10 Things to Do in Nagoya Japan

(Last Updated On: September 3, 2023)

Are you planning a trip to Nagoya, Japan? Well, you’re in for a treat! Nagoya, Japan’s fourth-largest city, is a vibrant metropolis with a rich cultural heritage and plenty of exciting things to see and do. From exploring ancient temples to indulging in delicious local cuisines, Nagoya has something for everyone. So, grab your travel guide and get ready for an unforgettable journey through this fascinating city.

1. Explore the Shrine Grounds of Atsuta Jingu

Atsuta Jingu

Atsuta Jingu, located in Nagoya, Japan, is one of the country’s most revered Shinto shrines. Steeped in history and tradition, it is considered one of the three most sacred shrines in the nation. Atsuta Jingu’s origins can be traced back over 1,900 years, and it is believed to house the legendary Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one of the three sacred imperial regalia of Japan.

The shrine’s sprawling grounds span approximately 190,000 square meters, with lush greenery and carefully manicured gardens creating a serene and spiritual atmosphere. Visitors are greeted by a majestic torii gate, standing at an impressive 2.6 meters high and serving as a symbolic entrance to the holy grounds.

Inside, the Main Shrine Hall (Honden) stands as the principal structure, constructed in the traditional Japanese architectural style. Its stunning vermillion color contrasts beautifully with the surrounding natural beauty. Many visitors come here to offer their prayers and seek blessings for good fortune, health, and success.

Atsuta Jingu is also home to several auxiliary buildings and facilities that complement the spiritual experience. The Treasure Hall boasts a vast collection of artifacts, including ancient swords and armor, ceramics, and calligraphy, providing visitors with a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Additionally, the offering hall and purification fountain offer opportunities for visitors to engage in rituals and traditions important to the Shinto faith.

Throughout the year, Atsuta Jingu serves as a venue for various events and ceremonies, attracting both locals and tourists alike. Some of the most notable events include the New Year’s Festival, where visitors can witness traditional rituals and performances, and the “Nagoya Matsuri” festival, featuring lively parades and vibrant celebrations.

A visit to Atsuta Jingu offers not only a chance to immerse oneself in Japanese spirituality but also a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Whether it’s exploring the beautifully landscaped gardens, marveling at the historical artifacts, or simply taking a moment to reflect on the tranquility of the shrine, Atsuta Jingu provides a truly unique and culturally enriching experience for all who visit.

2. Enjoy the beautiful Noritake Garden

Noritake Garden

Noritake Garden, located in Nagoya, Japan, is a charming and picturesque destination that offers visitors a unique blend of history, art, and natural beauty. This beautifully landscaped garden is owned by Noritake, one of Japan’s most prominent and renowned manufacturers of fine porcelain and ceramics.

The garden spans over four hectares and is divided into various themed areas, each showcasing different aspects of Japanese culture and aesthetics. One of the highlights is the Noritake Museum, which provides an in-depth look into the fascinating history of the company and displays a magnificent collection of Noritake’s exquisite ceramic ware.

Strolling through the garden, visitors will encounter meticulously manicured lawns, serene ponds filled with colorful koi fish, and graceful traditional Japanese tea houses. The garden’s calm and tranquil atmosphere makes it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse oneself in nature’s serenity.

In addition to its natural allure, Noritake Garden also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year, allowing visitors to engage with Japanese culture on a more interactive level. These activities range from pottery painting classes to traditional tea ceremonies, offering guests a chance to experience the artistry and craftsmanship for which Noritake is known.

To complete the experience, Noritake Garden boasts a delightful café where visitors can savor a cup of freshly brewed tea or enjoy a meal while taking in the scenic views of the garden. The café also offers a range of delectable treats inspired by traditional Japanese cuisine, ensuring that visitors can fully indulge their senses during their visit.

Whether you are an art enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, Noritake Garden is a must-visit destination. With its rich history, stunning surroundings, and immersive cultural experiences, this beautiful garden offers a truly captivating experience for visitors of all backgrounds and interests.

3. Visit Osu Kannon

Osu Kannon is a well-known Buddhist temple located in Nagoya, Japan. It is considered one of the most significant religious sites in the country and holds great cultural and historical importance. The temple, officially known as Ozakiyama Honganji Temple, was first built in the early 14th century and has since undergone several reconstructions and renovations.

One of the main attractions of Osu Kannon is the impressive statue of Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. Standing at a height of approximately 18 meters, the statue is made of wood and features intricate details. It is believed to have been carved in the early 17th century, making it a treasured artifact of the temple.

The temple complex also houses various other buildings and structures that reflect traditional Japanese architecture. Visitors can explore the Main Hall, which is adorned with beautiful paintings and houses several important Buddhist deities. The Bell Tower and the Three-Storied Pagoda are also notable structures within the temple grounds.

Aside from its religious and architectural significance, Osu Kannon is also renowned for its lively atmosphere. The surrounding area, known as Osu Shopping Street, is a bustling market filled with shops, restaurants, and street food stalls. It offers a mix of traditional and modern vibes, attracting not only locals but also tourists from all over the world.

Throughout the year, Osu Kannon hosts various cultural events and festivals, drawing crowds of visitors. One of the most popular events is the Osu Summer Festival, which features vibrant parades, traditional music performances, and mouth-watering local delicacies. The temple’s vibrant ambiance and rich cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for individuals seeking a unique and immersive experience in Nagoya.

4. Cultural Experience at Osu Shopping District

Osu Shopping District

The Osu Shopping District, located in the heart of Nagoya, Japan, is a vibrant and bustling area that offers a unique shopping experience. This historical district has been a hub for locals and tourists alike for over four centuries. Osu Shopping District is renowned for its wide array of shops, boutiques, and specialty stores that cater to all interests and preferences. From traditional Japanese crafts and antiques to the latest fashion trends, there is something for everyone in this vibrant shopping destination.

One of the key highlights of the Osu Shopping District is its variety of second-hand and vintage stores. Here, shoppers can find hidden treasures and one-of-a-kind items from different eras. From retro clothing and accessories to vinyl records and antique furniture, these shops offer a nostalgic experience that transports visitors back in time.

Apart from the vintage stores, Osu Shopping District prides itself on its impressive selection of electronic goods. With numerous shops specializing in electronics and gadgets, technology enthusiasts will find a wide range of options to satisfy their cravings. From the latest smartphones and cameras to home appliances and gaming consoles, this district is a haven for tech-savvy individuals.

However, Osu Shopping District is not just limited to fashion and electronics. The area also boasts a variety of quirky and unique shops that offer alternative and off-beat products. From quirky novelty items to cosplay costumes and anime merchandise, this district caters to the vibrant subculture scene, attracting anime and manga enthusiasts from all over the world.

In addition to the multitude of shops, Osu Shopping District is also home to several charming cafes, restaurants, and street food stalls. After a day of exploring and shopping, visitors can indulge in delicious local cuisine or relax in a cozy cafe while immersing themselves in the lively atmosphere of the district.

Overall, Osu Shopping District is a vibrant and diverse destination that offers an extensive range of shopping opportunities. With its mix of traditional and contemporary shops, this historical district provides a unique retail experience that is both culturally rich and modern, making it a must-visit location for all shopaholics and culture enthusiasts.

5. Port Of Nagoya Public Aquarium

Port Of Nagoya Public Aquarium

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, located in Nagoya, Japan, is a renowned marine attraction that offers visitors an exciting and educational experience. With its stunning architecture and extensive collection of marine life, the aquarium attracts both locals and tourists alike.

One of the highlights of the aquarium is its impressive variety of exhibits. From the magnificent Pacific Ocean Tank, featuring a mesmerizing underwater tunnel that allows visitors to observe marine creatures up close, to the Dolphin Pool, where visitors can witness the incredible acrobatic performances of dolphins, the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium offers a diverse range of aquatic wonders.

The aquarium also strives to educate and raise awareness about marine conservation. Through various interactive displays, demonstrations, and informative signage, visitors can learn about the importance of preserving marine ecosystems and the challenges faced by our oceans. The aquarium’s commitment to conservation extends beyond its exhibits, as it actively participates in research and rehabilitation efforts, contributing to the preservation of marine life and habitats.

In addition to its exhibitions, the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium offers numerous educational programs and events. These include guided tours, lectures, and workshops, providing visitors of all ages with opportunities to deepen their understanding of marine life. The aquarium’s dedication to education ensures that visitors leave with a greater appreciation for the beauty and fragility of the marine world.

To enhance the overall visitor experience, the aquarium is equipped with amenities such as restaurants, souvenir shops, and an outdoor plaza with stunning views of the harbor. These facilities offer a welcome break for visitors, allowing them to relax and reflect on their underwater adventures.

With its commitment to conservation, diverse exhibits, and engaging educational programs, the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is more than just a tourist attraction; it is a vital institution that advocates for the protection of our oceans and fosters a love for marine life among its visitors.

6. Visit Nagoya City Science Museum

Nagoya City Science Museum

The Nagoya City Science Museum is a fascinating destination for science enthusiasts and curious minds alike. Located in Nagoya, Japan, this museum offers a wide array of interactive exhibits and educational programs that aim to inspire and engage visitors of all ages.

One of the highlights of the Nagoya City Science Museum is its massive planetarium, which is one of the largest in the world. Visitors can immerse themselves in a breathtaking journey through the universe, as the planetarium showcases an impressive collection of shows that explore various astronomical phenomena. Whether it’s soaring through the cosmos or discovering the mysteries of distant planets, the planetarium offers an awe-inspiring experience for visitors.

Another notable feature of the museum is its hands-on exhibits, which encourage visitors to actively participate in the learning process. From experiments and demonstrations to interactive displays, the museum provides a unique and engaging way to explore scientific concepts. Whether it’s unraveling the principles of physics or understanding the intricacies of biology, visitors of all ages can enjoy a fun and educational experience.

The Nagoya City Science Museum also boasts a wealth of exhibitions that cover diverse scientific disciplines. From robotics and technology to ecology and environmental conservation, the museum offers something for everyone. Visitors can learn about cutting-edge research, technological advancements, and the natural world in an informative and accessible manner.

Additionally, the museum regularly hosts special events and programs that further enhance the overall visitor experience. These include workshops, lectures, and science shows that provide deeper insights into various scientific phenomena. Whether it’s learning about the latest discoveries in astronomy or witnessing captivating experiments, the museum ensures that visitors are constantly engaged and inspired.

Overall, the Nagoya City Science Museum is a truly remarkable institution that combines education, entertainment, and exploration. With its impressive planetarium, interactive exhibits, and diverse range of programs, this museum offers a captivating and enriching experience for visitors. Whether you’re a science enthusiast or simply curious about the wonders of the natural world, a visit to the Nagoya City Science Museum is sure to leave you awe-inspired and excited about the potential of science.

7. Explore the Castle Grounds of Nagoya Castle

Exploring Nagoya Castle is a captivating journey through Japan’s rich history and architectural splendor. Located in the heart of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, this iconic castle stands as a symbol of resilience and cultural heritage.

Constructed in the early 17th century, Nagoya Castle is a magnificent testament to traditional Japanese castle design. Its imposing stone walls, intricate wooden structures, and gracefully curved roofs showcase the architectural brilliance of the Edo period. Visitors can admire the striking contrast between the castle’s elegant white façade and the lush surrounding gardens.

As you step inside, the castle’s interior reveals a treasure trove of artifacts and exhibitions, offering insights into the castle’s past. The Honmaru Palace, once the residence of the feudal lords, provides a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Japan’s elite during this era.

The castle’s commanding keep, though reconstructed following wartime destruction, offers panoramic views of Nagoya cityscape, giving visitors a chance to appreciate the city’s modernity juxtaposed with its historical roots.

Exploring Nagoya Castle is not only a visual feast but also an educational journey that deepens one’s understanding of Japan’s feudal history. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, architecture aficionado, or simply a traveler seeking cultural immersion, Nagoya Castle offers an enchanting experience that leaves a lasting impression of Japan’s enduring heritage.

8. City Views from Nagoya TV Tower

Nagoya TV Tower

Nagoya TV Tower, a prominent landmark in Nagoya, Japan, stands as a testament to the city’s modernity and cultural significance. This 180-meter-tall tower, resembling the Eiffel Tower’s design, offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the city from an unparalleled vantage point. As one ascends the tower, a sense of anticipation builds, eventually leading to breathtaking panoramic views of Nagoya’s sprawling urban landscape.

The observation decks, located at varying heights, provide a 360-degree view of the city, allowing visitors to appreciate the fusion of modernity and tradition that characterizes Nagoya. Gazing out, one can spot iconic landmarks such as Nagoya Castle, Osu Kannon Temple, and the vibrant streets of the Sakae district.

Nagoya TV Tower is not just about sightseeing; it’s also a hub for cultural events, exhibitions, and celebrations. The tower’s vibrant atmosphere, with its neon lights, adds a unique charm to the Nagoya skyline, especially at night. It’s a popular spot for romantic dates and photography enthusiasts seeking to capture the city’s essence.

For those seeking a taste of Nagoya’s rich culture and history, the tower’s ground floor houses an exhibition hall where visitors can learn about the city’s heritage. Nagoya TV Tower is more than a towering structure; it’s a symbol of Nagoya’s pride, offering a memorable experience for tourists and locals alike. Exploring this iconic landmark is an absolute must for anyone looking to connect with the heart of Nagoya.

9. Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, located in Nagoya, Japan, offers a captivating journey through the history of one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers. In just 250 words, here’s what to do when you visit:

Begin your exploration in the Textile Machinery Pavilion, where you’ll learn about Toyota’s humble origins as a textile machinery manufacturer. Marvel at the intricate machinery that revolutionized the textile industry.

Next, head to the Automobile Pavilion to witness the evolution of Toyota’s automotive innovations. From the iconic Model AA to cutting-edge hybrid technology, the exhibit showcases the brand’s remarkable progress.

Don’t miss the Technoland, an interactive area perfect for kids and adults alike. Engage in hands-on activities that illustrate key engineering concepts, making it both fun and educational.

The History Garage is a must-visit for car enthusiasts. This building features a diverse collection of vintage Toyota vehicles, providing a nostalgic look at the company’s automotive heritage.

For a deeper dive into Toyota’s production processes, explore the Toyota Production System (TPS) exhibit. Discover how lean manufacturing principles revolutionized the global automobile industry.

Take a break at the museum’s café, offering a taste of local cuisine and a relaxing atmosphere.

Before leaving, stop by the gift shop for unique souvenirs, including miniature car models and Toyota-branded merchandise.

10. Try Nagoya Cuisines

hitsumabushi

For the adventurous traveler seeking to explore Japan’s diverse culinary landscape, Nagoya is a city that promises a unique gastronomic experience. Nestled in the Chubu region, Nagoya boasts a rich culinary heritage that combines tradition with innovation, creating a delightful fusion of flavors that will tantalize your taste buds.

At the heart of Nagoya’s culinary identity lies hitsumabushi, a grilled eel dish that’s an absolute must-try. Eel is prepared meticulously, grilled to perfection, and served over a bed of steaming rice. The real magic happens when you savor it in three different ways: first, enjoy the eel and rice together; next, savor it with condiments; and finally, try it with flavorful broth. Each bite reveals a new dimension of taste, making hitsumabushi a culinary adventure in itself.

Another Nagoyan specialty is kishimen, flat and wide udon noodles served in a savory soy-based broth. The noodles are known for their unique texture and are typically garnished with green onions, tempura flakes, and sesame seeds. It’s a comforting dish that showcases Nagoya’s love for hearty flavors.

For those with a penchant for the bold and spicy, don’t miss Nagoya’s obsession with red miso. This distinct variety of miso paste is fermented longer, resulting in a rich, intense flavor that’s used in various dishes, including miso katsu, where crispy fried pork cutlets are slathered in a flavorful red miso sauce.

Nagoya’s food scene is also known for its street food culture, featuring delightful snacks like tebasaki, spicy chicken wings, and tenmusu, a combination of tempura and onigiri (rice balls).

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