Food, Shopping & History - 9 Things You Must Do In Nagoya, Japan

Food, Shopping & History - 9 Things You Must Do In Nagoya, Japan

Nagoya is located in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan, and is a famous for its unique food culture. Located just 1 hour away from Chubu Centrair International Airport within the same prefecture, it is a convenient destination as public transport can bring you to almost all of the tourist destinations within the city.

There are also various historical artefacts in Nagoya, such as Nagoya Castle and Atsuta Shrine, as well as family-friendly places like the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Here are 9 things in Nagoya that you have to do!

1. Nagoya’s famous cafe breakfast

Komeda's Coffee Masaki, in Naka, Nagoya, Aichi (2016-08-24)
Source: Photo by user Lombroso used under CC0

Nagoya is renowned for the “Kissaten Morning”, where Kissaten means a Japanese-style cafe and morning refers to breakfast. A famous Kissaten chain is Komeda’s Coffee, but Nagoya’s streets, such as the Sakae and Nagoya Station area, have numerous Kissaten for you to choose from. The breakfast sets usually come with free toasted bread or sandwiches when you order a cup of coffee, with some places serving you ogura toast, a Nagoya breakfast dish with red beans and butter on toasted bread. This is definitely a great way to kick start a day of sightseeing!

2. The golden dolphins of Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya, though a huge city, is a place filled with immense history. One of the best places to learn more about Nagoya’s history is at Nagoya Castle. It was built in 1612 by order of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the ruler who ushered in Japan’s Edo period (1603 - 1868). Located at Shiyakusho Station on the Meijo Line subway, among the important artefacts found in Nagoya Castle are the Kinshachi, or the golden dolphins, that are found on both ends of the main ridge of the castle’s roof. There are English explanations within Nagoya Castle, as well as guided tours in English.

Nagoya Castle

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

Access info: 5 minutes’ walk from Shinyakusho Station, Meijo Line subway

Opening hours: 9:00 - 16:00

Fixed holiday: Dec 29th to Jan 1st every year

Contact: +81 561-75-6977

Entrance fee: 500 JPY (4.50 USD)

Official URL

3. The oldest television tower in Japan

Nagoya Television Tower

Built in 1954, the 180-metre-high (590-foot-high) Nagoya Television Tower is the oldest television tower in Japan. With an indoor observatory at the 90-metre (295-foot) mark and an outdoor observatory at the 100-metre (328-foot) mark, you will enjoy a splendid view of the whole of Nagoya city and the mountains surrounding it. Not only is the view from the observatory fantastic, the tower is also beautifully illuminated at night. Nagoya Television Tower can either be accessed from Hisayaodori Station of the Meijo Line subway or Sakae Station of the Higashiyama Line subway, both 10 minutes from Nagoya Station.

Nagoya TV Tower

Address: 3-6-15, Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya

Access info: 10 minutes’ ride from JR Nagoya Station via Hisayaodori Station of the Meijo Line subway or Sakae Station of the Higashiyama Line subway

Opening hours: 10:00 - 21:30

Fixed holiday: please ask

Contact: +81 52-971-8546

Entrance fee: 900 JPY (8.20 USD) from 10:00 to 17:30 and 1,300 JPY (11.80 USD) from 19:00 to 21:30

Official URL

4. Walking on a spaceship at Oasis 21

OASIS 21 - オアシス21 - panoramio (1)
Source: Photo by user z tanuki used under CC BY 3.0

If you access Nagoya Television Tower via Sakae subway station, you will notice a unique building in front of the tower. Don’t worry, there are no aliens on board! The spaceship-like building is called Oasis 21, and is a 4-storey eco-friendly complex with a bus terminal, shopping mall, and a park. The “Spaceship-Aqua” located on the top floor allows you to walk around the glass roof and is also lit up at night. The sight of Nagoya Television Tower and Oasis 21 together is one of the iconic views of Nagoya. It is recommended that you visit both places together.

Oasis 21

Address: 1-11-1,Higashisakura,Higashi Ward, Nagoya

Access info: 3 minutes’ walk from Sakae metro station

Opening hours: 10:00 - 21:00

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 52-962-1011

Entrance fee: free

Official URL

5. Nagoya’s best shopping district - Osu

Located near Kamimaezu subway station, just 20 minutes from Nagoya Station, Osu has everything you can ask for. Cafés, restaurants, and street food to fill your stomach, subculture shops for your favourite manga items, shops with the latest fashion products, and even arcades. There is also an awarded Napoli Pizza chef’s restaurant and casual food stall on the backstreet of Osu shopping arcade. On top of that, Osu Kannon, a historical temple, is also found within Osu district. You definitely have to visit this place.

Osu Shopping District

Address: Tachibana, Naka Ward, Nagoya

Access info: 20 minutes’ metro ride from JR Nagoya Station

Opening hours: depends on shop

Fixed holiday: depends on shop

Contact: nil

Entrance fee: free

Official URL

6. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanic Gardens

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens 2011-10-08
Source: Photo by user Alpsdake used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanic Gardens has over 500 species of animals and even an amusement park within the compound. It was also the first zoo in Japan to have a koala exhibit, one of the favourites today. There are various events carried out throughout the year, such as the Sakura Festival in spring. It is accessible via Higashiyama subway station, just 30 minutes from Nagoya Station.

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Address: 3-70, Higashiyama-motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya

Access info: 30-minute metro ride from JR Nagoya Station

Opening hours: 9:00 - 16:50 (last entry 16:30)

Fixed holiday: Mondays and Dec 29th to Jan 1st every year

Contact: +81 52-782-2111

Entrance fee: 500 JPY (4.50 USD)

Official URL

7. The historical Atsuta Shrine

Atsuta jingu shrine , 熱田神宮 - panoramio (9)
Source: Photo by user z tanuki used under CC BY 3.0

Just 6 minutes from Nagoya Station via the Meijo subway line, Atsuta Shrine is located right outside Jingumae Station. The serene atmosphere from the tall trees and chirping birds once you step into the shrine compound makes it hard to believe you are still in the city. With over 1,900 years of history, Atsuta Shrine has been a place of worship for a long period of time, making it one of the most important shrines in Japan. You can also try the kishimen noodles - another of Nagoya’s famous dishes - at the eatery within the shrine compound.

Atsuta Shrine

Address: 1 Chome-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya

Access info: In front of JR Atsuta Station, which is 2 stops from JR Nagoya Station

Opening hours: all day

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 52-671-4151

Entrance fee: free

Official URL

8. Nagoya’s original pork cutlet - miso katsu

Miso Katsu by jetalone in Nagoya
Source: Photo by user jetalone from Nagoya used under CC BY 2.0

Miso katsu is a dish with miso gravy poured over pork cutlet, and is another one of Nagoya’s dishes. Among the numerous canteens and restaurants in Nagoya that are famous for miso katsu is a restaurant chain called Yabaton, with outlets located at convenient places such as Nagoya Station and in Osu district.

9. Nagoya’s best chicken wings: Furaibou vs Yamachan

Furaibo Tebasaki
Source: Photo by user Nissy-KITAQ used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another of Nagoya’s famous dishes is tebasaki, or chicken wings. The two greatest franchise stores in Nagoya are Furaibou and Yamachan, both located at various places around the city. If you do not have time to visit both stores, you can make your way to Nagoya Station where there are takeaway stalls of both Furaibou and Yamachan at the station’s building, Kintetsu Pass’e, and Meitetsu Hyakkaten Department Store respectively.

Nagoya - convenient yet filled with excitement

Miso katsu, tebasaki, ogura toast, kishimen noodles … the food list goes on! Nagoya is overflowing with delectable dishes. With delicious food to keep your stomach filled throughout the day, you should definitely consider travelling around Nagoya. Furthermore, all the popular destinations are located close to Nagoya Station and are mostly accessible via subway, saving a lot of travelling time. Conveniently located in the middle of other tourist destinations, such as the Kyoto / Osaka region and Tokyo, Nagoya is a great place to spend about 2 to 3 days before continuing to your next destination!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

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