Nagoya is one of the Japanese largest cities. Located in the center of Honshu, it is a transportation hub, servicing tourists and commuters to and from Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and just about every other famous city on the island. Though many foreigners fly into Tokyo’s Narita and Osaka’s Kansai airports, Nagoya is also home to its own international terminal, Chubu airport, which is much closer to the city than the aforementioned (both of which are about an hour by train from their respective city centers).
It is also home to one of Japan’s most beautiful castles, Nagoya-jo, fully-restored after it was burned to the ground centuries ago. The golden orcas adorning the very top of its roof are theme you’ll find in shops and souvenirs throughout the city, affectionately referred to as shachi-hou-kou. The springtime brings a beautiful blanket of pink as gardens full of cherry blossoms open around the castle grounds.
Sakae is the city’s shopping and entertainment district, less than a ten-minute subway ride from Nagoya station, on Higashiyama Line. It houses department stores and street malls featuring world-famous brands as well as Japanese brands, restaurants, cafes, video game arcades, a ferris wheel, parks, and night clubs. The Nagoya TV Tower in Central park is another famous landmark, and stands over a beer garden.
Alongside all its modern buildings, you’ll find many old temples and shrines as well, hidden in its nooks and crannies. Rivers wind through the city, and in the warm summer months, the riverbanks come alive with night markets and festivals featuring delicious food and live music. Beaches are within an hour away from the city center, and some are even famous for their surf.
Nagoya also houses numerous art, history and science museums, showcasing its rich history of art and culture. If you find yourself in Central Japan, I highly recommend getting lost in this impressive city!