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5 Things To Do Around Nagoya Station

The area surrounding Nagoya station is packed with things to do and see and delicious things to eat. 

By 4 min read 1

Although Nagoya, in Aichi Prefecture, is Japan’s fourth largest city, it often gets overlooked in favor of places like Tokyo or Osaka. Even locals joke that their city doesn’t have anything special to offer. That’s just not true, however. There’s plenty to see and do, from explorations of its exciting history to fun shopping experiences. Nagoya is also one of Japan’s top food cities. Its local cuisine can go head-to-head with other culinary destinations like Fukuoka or Sapporo any day.

Nagoya is in central Japan, and a stop along the Tokaido shinkansen line makes it convenient to jump from Tokyo to Kyoto. You don’t have to go far from Nagoya station to enjoy what this central city offers. History, nature and food are all available within walking distance of the station.

Nagoya Meshi Shokudo Maruhachi

Photo:
Savory eel on rice.

With its bold flavors, use of the dark-colored Hatcho miso, and hearty portions, Nagoya food is famous all over Japan. If you only have enough time for a meal, jumping off the train at Nagoya Station is worth it for this reason alone. For the Nagoya newbie, I recommend Nagoya Meshi Shokudo Maruhachi, a mini-Nagoya food court.

Located in the basement of Nagoya Lucent Tower, it features four famous local restaurants. First up (and most famous) is Yabaton, whose Hatcho miso-covered tonkatsu pork cutlet is incredible.

If chicken is more your thing, get a plate of the city’s famous tebasaki fried chicken wings at Torikai Sohonke. Nagoya is known for unagi (freshwater eel), particularly histumabushi, or grilled eel over rice. Local chain Una Takumi is represented here. Finally, finish it with a light bowl of kishimen, Nagoya’s udon (buckwheat noodles), at Kanekan.

B1F Ushijimacho Nagoya Lucent Tower, Nishi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi. - Map

Yanagibashi Central Fish Market

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Haggle for some fish.

Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market is famous for seeing a market in action and eating shockingly fresh fish. However, Nagoya has a fish market too, and unlike Toyosu, it’s located far from the boonies. In fact, Yanagibashi Central Fish Market is less than five minutes from the Nagoya Station exit on foot.

In business for more than 100 years, Yanagibashi Central Fish Market is a great way to see the engine that feeds the stomachs of an island country in action. It’s bustling and fun to just stroll around.

They offer guided tours on Friday and Saturday mornings if you want to know more. Plenty of options exist if you want to try some of the fish yourself. One of my favorites is Himono Te Rasu, located underground in Unimall Nagoya. They specialize in himono (salted and sun-dried fish).

4-15-2 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi - Map

3. Shikemichi Old Town Preservation District

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A small but charming historical street.

After all that food, you’ll likely want to get some exercise. Just a short stroll away from Nagoya Station is Shikemichi, an old town area that looks almost as it did in the Edo era. This is unusual for Nagoya, which was largely destroyed during the war, making this preserved area all the more special.

Although smack dab in the middle of bustling downtown Nagoya, it has a calm all its own, making it perfect for a post-meal walk. You can enjoy the distinct look of the warehouses, constructed from mud to withstand fires. Many also have second-floor shrines called Yanegamisama, a Nagoya tradition. Shikemichi is close to Endoji, an old-fashioned covered shopping area from the Showa area and also worth a look.

1 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi - Map

4. Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology

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Fast times near Nagoya station.

You won’t get very far in Aichi Prefecture without running into something sponsored by Toyota. In fact, the car company has an entire city named after it! So whether you’re a car nut or not, you’ll probably enjoy a visit to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology (Toyota Techno Museum for short), an excellent museum all about the company located about a 20-minute walk north of Nagoya Station.

The museum is housed in some of the company’s original loom factory buildings. Yes, Toyota began by making automatic looms and then progressed to automobiles. This is all explained in the museum in fascinating detail, with plenty of educational exhibits—including a recreation of a car factory that has to be seen to be believed. Children particularly will enjoy the museum.

4-1-35 Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi - Map

5. Nagoya Castle and Meijo Park

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Not a bad way to kill some time.

Every visit to downtown Nagoya will be complete with a stopover at Meijo Park, home to Nagoya Castle. Sitting about 30 minutes from the station on foot or 10 minutes by local subway, the castle reminds of Nagoya’s vital part in Japanese history, particularly during the Sengoku Jidai, or Warring States period. Unfortunately, because of ongoing reconstruction efforts, the current castle building was closed to the public in 2018. It will be demolished in 2024 and rebuilt wood by 2028.

The park itself is large and makes a nice place to relax. During the spring, it’s a popular spot for cherry blossom viewing. There are restaurants on the park grounds and live ninja shows on the weekends that kids will love. The park also includes the Honmaru Palace, an authentic wooden recreation of the original residence of the first lord of Owari, the feudal name for the area.

1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi - Map
Love Nagoya? What’s your favorite spot? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Moka says:

    Thank you for introducing Nagoya city, actually it’s my home town! I think it’s great Introduction to Nagoya Highlights.

    If you have chance to visit Nagoya next time, please try Nagoya Tours (https://nagoya-tours.com). It’s a private Nagoya city tour show you the highlights like mentioned here.The local guides will explain details and it will be a great experience!
    Thank you.

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