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Additions To Your Photo Album: 11 Photogenic Places In Nagoya, Japan

Germaine
Updated Aug 22, 2016

Nagoya is more than just an industrial port and a Toyota manufacturer. Discover some of the most important shrines, magnificent castles, beautiful gardens and other architectural marvels in this photogenic city! This city is just a feast for the eyes and a wonderful place for urban photography! Here are a few places that will look amazing on a postcard, your instagram page or even desktop wallpaper!

Top 3 activities to book in Nagoya

Architectural gems

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1. Nagoya Castle

Why visit? - One of the top attractions in the city. - One of the largest castles in Japan.

Visit the magnificent Nagoya Castle, a white-washed building that has been standing since the Edo Period! One of the largest castles in Japan, the castle once housed the noble Tokugawa family. Within the castle there is a museum documenting the castle’s history, and outside there is a gorgeous park with impressive moats and walls with turrets surrounding the castle! Don’t worry about opening hours and fees, for the castle is most photogenic from the park that is always open and free to enter!

Tip: If you wish to take things to the next level, visit the castle grounds during the Hanami season from late March to early April for stunning shots of cherry blossoms! The Momiji season around November is also a great time to capture bright red trees in the castle’s park!

Nagoya Castle

Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 4.72 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 4:30 pm. Closed from December 29 - January 1.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 3 minutes’ walk from Shiyakusho station.

Contact: +81 52-231-1700

Nagoya City

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2. Nagoya TV Tower

Why visit? - Old landmark of Nagoya. - Stunning night view.

One of the most iconic sights in Nagoya, the Nagoya TV Tower is a must visit for night time city photography! The tower is located in the downtown district of Sakae, just a 5-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. The tower itself appears as a mini Eiffel tower standing at 180 meters (590 feet), but at night, the tower is illuminated by thousands of LED lights! Constructed in 1954, the tower was the first of its kind in the country, and was once the tallest landmark in the city (now surpassed by Midland Square). If you want panoramas of the city, climb up to the tower’s observation deck!

Tip: for the best shot of the tower, head to the rooftop of Oasis 21, a nearby mall.

Nagoya TV Tower

Address: 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 6.61 USD to the deck

Opening Hours: 10 am - 10 pm.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 30-minute walk from Nagoya Station; 5-minute train ride to Sakae Station from Nagoya Station.

Contact: +81 52-971-8546

Nagoya TV Tower

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3. Oasis 21

Why visit? - Great night time shot. - Photograph 2 attractions in one location.

Another stunning night time sight, Oasis 21 is a futuristic looking mall just next to the Nagoya TV Tower! Opened in 2002, Oasis 21 is a spaceship-inspired, environmentally friendly mall that features a plethora of shops and restaurants, and houses the highway bus terminal. At the ground level, you will be greeted by flowers and trees in the “Field of Green”. Within the mall there is a public area called “Milky Way Square”, where events are usually held. For great views of the Nagoya TV Tower and the city, climb up the “Water Spaceship” roof and walk around a large pool of water!

Tip: take a combined photo of both the mall and the tower at night to juxtapose Nagoya’s old and new iconic buildings!

Oasis 21

Address: 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: Free.

Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm. Closed on New Year’s Day.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 30-minute walk from Nagoya Station; 5-minute train ride to Sakae Station from Nagoya Station

Contact: +81 52-962-1011

Sakae Park

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4. Nagoya City Science Museum

We had such a great time in the science centre. Most of it was in Japanese but there were still a lot of interactive exhibits to play with. We saw the planetarium as well. Commentary was in Japanese so we didn't understand the words but the images and use of space is amazing.Ali-C-Cbr

Why visit? - Bizarre architecture! - Fascinating museum.

The Nagoya City Science Museum is not just intriguing on the inside but also astounding on the outside! Attached to the buildings is a colossal silver sphere, which is actually one of the largest planetariums in the world! The planetarium hosts shows on the current astronomical phenomena on its incredibly large screen. There are also various temporary and permanent exhibits in this 7-storied museum that will keep you intrigued and amazed! The museum itself is located in the scenic Shirakawa Park, where you can also find the Nagoya Art Museum, the Song of a Stream (which is a man-made river), and a solar clock!

Nagoya City Science Museum

Address: 2 -17-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 3.78 USD.

Opening Hours: 9:30 am - 5 pm. Closed on Mondays, the 3rd Friday of each month, and from December 29 - January 3.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: 13 minutes from Nagoya Station; 10 minutes’ walk from Fushimi station of Nagoya line from Nagoya station

Contact: +81 52-201-4486

Nagoya City Science Museum

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Places of worship

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5. Atsuta Shrine

Why visit? - Second-largest shrine in Japan - Important Shinto shrine!

One of the most significant shrines in the Japanese religion, Shintoism, the Atsuta Shrine is nestled in the scenic wooded park south of the city. Founded almost 2000 years ago, the shrine is the second-largest in the country, and adopts a Shinmei-zukuri architectural style similar to the Ise Shrine. It houses the Sun Goddess Amaterasu and one of the 3 most sacred objects in Shintoism; the sword Kusanagi. The shrine is associated as the protector of agriculture and hosts many festivals to celebrate good harvests. Surrounding the shrine is a large area of ancient trees, shrines and ponds that photograph very well! Check out the Nobunaga walls, a 7-meter (23 feet) tall mud wall built by Shogun Nobunaga Oda and where he prayed for victory in the Battle of Okehazama!

Atsuta Shrine

Address: 1 -1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 2.83 USD to enter the Treasure Hall.

Opening Hours: 24/7.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: 3 minutes’ walk from Jingumae station

Contact: +81 52-671-4151

Atsuta Jingu

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6. Osu Kannon Temple

Why visit? - Popular temple - National treasure

Sitting in the heart of Nagoya is the Osu Kannon Buddhist temple, which enshrines a wooden statue of the goddess of mercy, Kannon. The statue was made by Kobo Daishi himself, one of the most revered figures in Japanese Buddhism. Below the main hall is the Shinpukuji Library, where thousands of classic Japanese religious documents are kept. However, do note that taking photos inside the temple is usually prohibited, so do check with the temple personnel beforehand! On the 18th and 28th of every month, a flea market is held right outside the temple, selling all kinds of goods and wares. Right next to the temple is the Osu Shopping Arcade, another charming location lined with shopping streets and traditional decor!

Ōsu Kannon

Address: 2 -21-47 Osu, Naka Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: Free.

Opening Hours: 24/7.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: Osu Kannon station

Contact: +81 52-231-6525

Inbound Nagoya Osu

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Parks and gardens

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7. Tokugawa Garden

Source: iStock

Why visit? - Scenic landscape garden! - Visit the garden and the Tokugawa Art Museum in a day.

Named after the noble family, the Tokugawa Garden is a gorgeous Japanese garden with vast networks of walking trails. The garden is actually a restored version, as the original garden was destroyed during the war. The Kuro-mon (Black gate) was the only thing that remained standing after the war, and is over 100 years old! At the garden’s center is the Ryusenko Lake, which features rock formations, grand waterfalls, traditional wooden bridges, a restaurant, a tea house and dozens of peonies and irises! You can visit the garden alone, or purchase a combined ticket to the art museum also!

Tip: come during the spring season from April to June to see the peonies and irises in full bloom, or during the autumn season in November for the best views!

Tokugawa Garden

Address: 1001 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 2.83 USD for just the garden; from 12.75 USD for both the garden and museum.

Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm. Closed on Mondays and from December 29 - January 1.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 22 minutes from Nagoya Station. Take a 12-minute train ride on the JR Chuo Line from Nagoya Station to Ozone Station. Walk 10 minutes to destination.

Contact: +81 52 935 8988

Tokugawaen

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8. Arimatsu

Why visit? - Travel back in time to the Edo Period. - Visit the birthplace of Shibori, an ancient tie-dyeing technique.

Travel back in time at the town of Arimatsu, located southeast of Nagoya! Here in this ancient village that was lucky enough to avoid significant damage during the second World War, you can walk down the charming old streets and admire traditional wooden houses reminiscent of the Edo Period! The village is famous for Shibori, a technique involving the tie-dying of fabrics. To admire the fabrics and its intricacy, visit the Arimatsu Narumi Shibori Kaikan museum! Also, if you are lucky enough, you can catch Arimatsu’s colourful festival that occurs on the first Sunday of October, when the streets are alive with parades, floats and dancers in traditional costumes! Even if you miss it, you can still view the beautiful floats at the Arimatsu Festival Float Museum!

Arimatsu area

Address: Arimatsu, Aichi prefecture

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Just a short walk from Arimatsu Station on the Meitetsu Honsen Line.

JNTO

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9. Nabana no Sato

Why visit? - One of the largest illumination events in the country! - Impressive flower garden.

Though it is quite a distance from the city, the Nabana no Sato Flower park is definitely well worth the travel. Especially during the winter illumination events from mid-October to early May, the garden is an astonishing sight as it is lit up by 8.5 million LED lights! The attractions include the sea of lights in the field beneath a light show and the dazzling light tunnels. For the best views, head to the Island Fuji, a mobile observation deck where you have the best seats in the house! Even if you missed the winter illuminations, there is still plenty to see at Nabana no Sato! Different flowers are in bloom in different seasons, so each visit will always feel like the first! Nabana no Sato is part of Nagashima Resort, an amusement park. Please find more information in the website link below.

Nabana no Sato

Address: 270 Shitsubatake Komae, Nagashima-cho, Kuwana-city, Mie Prefecture

Price: from 15.12 USD

Opening Hours: 9 am - 9 pm.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 35 minutes from Nagoya Station. From the Meitetsu Bus Center, take a 35-minute bus ride on the bus heading to Nagashima Onsen, and alight at Nagano no Sato. The bus comes every 20-30 minutes.

Contact: +81 594-41-0787

Nagashima Resourt

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Wildlife

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10. Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

Why visit? - Photogenic marine animals! - Amazing dolphin show

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium was once a garden pier, but today, it is a massive leisure district boasting one of the best dolphin shows in the world! The aquarium features highly photogenic marine mammals, such as dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, orcas and more! Shows are scheduled regularly, but the most notable ones are the dolphin shows that are scheduled 3 times a day. Another noteworthy attraction is the Antarctic museum that features the Fuji Icebreaker, a Japanese ship that explored the Antarctic Ocean in the 20th century. You can also visit the 53 meter (174 feet) tall observatory at the Nagoya Port Building, or the Nagoya Port Sea Train Land, where you can find the largest ferris wheel in the Chubu region!

Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

Address: 1-3 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya-city, Aichi Prefecture

Price: from 18.89 USD

Opening Hours: March-November: 9.30 am - 5.30 pm; December-March: 9.30 am - 5 pm. Closed on Mondays.

Duration: around 2 hours required.

Access: 13-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. Take a 3-minute ride on the JR train from Nagoya Station to Kanayama Station. Change to the Meiko Subway Line, and alight at the Nagoyako Station 10 minutes later.

Contact: +81 52-654-7080

Nagoya Aqua

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Viewpoints

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11. Midland Square

Source: iStock

Why visit? - Tallest building in Nagoya - Views of the city’s most prominent landmarks

The tallest building in the city, Midland Square is a must-visit for a gorgeous bird’s eye view of Nagoya. Standing at 247 meters (810 feet) tall next to the Nagoya Station, the building opened in 2007, housing a multitude of shops, designer boutiques, luxury brands, cafes, restaurants and a cinema. The main attraction in the building is the Sky Promenade, an open-air deck which takes up the top 3 stories of Midland Square. From the promenade, you can see the entire city and its prominent landmarks such as the Nagoya Castle, Nagoya Port and the JR Central Towers. For an unforgettable dining experience, there are several excellent restaurants just below the Sky Promenade where you can enjoy the view in comfort!

Midland Square

Address: 4-7-1, Meieki, Nakamura-ward, Nagoya-city,

Price: from 7.08 USD

Opening Hours: March-June and October-December: 11 am - 10 pm; July-September: 11 am - 11 pm; January-February: 1 pm - 9 pm.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Just a short walk from Nagoya Station.

Contact: +81 52-527-8877

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Not just an industrial port

Though not a highly raved tourist attraction, Nagoya actually has plenty to offer for those with wanderlust! The weather is most pleasant in Nagoya from June to October, and certain attractions are especially photogenic during the Hanami season from March to April! For more ideas on things to do in Nagoya, watch the video below!

This article was originally published on Aug 13, 2016

Germaine is a free-spirited individual who likes to write and travel. She is also a TV junkie and an animal lover. She has been to several countries, and some of her favourites include Australia,...Read more

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