Region
Chubu
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Nagoya
Population
7,043,235

Nagoya

What's Japan's 4th largest city hiding? Lego find out!

Home to Toyota and the birthplace of pachinko, Japan’s fourth-largest city is a commercial powerhouse with a lesser-known cosmopolitan side that has plenty to offer visitors.

The capital of Aichi Prefecture in the central Chubu Region of Japan, Nagoya is a bustling hub of commerce and manufacturing. These industrial roots might be what has given Nagoya its undeserved reputation as one of the country’s most boring metropolises, however, the city is far from strictly business.

The Nagoya cityscape is graced by Nagoya Castle.

The Nagoya cityscape is graced by Nagoya Castle.

Often only seen by tourists out the window of the shinkansen (bullet train) as they travel between Tokyo and Kansai, Nagoya is a sleek, modern locale with plenty of green spaces. Its wide streets and convenient public transportation networks make the city a breeze to travel around, while its central location means it’s an ideal base for day trips to other areas of Japan.

Nagoya city's skyline with Nagoya Tower.

Nagoya city’s skyline with Nagoya Tower.

Shopping, food, and museums

Don’t be too quick to leave though, as there’s plenty to see and do here. Nagoya boasts great shopping opportunities, particularly in downtown Sakae and around Nagoya station. Be sure to stop by Oasis 21, a shopping complex nearby Nagoya Tower, with its impressive large oval glass roof structure that seemingly floats above ground level. Snap a few photos, grab some souvenirs and try some local dishes like Nagoya’s local delicacy, kishimen. These broad, flat noodles are similar to udon, and usually served in a rich broth.

What foods should you try?

Nagoya also has a number of interesting museums. These include several Toyota museums, a railway museum, the Tokugawa Art Museum, and Nagoya City Science Museum, which houses one of the largest planetariums in the world.

To get a glimpse of the city’s picturesque side, head to Tokugawa Garden (next to the art museum) and admire the seasonal flora and stunning Ryusenko Lake.

Nagoya Castle is another must-visit, particularly during the spring cherry blossom season and in the autumn when the leaves turn fiery shades of crimson. History buffs won’t want to miss the museum inside the castle, with its original murals and exhibits of samurai artifacts.

Belying its commercial image, Nagoya is also home to one of the most important Shinto shrines in the country. Atsuta Shrine houses the sacred sword Kusanagi, one of the three Imperial Regalia – the most sacred objects in Shinto and symbols of the legitimacy of the Emperor.

Nagoya, Japan - November 21 2013: Nagoya Castle was built by Ieyasu Tokugawa between 1610 - 1612, burnt down in WWII and reconstructed in 1957

Nagoya Castle is a must-see.

Theme parks

More modern attractions make for an awesome change of pace. While in Nagoya, check out some of these lively theme parks.

Yup! It's all Legos all the time at Legoland Japan

Photo by: Luka Zou Yup! It’s all Legos all the time at Legoland Japan

  • Legoland Japan, which opened in Nagoya in 2017, is the eighth Lego theme park in the world where you can even check into a Lego-themed hotel
  • Nagoya Port Sea Train Land, a bay-side family-friendly theme park with an 85-meter-tall Ferris wheel and many seasonal events
  • Dino Adventure Nagoya, another family-friendly park where you can experience life-sized robots in the form of a Tyrannosaurus and other dinosaurs in the forest
  • Nagashima Resort, which is just across the way in Mie Prefecture, is a leisure complex just outside the city with an amusement park, a water park, an onsen (hot springs) complex, a sprawling outlet mall and the Nabana no Sato flower park.
Dino Adventure Nagoya lets your see dinosaurs up close in the forest.

Photo by: maeda_motoki_1 Dino Adventure Nagoya lets your see dinosaurs up close in the forest.

That’s just the beginning of this dynamic city, which continues to transform with new and exciting sightseeing into 2020 and beyond.

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Trivia

The Top 5 Must Try Food in Nagoya

More than a stop on the JR Tokaido Shinkansen, the city of Nagoya offers tourists a delicious taste of local cuisine.

More

Things To Know

Legoland Japan

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sometimes open until 6 or 7 p.m., depending on weekends/holidays. Check their calendar for exact times: https://www.legoland.jp/en/plan-your-visit/operation-page) | Tickets: A 1-day pass starts at ¥3,300. To buy tickets, go to www.legoland.jp/en/tickets/buy-tickets

Nagoya Port Sea Train Land

Typical hours: noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends, public holidays and Golden Week (beginning of May), spring, summer and winter holidays. Closed on Mondays from November to April (However, check the official calendar for more details: www.senyo.co.jp/seatrainland/calender.html (Japanese)). Tel: 052-661-1520  |  Admission: Free, but charges apply to attractions from about ¥300 to ¥700.

Dino Adventure Nagoya

Hours: Weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday, public holiday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer until 5:30 p.m. | Closed on Mondays (The next day in the case of a public holiday and for New Year’s Holiday, Dec. 29 to Jan. 3. | Website: www.dinoadventure.jp/calendar/index.html (Japanese)  | Admission: Adults ¥800, Junior High School Students or less ¥600. Buy tickets at least one hour before close.

How To Get There

Address

Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

By train

Nagoya is a major travel hub, and well connected to other major cities in Japan. You can reach Nagoya station directly via shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo (100-110 minutes), Osaka (50-70 minutes), Kyoto (35-40 minutes), Hiroshima (135 minutes) and Fukuoka (200-210 minutes).

By bus

A cheaper option for traveling between Nagoya and other cities is by highway bus. From Tokyo the journey takes about 4 to 5 hours, and from Osaka and Kyoto it’s 2-and-a-half to 3 hours. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

By plane

Nagoya is served by the Central Japan International Airport, located on a man-made island approximately 40 kilometers south of the city. From here you can reach central Nagoya by train, taxi or airport bus.

Where To Stay

hotel androoms Nagoya Sakae
  • Naka-ku Marunouchi 3- 6-8 Nagoya-Shi, Aichi 460-0002
  • 8.9/10
  • 0.5 km
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Kuretake Inn Nagoya Hisayaodori
  • Higashi-ku Izumi 1-12-32 Nagoya-Shi, Aichi 461-0001
  • 8.4/10
  • 0.5 km
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APA Hotel Nagoya Sakae Kita
  • Naka-ku Marunouchi 3-18-30 Nagoya-Shi, Aichi 460-0002
  • 8.2/10
  • 0.7 km
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KKR Hotel Nagoya
  • Naka-ku Sannomaru 1-5-1 Nagoya-Shi, Aichi 460-0001
  • 7.9/10
  • 0.9 km
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