ITINERARIES Discover Nagoya Castles, cars, and culinary delights, Nagoya is home to a vibrant culture waiting to be explored
Visit Japan's fourth most populated city, a castle town and the heart of the country's automobile industry.
- Wandering through historic Nagoya Castle
- Sampling "hatcho miso" soybean paste, a local speciality
- Visiting Meijo Park in May to admire the wisteria in bloom
How To Get There
The city's most iconic symbol, Nagoya Castle , is one site you can't miss. One of the largest castles in the country, its construction was the catalyst for the city's expansion in the early Edo period. Inside the castle keep is a museum with exhibits covering the castle's history. In spring the surrounding area is a popular cherry blossom spot.
Surrounding the castle is Meijo Park. Filled with seasonal flowers, the park transforms throughout the year. Flower exhibits are regularly held on the grounds. Early May is a particularly good time to visit when the wisterias are in full bloom.
Step back in time by visiting the Tokugawa Art Museum . On exhibit are headpieces, armor, tea ceremony utensils and tools used by the Tokugawas, a powerful political clan. On the way to the museum, you'll pass Nagoya's white-walled area, this is where samurai warriors once lived.
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is built inside an old red-brick textile factory. It features exhibits covering the company's massive influence on the manufacturing industry since its early days as a textile company.
If you have the time to explore a little further afield, visit the Toyota Automobile Museum , where you see classic cars from Japan and abroad, and exhibits covering the history of the automobile from the end of the 19th century to the 20th.
Pay a visit to Noritake Garden to learn about Nagoya's ceramic legacy and wander through the grounds and past former factory buildings. In addition to the garden and listed red-brick warehouses, there is a small workshop where you can watch master craftsmen at work, or even have a go at decorating a pre-fired piece.
In the center of the city is Midland Square . Here you'll find the "Sky Promenade," the city's best rooftop observatory and the JR Central Towers, home to Takashimaya department store and variety of restaurants.
The dining floors of the towers are great to sample some of Nagoya’s local specialties. Try miso-katsu pork cutlets covered in red bean hatcho miso paste, kishimen flat noodles, and ogura toast, pieces of bread covered in chunky red bean spread.
For further exploration, head north to Gifu . There you'll find Hida Takayama , a practically untouched traditional city nestled in the mountains. Begin your exploration of this picturesque mountain town in the Sanmachi Historic District. You can enjoy an easy one-day trip to the area from Nagoya , or spend the night and visit nearby highlights such as the Shirakawa-go thatched-roof village, or Kanazawa , a major cultural center.