Nagoya, Japan’s fourth-largest city, may not be as well-known as Tokyo or Kyoto, but it is full of hidden gems and exciting adventures waiting to be discovered. From exploring the city’s rich history to experiencing unique cultural traditions, Nagoya offers something for everyone. Let’s take a look at 25 exciting things to do in Nagoya.
Exploring Nagoya’s Rich History
Nagoya, the fourth most populous city in Japan, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back centuries. Located in the Aichi Prefecture, the city was once a castle town ruled by powerful feudal lords. If you’re interested in learning more about the city’s past, there are several must-visit historical sites.
Visit Nagoya Castle
One of the most iconic landmarks in Nagoya is Nagoya Castle, which was built in the early 1600s. The castle is a stunning example of traditional Japanese architecture, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Take a stroll around the grounds, admire the castle’s majestic exterior, and learn more about the castle’s history inside the museum. The castle was once home to the ruling Tokugawa family, who were instrumental in shaping Japan’s political and cultural landscape. The museum features exhibits on the castle’s construction, the Tokugawa family’s legacy, and the castle’s role in Japanese history.
Discover Atsuta Shrine
Atsuta Shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan, and it is home to over 70 national treasures. The shrine dates back over 1,900 years, and it is said to house the legendary sword Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. The sword is one of the three sacred treasures of Japan, and it is believed to have been used by the legendary hero Yamato Takeru. Take a walk around the peaceful grounds, and don’t forget to make a wish at the main hall. The shrine is also home to several festivals throughout the year, including the Atsuta Matsuri in June and the Niinamesai in November.
Step Back in Time at the Tokugawa Art Museum
The Tokugawa Art Museum houses an impressive collection of samurai artifacts and art from the Edo period (1603-1867). The exhibits provide a glimpse into the lifestyle and culture of the samurai, and you can also see stunning artwork such as paintings and calligraphy. The museum is located near Nagoya Castle and was founded by the Owari Tokugawa family, who were one of the three main branches of the Tokugawa clan. The museum’s collection includes swords, armor, tea ceremony utensils, and other artifacts that showcase the artistry and craftsmanship of the samurai.
Wander Through the Meiji-Mura Open Air Museum
If you’re interested in architecture and design, the Meiji-Mura Open Air Museum is a must-visit attraction. The museum features over 60 historic buildings from the Meiji era (1868-1912), including Western-style mansions, traditional Japanese houses, and even a church. Take a stroll through the beautiful grounds, and step back in time to experience life in Japan over 100 years ago. The museum also offers guided tours and hands-on workshops where you can learn about traditional crafts such as pottery and weaving.
Nagoya’s rich history is a testament to Japan’s cultural heritage and the city’s enduring legacy. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique travel experience, Nagoya has something for everyone.
Nagoya is a great place to visit with the whole family, with plenty of fun and exciting activities to keep everyone entertained.
Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled day at an amusement park or a more relaxed outing at a zoo or aquarium, Nagoya has something for everyone.
Have Fun at LEGOLAND Japan
If your kids love LEGOs, they’ll have a blast at LEGOLAND Japan. The park features over 40 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, 4D movies, and LEGO-themed play areas. Kids can build and race their own LEGO cars, or explore the LEGO castle and pirate ship. There are also plenty of food options and souvenir shops to keep everyone happy.
LEGOLAND Japan is located in the city of Nagoya, and is easily accessible by train or bus.
Meet Sea Creatures at Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is home to over 50,000 sea creatures from 500 different species. Visitors can watch dolphins perform tricks and see penguins waddling around their exhibit. The aquarium’s main attraction is a giant whale shark tank, where visitors can watch these gentle giants swim around. The aquarium is also dedicated to marine conservation, and there are educational exhibits on the causes and effects of pollution.
The aquarium is located near the port area of Nagoya, and is easily accessible by train or bus.
Explore the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
The Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens is a perfect place to spend a relaxing day with the family. The zoo is home to over 800 animals from 180 species, including elephants, giraffes, and lions. Visitors can watch the animals being fed, or take a ride on the zoo’s mini-train. Meanwhile, the botanical gardens boast a stunning collection of flowers and plants from all over the world. Kids can learn about the different types of plants and flowers, or simply enjoy running around in the open spaces.
The zoo and botanical gardens are located in the Higashiyama district of Nagoya, and are easily accessible by train or bus.
Enjoy the Rides at Nagashima Spa Land
Nagashima Spa Land is a popular amusement park that offers thrilling rides and attractions for the whole family. The park has over 40 rides, including roller coasters, water rides, and a Ferris wheel with stunning views of the surrounding area. Kids can ride the kiddie rides, or challenge themselves on the more thrilling attractions. There are also plenty of food options and souvenir shops to keep you entertained.
Nagashima Spa Land is located in the city of Kuwana, about an hour’s drive from Nagoya. It is also accessible by train or bus.
Overall, Nagoya is a great destination for families looking for a fun and memorable vacation. With its wide range of family-friendly attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Unique Cultural Experiences
One of the best things about traveling to a new place is experiencing different cultures and traditions. Nagoya offers plenty of unique cultural experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.
Learn About Japanese Craftsmanship at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
The Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is an interactive museum that showcases the history of Japan’s largest car manufacturer. The museum features exhibitions on the company’s technological innovations and manufacturing processes, as well as displays on traditional Japanese crafts such as silk weaving and pottery.
Visitors can participate in hands-on workshops where they can learn about the traditional crafts of Japan. For example, in the silk weaving workshop, visitors can try their hand at weaving their own silk scarf using traditional Japanese techniques.
In addition to the workshops, the museum also offers guided tours of the exhibits, where visitors can learn about the history of Toyota and its impact on Japanese culture and society.
Immerse Yourself in the World of Manga at the Osu Shopping District
The Osu Shopping District is a popular destination for anime and manga fans. The district is home to several anime and manga stores, as well as cosplay shops where you can rent costumes and accessories. There are also plenty of food stalls and souvenir shops, making it a great place to spend an afternoon.
But the Osu Shopping District is not just for anime and manga fans. It is also a great place to experience traditional Japanese culture. The district is home to several temples and shrines, including the Osu Kannon Temple, which dates back to the 14th century.
Visitors can participate in traditional Japanese activities such as calligraphy and flower arrangement, or try their hand at making their own Japanese sweets. The district also hosts several festivals throughout the year, including the Osu Summer Festival, which features traditional Japanese dance performances and fireworks.
Experience Traditional Japanese Theater at Nagoya Noh Theatre
Noh is a traditional Japanese musical drama that dates back over 600 years. Nagoya Noh Theatre is one of the best places to experience this art form, with regular performances and workshops for visitors. The theater also offers English-language audio guides, making it easier for non-Japanese speakers to understand the performances.
But Nagoya Noh Theatre is not just a place to watch performances. Visitors can also participate in workshops where they can learn about the history and techniques of Noh theater. They can try on traditional Noh costumes and masks, and even learn how to perform a simple Noh dance.
The theater also hosts events throughout the year, including the Nagoya Noh Festival, which features performances by some of the best Noh actors in Japan.
Participate in a Tea Ceremony at Shirotori Garden
The Japanese tea ceremony is a ritual that has been practiced for centuries, and it is a great way to experience Japanese culture firsthand. Shirotori Garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Nagoya, and it offers a traditional tea ceremony experience in a beautiful setting.
The tea ceremony at Shirotori Garden is more than just a simple cup of tea. It is a carefully choreographed ritual that is designed to promote harmony and tranquility. Visitors can learn about the history and significance of the tea ceremony, and participate in the preparation and serving of the tea.
But Shirotori Garden is not just a place to experience the tea ceremony. It is also a beautiful garden that features traditional Japanese landscaping and architecture. Visitors can stroll through the garden and enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossoms in the spring, or the colorful foliage in the fall.
Whether you’re interested in history, entertainment, or culture, Nagoya has something to offer. From exploring ancient castles to experiencing modern theme parks, this city is full of exciting adventures waiting to be discovered. So why not plan a trip to Nagoya and experience all that it has to offer?