Nagoya is a huge, rapidly developing city with the fourth largest population in Japan. It is also alive with its own unique culture. Enjoy the linear motor car, Toyota Automobile Museum and the best observatory facility in Japan in the town that has made its place in history with a castle from the age of the samurai warrior.
Shin-Osaka -- <Tokaido Shinkansen 51 mins.> -- Nagoya -- <25 mins. by subway> -- Fujigaoka -- <Linimo 8 mins.> -- Geidai-Dori -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Toyota Automobile Museum] -- <by walk/Linimo> -- Fujigaoka -- <Subway Higashimaya Line 30 mins.> -- Shiyakusho Station -- <5 mins. by walk> -- [Nagoya Castle][Meijo Park] -- <40 mins. by walk> -- [Shirakabe Area][Tokugawa Art Museum] -- <20 mins. by bus> -- [Noritake Garden] -- <10 mins. by walk> -- Nagoya[Midland Square][JR Central Towers]
*The times required with public transportation are approximate.
Toyota Automobile Museum
Classic cars from both home and abroad are exhibited in the Toyota Automobile Museum. You can also learn about the history of the automobile from the end of the 19th century to the 20th century through observing these vehicles. A new annex displaying materials on the everyday life of Japanese people and automobiles makes for very interesting viewing.
Nagoya Castle, a symbol of Nagoya and one of the major castles of Japan, was constructed in 1609 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Edo Shogunate. The castle was destroyed in World War II, but its tower was reconstructed in 1959.
On the roof of the castle tower, with a height equivalent to an 18-story building, are “Gold Shachihoko statues” symbolizing the prestige of the Tokugawas. “Shachi” is an imaginary animal with a fish-like body and a tiger-shaped head. The interior of the castle has been made into a material archives museum, and you can see armor and reproduction models of Nagoya city area. The top floor is an observatory. After viewing the castle, take a relaxing stroll through the surrounding Japanese gardens.
Tokugawa Art Museum
The affluence of the Owari Tokugawas can also be seen at the Tokugawa Art Museum founded in 1935. Armor, headpieces, tea ceremony utensils and tools owned by the Tokugawas are exhibited. There is also a restaurant inside the museum where French cuisine is served.
On the way, you’ll pass a white-walled area that miraculously avoided any damage during the last war. It is here where the Samurai warriors serving the Tokugawas used to live, and in the modern age, the Toyota family who created the Toyota Group and Akio Morita, the founder of Sony, used to live there. Even today, there are houses and churches with centuries of history and black-painted wooden fences that remind us of the Samurai residences of the past.
Noritake Garden is run by the pottery manufacturer “Noritake”. Once you are on the premises with its bountiful greenery, you can visit the craft center demonstrating the production processes, a museum displaying “Old Noritake” masterpieces and a tableware shop. There is also a restaurant where, of course, Noritake ware is used.
The ‘Sky Promenade’ situated at a height of 220 meters is the finest rooftop observatory in Japan. Not only is the view astounding in daytime, but it is breathtaking at night.
You will also be amazed by the first see-through double-deck shuttle elevator (2-story elevator) in the world.
JR Central Towers
Opposite Midland Square stands the 245-meter-high JR Central Towers, another landmark of Nagoya and only 2 meters shorter than Midland Square. It contains the first-class ‘Takashima-ya’ Department Store, Tokyu Hands that offers various miscellaneous goods and restaurants. On the 51st floor there’s a wine lounge, restaurants and cafes, where you can spend a little time enjoying the night view.
Miso-katsu Pork Cutlets
Nagoya is also known for its unique food culture, which you will not see in any other areas of Japan. This culture is based on the red soybean paste called ‘haccho miso’. ‘tebasaki’ using chicken called Nagoya cochin, sweet and salty chicken wings, ‘miso-katsu’ pork cutlets with miso sauce, ‘miso-nikomi udon’ noodles in miso sauce, ‘kishimen’ flat udon noodles, ‘ogura toast’ with sweet bean paste and ‘ankake spaghetti’ in thick, starchy soup; all originating in Nagoya.
Another popular feature is the reasonable price of these dishes. You can visit famous restaurants in the department stores, but if you go to the Sakae area in downtown Nagoya, you will find restaurants and taverns frequented by Japanese people in their daily life.