Where to stay
- Capsule Inn Nagoya, 4-1-20 Kanayama, Naka-ku; +81 52 332 2100; www.nisshinkanko.co.jp/healthy/cp/cp_english_top.htm. The largest capsule hotel in Nagoya. Do note, however, that it’s strictly for men only!
- Guesthouse MADO, 9-2-4 Arimatsu, Midori-ku; +81 90 3257 6126; www.guesthousemado.com. A cozy guesthouse offering cultural experiences. For instance, you’ll get to don a traditional kimono, and participate in ikebana (flower arrangement) lessons,
- The B Nagoya, 4-15-23 Sakae, Naka-ku; +81 52 241 1500; www.theb-hotels.com/the-b-nagoya/en/. A boutique business hotel located near Nagoya TV Tower and Sunshine Sakae.
- Hotel Androoms Nagoya Sakae, 3-6-8 Marunouchi, Naka Ward; hotel-androoms.com. Situated in the heart of the city’s bustling downtown, Hotel Androoms (opened in June 2018) offers budget-friendly rooms that boast stylish and minimalist designs. Most notably, visitors can use an open-air bath modeled after the many natural hot springs found in the country.
- Legoland Hotel, 2-7-1 Kinjofuto, Minato Ward; legoland.jp. Japan’s Legoland, a theme park devoted to the famous Denmark-born building blocks, opened up in 2017. But it wasn’t until earlier this year that a hotel themed after the toys opened for business. The Legoland Hotel sits minutes away from the main park and offers themed rooms revolving around pirates and ninjas.
- Daiwa Royal Hotel D-City, 1-2-27 Sakae, Naka Ward; daiwaroyalhotel.jp/nayabashi. This new arrival (opened in August 2018) aims to bring New York City style to Japan’s heartland. Daiwa Royal Hotel D-City’s common and private spaces reflect an easy-on-the-eyes white and aquamarine palette, ensuring that guests get to soothe the senses. There is also a women-only floor at the very top.
Where to eat
- CoCo Ichibanya Curry House, Meieki, Nakamura-ku; +81 52 588 7708, ichibanya.co.jp/english. For delicious and hearty portions of Japanese curry and rice. There are seven spice levels to choose from.
- Ebisuya, 3-20-7 Nishiki, Naka-ku; +81 52 961 3412. For absolutely mouthwatering curry cheese udon (wheat flour noodles).
- Misokatsu Yabaton, various locations; english.yabaton.com. Another chain restaurant that’s famous for its misokatsu (pork cutlet with miso sauce).
- Nanpu, 3-5-39 Marunochi, Naka-ku; nanpu.co.jp. Troop to Nanpu for authentic, affordable Okinawan fare. Goya Pizza, a noteworthy fusion dish favored by regulars, is also worth sampling. This pizza is grilled instead of baked and topped with copious amounts of bitter gourd.
- Sawasho, 1-17-13 Nishiki, Naka-ku,; +81 52 202 5655; sawasho-nagoya.com. One of the best places to try Nagoya’s famed hitsumabushi — a fragrant rice bowl topped with grilled unagi (eel), which is then drizzled with a rich sauce.
- Trattoria Cesari, Osu, Nakaku; +81 52-238-0372. If you’re in the mood for pizza, head to this Neapolitan institution for a slice or three of its award-winning Margherita pizza.
- Yamachan, various locations; yamachan.co.jp. Head to this chain restaurant for an unbeatable combination of tebasaki (chicken wings dipped in soy sauce and sugar, salted, peppered and then deep-fried twice) and cold beer.
- Yamamotoya Sohonke, B1 Nakamura-ku Daiichi Horiuchi Building, 3-25-9 Meieki; +81 52 322 0521; yamamotoya.co.jp. Said to be the creator of nikomi udon (udon soup). Its udon is made using locally-produced Hatch miso (fermented soybean paste), which imparts a distinctive aroma.
What to do
- Atsuta Shrine, 1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta-ku; +81 52 671 4151; www.atsutajingu.or.jp/en/intro. This Shinto shrine houses the sacred sword Kusunagi, which is one of three treasures that symbolize the Imperial throne. You’ll also find other cultural relics, such as costumes and mirrors.
- Nagoya Castle, 1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku; +81 52 231 1700; www.nagoyajo.city.nagoya.jp/13_english. This historic castle was almost completely destroyed by by air raids during World War II, but has since been restored. If you look hard enough, you’ll notice a pair of kinshachi (tiger-faced dolphins) ornamenting its roof!
- Nagoya City Science Museum, 2-17-1 Sakae, Naka-ku; +81 52 201 4486; www.ncsm.city.nagoya.jp/en. Spend a fun afternoon at this intriguing museum, which houses the world’s largest planetarium. It’s great for kids and adults alike.
- Nagoya TV Tower, 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-ku; +81 52 971-8546. Drink in 360-degree views of the city from the tower’s 90m-high observation deck.
- Oasis 21, 1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi-ku; +81 52 962 1011; www.sakaepark.co.jp/en. This spaceship-themed park is home to Nagoya’s highway bus terminal, shops, restaurants and an events space. Its rooftop affords visitors with great views of the city.
- Osu Shopping Street, Naka-ku. Browse hundreds of shops selling clothes, otaku wares and food at this popular destination. Aside from retail stores, you’ll also see Buddhist temples in the area.
- Port of Nagoya Aquarium, 1-3 Minato-machi, Minato-ku; +81 52 654 7080. Don’t miss the dolphin shows, where you can watch the loveable sea creatures perform spectacular stunts. There’s also the highly-anticipated penguin walk during winter months.
- The Tokugawa Art Museum, 1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku; +81 52 935 6262; www.tokugawa-art-museum.jp/english. This private museum houses exhibits from a branch of the once-ruling Tokugawa shogunate, such as swords, armor and tea ceremony utensils.