Nagoya Bucket List: Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya is the fourth largest city in Japan, and it sits in the charming Aichi region of the country. It Is very popular for being the center of the automotive industry in Japan and you are going to find all the big-name factories here. There are many things to do in Nagoya as there are many tourist attractions that you can visit.
Top 15 things to do in Nagoya
Go sightseeing at Toyota Exhibition Hall
Nagoya is famous for being the central hub for Toyota production. One of the first things to do in Nagoya when you are visiting is to go sightseeing at the exhibition hall where you will get to see 20 different vehicles that are just made at the factory. You can go on a tour which lasts for two hours where you will get to know more about the history of Toyota as a brand. You will also get to see some of the new products that Toyota is working on.
Explore Nagoya Castle
This is among the best thing to do in Nagoya, and you will have to take a detour on your journey to Kyoto. This is a true gem in this city, and it was the first Japanese Castle to be titled a National Treasure in 1930. You will learn more about the history of the Castle as you move around and explore the artifacts on each floor of the Castle. The highlight of this tour is the samurai performance you will get to see on the weekend.
Walk around Noritake Garden
This garden dates back to 1904, and it is made up of the grounds of one of the famous ceramics makers in Japan. You can check out a range of period relics like the old-fashioned kilns, and there is a gallery at this garden where you can learn more about the history of ceramics production here. The highlight of this garden is you can also make and glaze your own piece as it homes Craft Center and Museum, and you can also shop for your own ceramics items here.
Have fun at Osu Kannon and the shopping arcade
These are two attractions: a large red Buddhist temple and several covered streets with fun shops. At this attraction, you will be able to buy souvenirs for your loved ones like electronics, snacks, shoes, clothes, or even go for a bite. You can also visit the large statue of the Japanese Maneki Neko, but you should try to avoid this area if you don’t like smoking.
This is a shrine built 1900 years ago, and it was destroyed over the years before it was rebuilt in 1966. It is now famous for being one of the most important Shinto shrines. The shrine is renowned for its grass-cutting sword, which the locals believe was given to the Japanese Royal Family by Amaterasu-Omikami, the Shinto Sun Goddess. You should also make sure that you visit the Treasure Hall, which is known for its masks, paintings, and weaponry.
Explore Nagoya City Science Museum
This is one of the worthwhile things to do in Nagoya as it is a cool museum, you will love the interactive displays, and there are small performances at specified times. You will be amazed at this museum, and it is going to change your mind about science as you will be in awe of the things around you and even the entire universe.
View the city from Nagoya TV Tower
This is among the main landmarks in Nagoya, with a height of up to 180m. It is widely regarded as the oldest of its kind in Japan, and it was built even before the famous Tokyo Tower, which is in the country’s capital city. You can look over Nagoya and the neighboring Hisaya-Odori Park from the observation deck, which is at the height of 100m.
Have fun at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
This is an important shipping port for Japan, and it is a place where you get a lot of fun. At this attraction, there is a little mall with shops and restaurants, an outdoor park area, and many events are held here at certain times of the year like during the Golden week, there is a Yosakoi dancing festival, and so much more. You can also visit the aquarium in the area where you will see different species of fish.
Go sightseeing at Tokugawa Art Museum
If you love art, this is a must-see place for you while you are in Nagoya, and you will get to know about the history and culture of Japanese art from this museum. You will get to see 10,000 collections on display here, and the highlight of this museum is the art galleries dedicated to the artwork of the Shogun family. You will also get to see many cultural relics like scrolls created in the 12th century.
Watch the Nagoya Sumo Tournament
This tournament is known to take place in July for fifteen days, and one of the things to do in Nagoya is to come here and watch the game as you will get to see some of the best sumo wrestlers in Japan in action. This is a quintessential tradition in Japan, and you should ensure you look out for all the small touches like wrestlers purifying the ring by throwing salt in front of them before a match.
Go sightseeing at Arimatsu Tie-dyeing Museum.
This is among the quirky attractions in Nagoya, and you will learn everything about the traditional art of Shibori, also called tie-dyeing. You will get to see many galleries which will tell you the history of Shibori, and the highlight of the attraction is the check out the local artisans at work who will explain how the pieces are made to you. You can even try and make your own items, and it can take up to three hours based on the complexity of the design.
Visit the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical gardens
You will get to see different animals at the zoo, but many of the enclosures are small, and you can just skip this and visit the botanical garden. You will surely love the botanical garden, which is located next to the zoo, where you will enjoy the serene atmosphere. If you want to escape the city, this is the right place to come.
Explore the Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art
This is one of the best art museums in Nagoya, and it is home to collections and galleries of both Japanese and international artists. The museum’s highlight is that you will get to see art pieces painted by famous artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, and you can also check out works by Japanese artists from the 20th century to the modern-day. You will also see art pieces from the Edo period and items like ceramics, jewelry, and even paintings.
Try out the local food.
Although Nagoya is not well known for its food scene like other cities in Japan, you will still get some delicious local cuisines that you can try out nevertheless. Nagoya is well known for its miso production, a sauce made from soybeans, and you can try out the miso katsu, which is a fried pork cutlet covered in thick miso sauce. You can also try out tenmusu, a kind of shrimp tempura stuffed into the rice and coated in seaweed.
Try out the local desserts.
Although Japan is well-known for its mochi, a sticky dessert, Nagoya also has its own regional variation, which is called uiro. This is a kind of a mix of sweet and gummy treats made from glutinous rice flour mixed with sugar. The flavor from local ingredients like the matcha (green tea powder) or the azuki (red bean paste) is added to give it a taste.
Although Nagoya is well known for its automotive industry, there are many attractions that you can still visit to have fun and relax, which will make your trips worthwhile as you also learn about the city’s history along the way.
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Nagoya City Walking Tour with 1-Day Subway Pass
The best way to get to know Nagoya intimately is to walk around it! Go on a walking tour accompanied by an English-speaking tour guide, who will regale you with stories and commentary on Nagoya’s history and its attractions as you walk.
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Divided into two facilities, the Port of Nagoya Aquarium is a world-class aquarium showcasing marine life from across the globe and boasting one of the largest outdoor tanks in the world.
Do you have other recommended fun and exciting things to do in Nagoya? Please feel free to share by posting a comment below.
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