Nagoya japan

22nd May 2024

17 Best Things to Do in Nagoya: From Culture to Thrills

Looking to uncover the best things to do in Nagoya? If so, we’ve got you covered in this blog post.

From our last visit to this place, we learned that Nagoya is a vibrant city filled with cultural gems and modern wonders waiting to be explored.

So, fasten your seatbelts as we take you on an exhilarating journey through Nagoya’s top attractions, from the iconic Nagoya Castle and sacred Atsuta Shrine to the futuristic SCMAGLEV and Railway Park.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, indulge in culinary delights, and experience the warm embrace of Nagoya’s welcoming spirit. Let’s embark on this unforgettable adventure together!

Interesting Facts about Nagoya

  • Nagoya is Japan’s fourth-largest city, located in the Aichi Prefecture.
  • The city is renowned for its strong industrial presence, with major automobile companies like Toyota headquartered here.
  • Nagoya Castle, a symbol of the city’s heritage, is a significant historical landmark.
  • Atsuta Shrine, one of Japan’s most revered Shinto shrines, houses the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, a sacred imperial sword.
  • Nagoya is a hub for high-speed rail travel, boasting the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, showcasing Japan’s cutting-edge railway technology.

Best Things to Do in Nagoya

1. Nagoya Castle

Nestled amidst picturesque surroundings, Nagoya Castle stands as an emblem of Japan’s regal history. With its majestic keep and beautifully landscaped gardens, this ancient stronghold beckons travelers to step back in time.

Located in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, the castle is renowned for its ornate architecture, reflecting the resplendent Momoyama style.

Explore the expansive castle grounds and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage while witnessing stunning views from the top of the keep.

The cherry blossoms in spring and vibrant foliage in autumn add a touch of natural allure to the experience.

  • Location: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0031, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring (for cherry blossoms) and autumn (for fall foliage)
  • Famous For: Historical significance, Momoyama architecture, beautiful gardens.

2. Atsuta Shrine

As one of Japan’s most revered Shinto shrines, Atsuta Shrine enthralls visitors with its serene ambiance and spiritual allure. Located in Nagoya, this sacred site boasts a legacy dating back over a thousand years, enshrining the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one of the Three Imperial Regalia of Japan.

Wander through the verdant grounds and witness traditional ceremonies that embody the essence of Japanese culture and spirituality. Whether you seek tranquility or wish to explore captivating legends, Atsuta Shrine provides a soul-stirring experience.

  • Location: 1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 456-8585, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, but special events during New Year and festivals.
  • Famous For: Sacred relics, spiritual ceremonies, serene ambiance.

3. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

All aboard for a thrilling journey through Japan’s railway history at the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park! Located in Nagoya, this interactive museum celebrates the country’s pioneering railway technology.

From vintage steam locomotives to futuristic maglev trains, visitors get a fascinating insight into Japan’s engineering prowess.

Hop on simulators, explore detailed exhibits, and marvel at the full-scale Shinkansen models. This immersive experience is a must for train enthusiasts and families alike.

  • Location: 3-2-2 Kinjofuto, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 455-0848, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime for railway enthusiasts, but weekdays for fewer crowds.
  • Famous For: Shinkansen models, maglev trains, interactive exhibits.

4. Osu Shopping Street

Dive into the vibrant heart of Nagoya’s shopping scene at Osu Shopping Street. This bustling arcade, nestled in the city’s historic Osu district, offers a treasure trove of eclectic shops, charming boutiques, and delicious street food.

Get lost in the maze of shops selling everything from anime merchandise and vintage clothing to traditional crafts and electronics. Embrace the energetic atmosphere and savor local delicacies for a truly authentic experience.

  • Location: Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0011, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekends for the liveliest atmosphere and festivals.
  • Famous For: Eclectic shopping, anime merchandise, street food delights.

5. Sakae District

Embrace the vibrant pulse of Nagoya in the Sakae District, the city’s bustling entertainment hub. This dynamic area is adorned with skyscrapers, high-end boutiques, and a plethora of dining options.

Explore modern malls, catch a movie, or dine at chic cafes and restaurants. As night falls, the neon lights illuminate the streets, inviting you to delve into the city’s captivating nightlife.

  • Location: Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0008, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Evenings and weekends for the bustling atmosphere.
  • Famous For: Shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife.

6. Nagoya Port Area

Immerse yourself in a harmonious blend of maritime history and modernity at the Nagoya Port Area. The waterfront offers a splendid array of attractions, from the intriguing Nagoya Port Building with its panoramic observatory to the scenic Garden Pier, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the sea.

Explore the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium to witness a mesmerizing underwater world, or take a leisurely cruise to absorb the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

  • Location: Nagoya Port, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 455-0033, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and summer for pleasant weather and outdoor activities.
  • Famous For: Port views, Nagoya Port Building, scenic cruises.

7. Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

Discover the legacy of one of Japan’s iconic brands at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology.

Delve into the fascinating history and innovations of the Toyota Motor Corporation, from textile machinery to cutting-edge automobiles.

Engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and live demonstrations offer a captivating journey through time, showcasing the evolution of Japan’s industrial prowess.

  • Location: 4-1-35 Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 451-0051, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays for fewer crowds and a more immersive experience.
  • Famous For: Toyota’s industrial history, interactive exhibits, and technological innovations.

8. Nagoya City Science Museum

Unlock the wonders of science at the Nagoya City Science Museum, a playground for inquisitive minds of all ages. This impressive museum boasts an array of interactive exhibits, allowing visitors to delve into the realms of space, energy, and robotics.

Don’t miss the planetarium, one of the world’s largest, offering breathtaking celestial displays. Engaging and enlightening, the Nagoya City Science Museum makes learning a fun and thrilling adventure.

  • Location: 2-17-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0008, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but weekdays for a more relaxed experience.
  • Famous For: Interactive exhibits, planetarium, educational entertainment.

9. Nagoya TV Tower

Soar to new heights at the Nagoya TV Tower, an iconic landmark offering panoramic views of the city. Ascend the observation deck to capture stunning photographs, especially during sunrise and sunset when the sky comes alive with colors.

The tower stands as a symbol of Nagoya’s modernity, and its proximity to bustling streets ensures that you won’t miss any of the city’s charm.

  • Location: 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0003, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Sunrise and sunset for breathtaking views and fewer crowds.
  • Famous For: Panoramic views, city landmark, sunrise, and sunset.

10. Oasis 21

Step into a futuristic oasis at Oasis 21, a modern complex boasting stunning architecture and a floating garden. This urban retreat offers an enchanting respite with its soothing water features and captivating design.

Indulge in retail therapy at chic boutiques, relax at trendy cafes, and experience local events and performances in the heart of Nagoya.

  • Location: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 461-0005, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, but during festivals for a lively atmosphere.
  • Famous For: Modern architecture, floating garden, events and performances.

11. Tokugawa Art Museum

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of Japanese art and history at the Tokugawa Art Museum. This cultural gem houses a splendid collection of samurai artifacts, traditional costumes, and exquisite ceramics.

Admire the intricate craftsmanship and gain insight into the illustrious Tokugawa clan, a powerful ruling family during Japan’s Edo period.

  • Location: 1017 Tokugawacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 461-0023, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime for art enthusiasts, but weekdays for a more tranquil visit.
  • Famous For: Samurai artifacts, historical exhibits, Tokugawa clan heritage.

12. Nagoya City Art Museum

Dive into the realm of contemporary art at the Nagoya City Art Museum, a haven for art aficionados. This cutting-edge museum hosts a diverse range of artworks, from modern Japanese masterpieces to thought-provoking international exhibits.

Stroll through the galleries, attend engaging workshops, and embrace the creative energy that reverberates throughout this cultural hotspot.

  • Location: 2-17-25 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0008, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays for a more intimate art experience.
  • Famous For: Contemporary art, international exhibitions, creative workshops.

13. LEGOLAND Japan

Embark on an adventure of creativity and fun at LEGOLAND Japan, a dreamland for children and Lego enthusiasts. Located just outside Nagoya, this theme park offers an array of exhilarating rides, captivating shows, and awe-inspiring Lego displays.

Immerse yourself in the colorful world of bricks, where imagination knows no bounds. The park’s seven themed areas ensure endless excitement for visitors of all ages.

  • Location: 2-2-1 Kinjofuto, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 455-8605, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring and autumn for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  • Famous For: Lego displays, family-friendly rides, themed areas.

14. Shirotori Garden

Indulge in tranquility at Shirotori Garden, a serene oasis nestled in the heart of Nagoya. This traditional Japanese garden exudes elegance and harmony, featuring charming teahouses, a tranquil pond, and seasonal flowers that paint the landscape with beauty.

Unwind amidst the meticulously designed landscapes and find inner peace away from the bustle of the city.

  • Location: 2-3-3 Atsuta, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 456-0036, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Spring for cherry blossoms and autumn for vibrant foliage.
  • Famous For: Japanese garden design, teahouses, cherry blossoms.

15. Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

Dive into an enchanting underwater world at the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, a captivating marine paradise.

Located in the Nagoya Port area, this expansive aquarium houses a diverse array of aquatic creatures, from playful dolphins and graceful beluga whales to fearsome sharks.

Engaging shows and interactive exhibits provide a deeper understanding of marine life and the importance of conservation efforts.

  • Location: 1-3 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 455-0033, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Year-round, but weekdays for fewer crowds during school vacations.
  • Famous For: Dolphin and whale shows, diverse marine species, interactive exhibits.

16. Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Experience the cultural exchange between Nagoya and Boston at the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

This unique museum showcases an eclectic collection of fine arts from both Japanese and Western cultures, offering a delightful contrast and artistic harmony.

Appreciate the artistic masterpieces, attend enlightening lectures, and gain fresh perspectives on the diverse world of art.

  • Location: 1-1-1 Kanayamacho, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 456-0931, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays for a quieter visit and a more immersive experience.
  • Famous For: Cultural exchange, fine art collections, enlightening lectures.

17. Nagoya International Center

Forge connections with people from around the world at the Nagoya International Center, a melting pot of cultures and experiences.

Located in Nagoya, this center hosts cultural events, language classes, and support services for international residents.

Engage in cross-cultural exchange, learn about various traditions, and gain a deeper appreciation for global unity.

  • Location: 1-47 Koyamacho, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture 460-0004, Japan
  • Best Time to Visit: During cultural events and language classes for an immersive experience.
  • Famous For: Cultural exchange, language classes, support for international residents.

Best Time to Visit Nagoya

The best time to visit Nagoya is during spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November). These seasons offer pleasant weather, with cherry blossoms in full bloom during spring, creating a picturesque scene around the city.

Autumn brings vibrant foliage, providing a beautiful backdrop for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Avoid the hot and humid summer months and the chilly winter season for a more enjoyable and comfortable experience in Nagoya.

How to Get to Nagoya

  • By Air: Nagoya is served by the Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO), located on an artificial island in Ise Bay. It operates domestic and international flights, making it a primary gateway to the city.
  • By Train: Japan’s efficient railway system connects Nagoya to major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto. The Shinkansen (bullet train) is the fastest and most comfortable way to reach Nagoya from other parts of Japan.
  • By Bus: Long-distance buses are available from neighboring cities and regions, providing a cost-effective option for budget travelers.

Where to Stay in Nagoya

1. Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel: A luxurious 5-star hotel conveniently located above Nagoya Station, offering breathtaking city views and easy access to transportation. Elegant rooms, impeccable service, and top-notch amenities ensure a comfortable stay for both business and leisure travelers.

2. Nagoya Prince Hotel Sky Tower: Perched in the landmark Sky Tower, this modern hotel provides panoramic vistas of Nagoya. Stylishly designed rooms, delicious dining options, and proximity to shopping and entertainment make it a popular choice for visitors seeking a touch of sophistication.

3. The Royal Park Canvas Nagoya: Situated in the heart of Sakae District, this contemporary hotel features tastefully decorated rooms and a relaxed ambiance. With its central location, guests can easily explore nearby attractions and indulge in the city’s vibrant nightlife. Ideal for travelers seeking comfort and convenience at a reasonable price.

Where to Eat in Nagoya

1. Hitsumabushi Bincho Nagoya Station: Indulge in Nagoya’s famous Hitsumabushi, a savory grilled eel dish, at this renowned restaurant. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, Bincho offers a memorable dining experience, allowing you to savor the dish in three delicious ways – enjoy it on its own, with condiments, or as a flavorful rice bowl.

2. Yamachan: A must-visit for chicken wing lovers, Yamachan serves up Nagoya’s specialty tebasaki (chicken wings) in various tantalizing flavors. The restaurant’s lively ambiance, coupled with their addictive spicy and savory wings, creates an irresistible combination that keeps patrons coming back for more.

3. Sekai no Yamachan Osu Main Branch: Another gem from the Yamachan chain, this Osu Main Branch offers a vibrant atmosphere and a wide selection of tebasaki flavors. Experience the excitement of digging into a basket of juicy chicken wings while embracing the lively energy of Osu’s bustling streets.

Travel Tips & Suggestions

  • Visit Nagoya Castle during cherry blossom season for stunning views.
  • Explore Osu Shopping Street for unique souvenirs and local street food.
  • Plan a day trip to Inuyama Castle, Japan’s oldest surviving castle, located near Nagoya.
  • Experience the efficient public transportation system, including the Shinkansen for quick travel.
  • Try Nagoya’s local delicacies, such as Hitsumabushi (grilled eel) and Tebasaki (chicken wings).
  • Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting shrines and temples.
  • Learn some basic Japanese phrases to enhance communication with locals and enrich your experience.

Conclusion – Best Things to Do in Nagoya

So there you have it – the best things to do in Nagoya! From exploring the historical magnificence of Nagoya Castle to savoring the flavors of tebasaki at Yamachan, this city offers an enchanting blend of tradition and modernity.

Whether it’s witnessing the vibrant cherry blossoms in spring or relishing the autumn foliage, Nagoya promises unforgettable moments.

Embrace the warm hospitality, immerse yourself in local customs, and let the city’s allure captivate you. Pack your bags, set off on this adventure, and let Nagoya weave its magic on your journey!

FAQs – Best Things to Do in Nagoya

What are the Best Things to Do in Nagoya?

 Nagoya offers a plethora of exciting activities! Don’t miss exploring the iconic Nagoya Castle and experiencing the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park’s cutting-edge trains. Enjoy shopping at Osu Shopping Street, savor the city’s delectable tebasaki at Yamachan, and embrace the spiritual ambiance at Atsuta Shrine.

When is the Best Time to Visit Nagoya?

 The ideal times are spring for cherry blossoms and autumn for vibrant foliage. Avoid the hot and humid summer and chilly winters for a more pleasant visit.

How can I get to Nagoya?

 You can fly into Chubu Centrair International Airport, take the Shinkansen (bullet train) from major cities, or opt for long-distance buses or car rentals.

Which hotels are recommended for a stay in Nagoya?

 Consider the luxurious Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel for a prime location or the modern Nagoya Prince Hotel Sky Tower with panoramic city views. For a budget-friendly option, try The Royal Park Canvas Nagoya in Sakae District.

What are the must-try dishes in Nagoya?

 Don’t leave without tasting Hitsumabushi (grilled eel) at Hitsumabushi Bincho Nagoya Station and Tebasaki (chicken wings) at Yamachan. The flavors will leave you craving for more!

Are there any day trip options from Nagoya?

 Yes! Plan a day trip to Inuyama Castle, Japan’s oldest surviving castle, located near Nagoya. It’s a great way to explore more of the region’s history.

Any tips for visiting Nagoya’s shrines and temples?

 Be respectful and observe local customs, such as bowing and cleansing rituals. Don’t miss the opportunity to pray and make a wish for a memorable experience.
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