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.
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.
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?
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.
More modern attractions make for an awesome change of pace. While in Nagoya, check out some of these lively theme parks.
- 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.
That’s just the beginning of this dynamic city, which continues to transform with new and exciting sightseeing into 2020 and beyond.