Nagoya is one of the biggest cities in Japan located in Aichi prefecture. Being at the convenient location between Tokyo and Osaka, many tourists visit there every year. It’s easy to access each attraction in Nagoya, so you can get around the main tourist spots in Nagoya in one or two days. Here are the best things to do in Nagoya!
When you travel to Nagoya City by highway bus or Shinkansen, you will get to Nagoya Station. Nagoya Station connects to the main spots by subways, so you can start your trip easily! If you get there in the morning, have breakfast here at the station. There are many restaurants at the buildings in and around the station. Breakfast is what Nagoya is famous for― when you order a drink, usually a bread, salad and boiled egg will come along! We recommend Konparu and KAKO BUCYO COFFEE for a tasty breakfast. Try one of the best Nagoya’s specialty Ogura Toast which is a buttered toast with sweetened red beans on top!
Do you know what is the symbol of Nagoya? It’s Shachihoko, and you can find it on the top of Nagoya Castle. Shachihoko is a legendary creature with a head of dragon and a body of fish. People set it on the castle’s roof since it is believed to protect the castle from fire.
Originally Nagoya Castle was built in 1610, but was destroyed during the war. However, Honmaru Goten was reconstructed and completed in 2018 and many visitors come to see its outstanding beauty.
5 minutes walk from Meijo Line Shiyakusho Station
Or get off at Nagoya Castle Bus Stop (Nagoya Sightseeing Rout Bus Meguru)
If you want to go shopping and drink, Sakae is a good destination for you. It is the center of Nagoya and the most urban area.
Oasis 21 is a modern facility which has some restaurants and shops, and also a convenient bus terminal. Its rooftop is called Spaceship-Aqua, where water is running on the surface of the glass. You can also enjoy the illumination on each season in the evening.
Another iconic building in Sakae is Nagoya TV Tower. Enjoy the panorama view from the observation deck at 90 meters above the ground. There are mirrors on the celling and floor at the observation deck, so that you can see the reflection of the city view. Don’t miss the project mapping at night too!
Get off at Sakae Station
Visit Osu Shotengai, where small stores and restaurants line up the street.
There are a variety of shops and restaurants such as used clothing shops, Japanese Unagi (eel) restaurant, Brazilian restaurant, Italian restaurant which is run by the world pizza making champion, and Alice in Wonderland themed concept shop etc.
It’s also fun to walk around and try some finger foods. Taiwanese fried chicken and bubble tea are popular and also Agemanbo which is a fried manju looking like a round doughnut in stick selling at manju store called Nayabashi Manju.
Get off at Osukannon Station or Kamimaezu Station
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens is about 60ha, and there is a zoo, botanical garden, small theme park and Higashiyama Sky Tower. The zoo has about 500 different species which is the biggest number in Japan. One of the popular animals is a handsome gorilla who attracts many tourists from all over Japan!
The botanical garden has about 7,000 different kinds of plants and the oldest greenhouse in Japan. At Higashiyama Sky Tower, you can look over the city of Nagoya including the TV Tower and Nagoya Dome. If the weather is clear, you can even look at Mt. Ontake and Suzuka mountain range.
3 minutes walk from Higashiyama Line Higashiyama Koen Station
7 minutes walk from Higashiyama Line Hoshigaoka Station
Opening hours 9am – 4:30pm
Monday and New Years (December 29th to January 1st) closed
Admission fee 500 yen (Adult) 100 yen (65 years old and above)
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is one of the biggest aquariums in Japan. It’s also known as one of a few aquariums where you can see a killer whale. You can learn about aquatic animals and history through each exhibition. Sardine tornado is a must-see show, the best part is over 35,000 schools of sardines move together while changing their shape as the aquarist moves the bag of their feed. Also don’t forget to watch the high level dolphin show!
5 minutes walk from Nagoyako Station
Opening hours 9:30am-5:30pm
Admission fee 2,030 yen (adult) 1,010 yen (elementary & junior high school students) 500 yen (4 years old and above)
Atsuta Jingu is one of the most important shrines in Japan. It was built over 1,900 years ago which enshrines Amaterasu Omikami who is the deity of sun and stores one of the three sacred treasures, Kusanagi no mitsurugi. This sacred sword is not open to the public but you can see over 6,000 historical items at the museum. Even though the shrine is located in the city, there is a little forest that allows you to enjoy some quiet walk at the shrine.
3 minutes walk from Meitetsu Nagoya Honsen Tokoname Line Jingumae Station
1 minute walk from Meijo Line Jingunishi Station
Nagoya City Hall
Nagoya City Hall is known as being used for many movie shoots. It’s a mix of modern and traditional style of architecture. The clock tower and Shachihoko stand proudly to overlook the city.
Inside of the building, when you enter the city hall, the marble stairs in the main hall welcome the visitors. This marble was a leftover from National Diet Building in Tokyo and there are only two places in Japan to use this marble! Another iconic place is the long corridor which is the popular place for shooting. You can visit and take pictures inside of the city hall anytime during the business hours.
Get off at Shiyakusho Bus Stop
Opening hours 8:45am-5:15pm
Tokugawaen is a beautiful Japanese garden, which was originally built in 1695 as a retirement house of Mitsutomo who was the lord of Owari. In 1931, the house and garden was donated to Nagoya City and after some reconstruction was made, Tokugawaen was opened to the public.
There is Tokugawa Art Museum adjacent to the garden, and they exhibit over 10,000 items from the collection of the Tokugawa family.
3 minutes walk from Tokugawaen Shindeki Bus Stop
Opening hours 9:30am – 5:30pm
Monday and New Years (December 29th to January 1st) closed
Admission fee 300 yen (adult), 100 yen (65 years old and above)
This Nagoya’s new attraction opened in 2017 as the first Legoland in Japan.
It’s a great family trip destination and also is getting popular as photogenic spots for its colorful lego blocks at the park. They offer many different kinds of attractions such as a lego factory tour, a small aquarium called Submarine Adventure, and Mini Land where they recreated the popular cities in Japan with lego blocks.
If you like roller coasters, try Flying NINJAGO at a new area called NINJAGO World which opened in 2019.
Aonami Line Kinjofuto Station
Opening hours 10:00- (closing time depends on the day)
Admission fee 4,600 yen (adult)~, 3,400 yen~ (children)
Japan Wonder Travel Tours
Kyoto is only a couple of hours away by car/bus and about 30 minutes away by Shinkansen from Nagoya. We offer the best tours in Kyoto with a knowledgeable English guide!
- Kyoto 4 Hours Highlight Private Walking Tour
- Kyoto Private Full Day Walking Tour
- Kyoto Food and Drink Tour @Nishiki Street & Gion
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