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Travel guide – Nagoya

Japan’s fourth-largest city with a population of more than 2 million, Nagoya is an ultra-modern metropolis where you can still experience the fascinating ancient culture of Japan. Nagoya also offers visitors breath-taking views of the Japanese Alps and even white sand beaches. Enjoy a walk along the Yamazaki River, shop at one of Nagoya’s huge malls or eat great food at one of its many restaurants.

With plenty in the way of adventure, excitement and Japanese culture – as well as a host of opportunities to relax in a park or on the beach – Nagoya is a travel destination that suits just about everyone.

Nagoya Castle – a reconstructed castle, originally built in the early 17th century but which was destroyed during World War II. During your visit you can also check out the Japanese Alps. Nagoya Castle is Nagoya’s most famous landmark.

Atsuta Shrine – a traditional Shinto shrine, familiarly known as Atsuta-Sama (Venerable Atsuta).

Midland Square – Japan’s fifth-highest skyscraper at 247 metres located in the Meieki area in Nagoya, Midland Square includes a shopping mall, restaurants and a cinema – something for everyone as long as you love heights.

Port of Nagoya - one of the largest harbours in Japan and one of the city’s most popular shopping and entertainment areas. Here you’ll find a large aquarium and an amusement park.

Yamazaki River – seeing the cherry blossoms in full bloom is a must if visiting Nagoya in April.

Tokugawa Art Museum – a smaller museum that offers more than 12,000 items including Imperial costumes and swords as well as art and ceramics.

Other museums worth a visit in Nagoya are Toyota Automobile MuseumNagoya City Science Museum and Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Ise – this city is home to the most important temple in Japan, the Ise Grand Shrine, and can be reached by train from Nagoya in less than 60 minutes.

Hakuba – experience the Japan Alps. This world-famous ski region is just 3.5 hours from Nagoya.

Shinmaiko Marine Park – a 400 metre-long man-made beach less than 60 minutes from downtown Nagoya.

The bullet trains, travelling at over 300 kilometres per hour, are a convenient way of travelling between cities. For example, the trip from Nagoya to Kyoto takes only 40 minutes, to Osaka less than an hour, and to Tokyo less than two hours.

Nagoya is a genuine shopper’s paradise. Nagoya is said to be the capital of street fashion – here you can see unique styles that are quite likely to take off around the rest of the world. There are many bargains to be found among all the clothes, handbags, shoes and, of course, masses of electronic devices.

Central Park – an underground shopping area in Nagoya, where visitors can cool off on hot summer days. Shoppers can find everything they are looking for, from fashion boutiques and bookstores to cafés, restaurants and delightful meeting places.

JR Central Towers – a 245 metre-tall skyscraper offers plenty of shopping and a hotel. The first 15 floors are filled with designer boutiques and other luxury brands stores.

Oasis 21 shopping centre – one of the best shopping areas in Nagoya.

Sunshine Sakae – a major shopping and entertainment centre that caters to every shopper’s needs.

Osu Kannon – the trendiest neighbourhood in Nagoya. Everything from street fashion to electronics, antiquities and used kimonos can be found on Osu’s covered shopping streets. Also flea markets and various events are organised here.

Chikagai shopping streets – spreading under the Nagoya and Kokusai subway stations, these massive underground shopping streets are a perfect option for a rainy or windy day!

Although Nagoya is famous for its miso, a food paste consisting of soybeans, the city also offers many other exquisite local delicacies, which are largely based on noodles and deep-fried delights. Those who have had their fill of Japanese food can always pay a visit to Makudonarudo – McDonald’s Japanese style.

Tebasaki – seasoned deep-fried chicken wings are a Nagoyan specialty.

Hitsumabushi – a local specialty of eel served with rice.

Red miso – a typical lunch dish; in Nagoya, the red, slightly thicker miso is more common than the traditional white variety.

Misonikomi – dark soup with slightly hard noodles served with different combinations of vegetables and meat.

Kishimen – flat noodles served in soy sauce with fried bean curd.

Misokatsu – a fried pork cutlet served with red miso sauce.

Sashimi – raw or cooked seafood served in small appetizing pieces.

Sushi – bite-sized pieces of raw or sometimes cooked seafood with vinegar-laden rice.

Beer – is popular, as well as the cheaper alternative “Happoshu”, a beer with less malt.

Rice wine – sake or nihonshu, is well known and popular.

Finding vegetarian and non-dairy food may not be easy. There are options available, however: shojin ryori, created for Buddhist monks, is extremely tasty.

Metro – the Nagoya subway is the best way to explore the city, it is reasonably-priced and covers large areas. The metro stops in all major stations, from which visitors can also take commuter trains or buses.

Taxi – another alternative for getting around Nagoya, best used for shorter journeys or at night when local public transportation has stopped running.

Currency in Japan – yen (¥)

Cash – it is a good idea to take cash with you when visiting Nagoya. Cards are not universally accepted and not all ATMs accept foreign cards.

Electricity in Japan – flat-pin plugs are used in Nagoya, and the voltage is 100 volts.

Time zone – Nagoya (Japan) UTC/GMT +9 hours

Don’t tip – tourists are not expected to give tips in Nagoya, though service charges may apply.

Behaviour – always be pleasant and feel free to bow – this is more common than shaking hands.

Water – safe to drink everywhere.

Chūbu Centrair International Airport (NGO)

The airport is located 49km south of Nagoya.

  • Finnair flights: Check-in area B
  • Check-in opens 2 hours and 45 minutes before departure
  • Check-in closes 1 hour before departure

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