Nice to Meet You, Nagoya!

Nagoya, Kariya

The capital of Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya is known to be one of Japan’s major economic hubs. It is home to some of the biggest names in the automotive industry, including Toyota and Mitsubishi Motors. Amidst all of its modernities, pieces of history and tradition remain prevalent all over the metropolis. Explore the country’s fourth most populous city to uncover its best destinations! Here, you’ll get the best of both worlds—from an esteemed shrine in southern Nagoya to an iconic railway museum in the Minato Ward!

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Updated a year ago

Atsuta Shrine

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Founded during the reign of Emperor Keikō (Japan’s 12th emperor), Atsuta Shrine houses the legendary sword “Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi,” one of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan. The artifact is not available for public viewing; but, head to the area’s Treasure Hall to see over 4,000 relics and cultural assets! Millions of visitors from around the globe flock to the Shinto shrine annually. It gets extra crowded here during the New Year when Japanese families convene as part of tradition, so plan your visit accordingly.

  • +81526714151
  • 1 Chome-1-1 Shrine, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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Nagoya Castle

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

The Nagoya Castle, built in 1615, served as the residence of the Owari lineage. It is the most senior of the three noble houses of the Tokugawa clan, a powerful daimyō (Japanese feudal lords) family who ruled the nation until the early Meiji period. Most of the castle’s surrounding structures, including its main keep, were destroyed by the U.S. air raids during the second World War. The castle is yet to be restored to its former glory; but, come in the spring to see the area transform into a popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spot!

  • 1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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Ōsu Kannon

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Make your way to Ōsu Kannon Temple to encounter the wooden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy! The popular Buddhist temple was originally located in Gifu Prefecture before it was moved to its current site in central Nagoya. Upon entering the main hall, you’ll find a giant red lantern where worshipers tie small notes with their wishes written on them. Once you’ve left your own wish, head to the edifice’s special library to peruse over 15,000 classic Japanese and Chinese texts!

  • 2 Chome-21-47 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

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Kariya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Learn about the growth of Japan’s railway industry at SCMAGLEV and Railway Park! Owned by Central Japan Railways, the museum features a large display of rolling stocks and one of the country’s biggest railway dioramas. Try the full-size train simulators to experience what it’s like to be an actual conductor! Travel back in time as you marvel at diesel and electric railcars from the 1920s to the 1970s. A section of the museum is also dedicated to the Superconducting Magnetic Leviated Vehicle (MAGLEV) line, highlighting Japan’s future plans for a more modern rail transport system.

  • +81523896100
  • 3-2-2 Kinjofuto, Minato-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Come face-to-face with 500 different species at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens! It's one of Asia’s largest attractions, carrying a botanical garden and an amusement park under one massive roof! Say hello to the koalas at Koala Forest; interact with goats, guinea pigs, and rabbits at Friendship Square; or, walk through colorful and fragrant blooms at Flower Garden. In case you get hungry, go to the top of the Higashiyama Sky Tower for a scrumptious meal with a view!

  • +81527822111
  • 3-70 Higashiyama-motomachi, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology celebrates the history and success of automotive giant Toyota! Situated inside an old red-brick factory, the establishment is divided into two buildings. The Textile Machinery Pavilion focuses on the company’s humble beginnings as a textile machine manufacturer; and the Automobile Pavilion houses classic Toyota models like the Cedric, Corolla, and Corona. Take advantage of the English guided tours offered by the museum—they’re already part of the admission fee, anyway!

  • +81525516115
  • 4 Chome-1-35 Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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Atsuta Horaiken (Main)

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Nagoya, Japan • Recommendation • 

Established in 1873, Atsuta Horaiken takes pride in serving Nagoya’s famous specialty—hitsumabushi (櫃まぶし, grilled eel over rice). Fresh, high-quality unagi (freshwater eel) is grilled over Binchō-tan charcoal, then slathered with a secret sauce that’s been passed down over 140 years! For the ultimate experience, start by tasting the unagi as it is. Then, add the condiments provided in the set. Finally, pour in the tea and dig right in! Ask the restaurant staff for more advice; they’re happy to help!

  • +81526718686
  • 503 Godo-cho, Atsuta-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan

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About Japan

Opposites attract in Japan—ancient traditions fuse with advanced technology while minimalism meets kitsch

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