. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or entertainment, Nagoya has a lot to offer to enjoy.
Shopping in Nagoya
Nagoya is a shopper’s paradise with a stack of shopping options ranging from high-end luxury stores to budget-friendly options. Here are some of the top shopping destinations in Nagoya:
Sakae is Nagoya’s premier shopping district and is home to many high-end luxury stores, department stores, and boutiques. The district is also home to Nagoya’s largest underground shopping mall, Sakae Chika, which boasts over 200 shops and restaurants.
Osukannon is a bustling shopping street located in the heart of Nagoya. The street is lined with shops selling everything from traditional Japanese souvenirs to trendy fashion items. It is also home to Nagoya’s largest covered shopping arcade, Osu Shopping Arcade, which is over 1 km long and has over 1,200 shops.
Nagoya is known for its antique shops, which sell a variety of unique and rare items. The most famous antique shop district is Osu Kannon Antique Street, which is located near Osukannon. The street is lined with shops selling vintage clothing, furniture, and traditional Japanese crafts.
Nagoya is also home to many second-hand shops, which sell gently used clothing, accessories, and household items at affordable prices. The most popular second-hand shop district is located in the Shinsakae area and is home to many trendy shops catering to young shoppers.
Whether you’re looking for luxury brands or budget-friendly options, Nagoya has a lot to offer. So, make sure to set aside some time for shopping during your visit to Nagoya.
Food and Drink in Nagoya
Nagoya is known for its unique cuisine, and visitors to the city should definitely try some of the local specialties. Here are a few must-try dishes:
- Miso Katsu: This dish consists of a breaded pork cutlet served with a thick miso sauce. It’s a Nagoya specialty and can be found at many local restaurants.
- Hitsumabushi: This is a type of eel dish that is served with rice. The eel is grilled and then chopped into small pieces. Diners can choose to eat it plain, with condiments, or with broth.
- Tebasaki: These are deep-fried chicken wings that are seasoned with salt and pepper. They are a popular snack food in Nagoya and can be found at many izakayas (Japanese-style pubs).
Along With these dishes, Nagoya is also known for its unique drink culture. Visitors should try some of the local drinks, such as:
- Hatcho Miso Sake: This is a type of sake that is brewed using hatcho miso, a type of dark miso paste that is made in Nagoya. It has a rich, savory flavor and pairs well with many of the local dishes.
- Chu-Hi: This is a popular Japanese cocktail that is made with shochu (a distilled spirit), soda water, and flavored syrup. It’s a refreshing drink that is perfect for hot summer days.
- Shochu: This is a type of distilled spirit that is made from various ingredients, such as rice, barley, or sweet potatoes. It has a higher alcohol content than sake and is often mixed with soda or juice.
Overall, Nagoya’s food and drink scene is not to be missed. Visitors should be sure to try some of the local specialties and drinks during their stay.
Nightlife in Nagoya
Nagoya is known for its vibrant nightlife, with plenty of options for those looking to party after dark. Here are some of the best places to check out:
Sakae is the heart of Nagoya’s nightlife, with a wide variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from. This area is particularly popular with young people, and you’ll find plenty of options for all tastes and budgets.
Fushimi is another popular area for nightlife in Nagoya, with a more upscale vibe than Sakae.
Osukannon is a smaller area with a more laid-back vibe, but still plenty of options for a night out.
No matter what your style or budget, Nagoya has plenty of options for a night out on the town. Just be sure to drink responsibly and have fun!
Day Trips from Nagoya
Nagoya is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas of Aichi Prefecture. Here are some of the best day trips from Nagoya:
Shirakawago is a picturesque village in Gifu Prefecture known for its traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses with steep thatched roofs. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is especially beautiful during the winter months when the snow covers the village. From Nagoya, you can take a bus or train to Shirakawago, which takes around 2-3 hours.
Takayama is a historic city in Gifu Prefecture known for its well-preserved old town and traditional crafts. It is also famous for its Hida beef, which is a type of wagyu beef. From Nagoya, you can take a train to Takayama, which takes around 2-3 hours.
Iga is a city in Mie Prefecture known for its ninja heritage. It is home to the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, which showcases the history and techniques of the ninja. From Nagoya, you can take a train to Iga-Ueno Station, which takes around 1.5 hours.
Inuyama is a city in Aichi Prefecture known for its castle, which is one of the oldest surviving castles in Japan. It is also home to the Meiji Mura Museum, which showcases the architecture and culture of the Meiji period. From Nagoya, you can take a train to Inuyama Station, which takes around 30 minutes.
Ise is a city in Mie Prefecture known for its shrines, including the Ise Grand Shrine, which is one of the most sacred shrines in Japan. It is also home to the Okage Yokocho, a street lined with traditional shops and restaurants. From Nagoya, you can take a train to Ise-shi Station, which takes around 1.5 hours.
Practical Information for Visiting Nagoya
Before visiting Nagoya, it is important to have some practical information to ensure a smooth trip. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your visit:
Getting There and Around
Nagoya is easily accessible by air, train, or bus. The Chubu Centrair International Airport is located just 30 minutes from Nagoya Station by train. The airport offers direct flights from major cities around the world, including Los Angeles, Singapore, and Bangkok.
Once you arrive in Nagoya, the best way to get around is by using the city’s efficient public transportation system. The subway and bus systems cover most of the city, and taxis are readily available. It is recommended to purchase a rechargeable IC card, such as the Manaca or Suica, to make traveling on public transportation more convenient.
Nagoya offers a wide range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there is something for everyone. It is recommended to book accommodations in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.
Some popular accommodations in Nagoya include the Hilton Nagoya, the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel, and the Nagoya Prince Hotel Sky Tower.
Language and Currency
The official language of Japan is Japanese, but English is widely spoken in Nagoya, especially in tourist areas. However, it is recommended to learn some basic Japanese phrases to communicate with locals.
The currency in Japan is the Japanese yen (JPY). It is recommended to exchange currency at the airport or at banks or post offices in the city. Credit cards are widely accepted, but it is recommended to carry some cash for small purchases.
With these practical tips, you should be well-prepared for your visit to Nagoya. Enjoy your trip!