You know, most people that come to Japan don’t stop by Nagoya because they have heard from “who knows” that there is nothing interesting to do (even to kill time). 

Like almost everything in this world, we assure you that if you don’t see it with your own eyes you won’t believe it. You will be surprised by all the things you can experience here. Let us, local foreigners living in Nagoya, mesmerize you with the best things that you can do in Nagoya. Are you ready?

Connect With the History of Nagoya by Visiting the Most Interesting Castles.

Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle

As you will see when you visit , Nagoya Castle is one of Nagoya’s biggest sites. Even if you are not into touristy places it’s still a good place to enjoy a walk and immerse yourself in the history of Nagoya.

Nagoya Castle (名古屋城)
Entry Fee:  Adults 500 yen; 100 yen for adults over 65; free for children through Junior High School.
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 16:30 ( last admission at 16:00); closed from December 29th to January 1st.
Address:  1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031
Website | Google Maps

Kiyosu Castle

Kiyosu Castle
Kiyosu Castle in Kiyosu city

Kiyosu Castle, the castle forgotten by almost all the Aichi tour guides. It is a reconstructed castle that was once home to Oda Nobunaga, one of Japan’s great unifiers. Kiyosu Castle has a really good view of the skyscrapers around Nagoya Station from its deck.

Kiyosu Castle (清洲城)
Entry Fee:  Adults 300 yen, children (elementary school students and junior high school students) 150 yen
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 16:30 (last entry 16:00); closed Mondays unless Monday is a national holiday.
Address:  1-1 Asahishiroyashiki, Kiyosu, Aichi 452-0932
Website | Google Maps

Iwasaki Castle Nisshin

Iwasaki Castle
Iwasaki Castle in Nisshin city. Image via japanvisitor.com

It is a bit difficult to get to by public transport but if you are a history lover you will enjoy the visit. It is a reconstructed castle that was significant as a strategic point during the “Warring States” Period. But once the castle completed its mission, it was abandoned to its fate. In the  area there is also a local history museum with ceramics, samurai armor and documents about the history of the castle.

Iwasaki Castle (岩崎城)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  9:00-17:00 (Last entry 16:30) ; closed Mondays or the next day if Monday is a public holiday.
Address:  67 Iwasaki-cho Ichiba, Nisshin, Aichi 470-0131
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Get Your Goshuincho Ready for the Most Amazing Power Spots of Nagoya.

Wait! What? You don’t know what a Goshuincho is? 
A Goshuinchō (御朱印帳) is a stamp seal book. Each temple has their own signature seal. It’s a tradition of the Japanese people that you can also enjoy. You can collect all the seals while you are visiting the temples. You are going to love it!

Atsuta Jingu Shrine

Atsuta Jingu
Atsuta Jingu Shrine

This sacred shrine is one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. It venerates the goddess of the sun, Amaterasu. It also keeps one of the three imperial treasures, the sacred sword “Kusanagi” (Kusanagi no tsurugi). Unfortunately it is not open to the public but we are sure you will sense it’s presence. Also don’t be surprised if you see young Japanese couples in traditional wedding dresses, as there are a lot of weddings at the central shrine. And don’t forget to try the local Nagoya cuisine at Miya Kishimen, a finger-licking good delight directly on the grounds of the shrine. 

Atsuta Jingu Shrine (熱田神宮)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  Open 24 hours
Address:  1-1-1 Jingu, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-8585
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Osu Kannon Temple

Osu Kannon Temple
Osu Kannon Temple

A Buddhist temple and a perfect place to get lost between ancient history and the spiritual atmosphere that hides inside. You can take a walk around the temple square. Go up the stairs and purify your soul with the smoke of incense. Before going downstairs, turn around and from there you can see Osu Kannon Square and the surrounding buildings.
Note: Beware of pigeons.

Osu Kannon Temple (大須観音)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  6:00 – 19:00
Address:  2–21-47 Ōsu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0011
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Koshoji Temple

Koshiji Temple
Koshoji Temple and its great Buddha

The Buddhist temple Koshoji (興正寺) is known for its impressive 30m-tall, five-story pagoda, the oldest in Aichi Prefecture. The Koshoji also offers a tea service. There you can enjoy matcha green tea and small wagashi (a Japanese confection) while overlooking the temple’s inner garden. During spring and autumn the views are astonishing.

Koshoji Temple (八事山興正寺)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 17:00
Address:  78, Yagotohonmachi, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0825
Website | Google Maps

Toganji Temple

Toganji Temple
Toganji Temple Green Budhha

 You would not imagine that there is such a temple in the middle of the city.
Toganji is a little hidden treasure of a temple surrounded by the most peaceful atmosphere and tranquility. But the most surprising thing is that inside the temple grounds there is a 15-meter-high Green Buddha. 

Toganji Temple (桃巌寺)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  Summer 9:00-18:00, Winter 9:00-17:00
Address:  2-16 Yotsuyatori, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0819
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Get to know more about Shrines and Temples in this other article.

Do You Need to Go Shopping? From Big Department Stores to Street and Flea Markets.

Nagoya has everything to make the most of your shopping experience.

Osu Shopping District

Osu Shopping District

This is the most trendy shopping area of Nagoya! 
Osu Shopping District is the most popular shopping area in the city. And it has been for more than 400 years! Like Tokyo’s Akihabara district, Osu has a lot of stores that specialize in electronics, cosplay, mandarake, anime, J-pop and idol goods. Along its busy pedestrian shopping streets, you can also find popular vintage stores and the latest fashion and food trends. And if you are looking for a unique souvenir, here you will also find many second-hand kimono shops selling authentic kimonos, yukatas and accessories for a ridiculously cheap price.

Osu Shopping District (大須商店街)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  11:30 – 19:00
Address:  3-26 Ōsu, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0000
Website | Google Maps

Don Quijote

Don Quijote
Sakae’s Don Quijote shop

No, we are not talking about the character of Spanish literature.
Don Quijote, more commonly known as “Donki” is one of the biggest shopping chains in Japan. It offers crazy discounted products. 
At Donki there is a massive variety of products including food, snacks, cosmetic, medicine, electric products, clothes, household items, silly costumes and more. But be careful not to get stuck, because the corridors of each floor are super narrow.

Don Quijote Nagoya Sakae Shop (ドン・キホーテ 名古屋栄店)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  Open 24 hours
Address:  3-17-15 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0003
Website | Google Maps

Oasis 21

Oasis 21
Oasis 21 and surroundings

Have you noticed a Spaceship in the center of Nagoya? 
This futuristic building is an underground shopping “oasis” with many Japanese fashion stores, a Shonen Jump store, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss the views from the top of the building, especially at night.

Oasis 21 (オアシス21)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  10:00 – 21:00
Address:  1-11-1 Higashisakura, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0005
Website | Google Maps

PARCO Nagoya

PARCO Nagoya Department store

PARCO is a huge 11-floor shopping complex that puts emphasis on youth culture, art, music and fashion. Every building and floor is divided in themes with a wide variety of shops from trendy food, fashion brands, music, anime and pop culture. Literally, you will have a blast even if you are only  window shopping. Also there is a restaurant floor, a theater, a cinema and a gallery floor, too.

PARCO Nagoya (名古屋PARCO)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  11:00 – 20:00
Address:  3-29-1 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Website | Google Maps

Nagoya Station Mall 

Nagoya Station Mall
A crowded Nagoya Station Mall 

Nagoya Station has department stores like Takashimaya or Tokyu Hands, underground malls, and shopping streets. It’s busy, glamorous, delicious, smart, entertaining and will make you feel like a princess (or prince) lost in a maze.

Nagoya Station (名古屋駅)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address:  1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Website | Google Maps

Wait! In this other article you can find further information about shopping in Nagoya.

Get Away From City Life! Relax in Nagoya’s Natural Gardens and Parks.

Shirotori Garden

Shitori Garden
Inside Shirotori Garden

This Japanese garden has a unique design that makes it a cool place for chilling not far from the city. Shirotori Garden has seasonal tea ceremonies held in the traditional tea rooms overlooking its pond. 

Shirotori Garden (白鳥庭園)
Entry Fee: Adults 300 yen, junior high school students and under free
Opening Hours:  9:00 – 17:00 (last admission 16:30); closed Mondays
Address:  2-2-5 Atsuta Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 456-0036
Website | Google Maps

Tokugawa Garden

Tokugawa Garden
Tokugawa Garden

Want to know about Japan’s ancient samurai culture?
By adding Tokugawa Garden on your bucket list you will discover the treasures of the Tokugawa clan, one of the most powerful samurai families in Japan. Stroll along the lake inside the garden, walk over the wooden bridges, observe the waterfall, and take a break at the samurai tea house or the restaurant.

Tokugawa Garden (徳川園)
Entry Fee: 300 yen
Opening Hours:  9:30 – 17:30; closed Mondays
Address:  1001 Tokugawacho, Higashi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 461-0023
Website | Google Maps

Tsurumai Park

Tsuruma Park
Tsurumai Park

One of the most popular parks in Nagoya, Tsurumai park is well known for its cherry blossoms during spring and it’s variety of photo spots. It is divided into a Western-style garden and a Japanese-style garden. This makes it a unique experience because you can flip from one style to the other just by walking a bit around the park.

Tsurumai Park (鶴舞公園)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  Open 24 hours
Address:  1-1 Tsurumai, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0064
Website (Japanese) | Google Maps

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Higashiyama Park
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens during autumn leaves

Higashiyama Park is a huge park that houses more than 7,000 varieties of plants, making it one of the most complete botanical gardens in Asia. Visiting it’s greenhouses is a very cool experience because you can see plants from different environments like the desert and the jungle.

Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens (東山動植物園)
Entry Fee:  Adults 500 yen, junior high school students and under free; 640 yen with Higashiyama Sky Tower
Opening Hours: 9:00 – 16:50
Address:  3-70 Higashiyama Motomachi, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0804
Website | Google Maps

Meijo Park

Meijo Park
Meijo Park during early Sakura season

For us, Meijo Park is like the central park of Nagoya, where many go for a run or a bicycle ride or just a picnic. Because it is located next to Nagoya Castle sometimes it can be a little crowded, but also because it is a relatively large park most times you can still find a quiet place to relax.

Meijo Park (名城公園)
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours:  Open 24 hours
Address:  1-2 Meijo, Kita Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 462-0846
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Be Amazed by the Contrast of Nagoya’s Modern Buildings & Old Towns.

Nagoya Station area Buildings

Nagoya Station Buildings
Nagoya Station area Buildings from JR Towers

Nagoya JR Towers and New Towers, Midland Square, Lucent Tower, Spiral Tower, Nagoya has a huge complex of modern buildings with amazing skyscrapers from where you can have a glance at the influx of office workers, shoppers and students going out and about. This area is clearly a big shopping and entertainment district where you will never be bored.

Nagoya Station (名古屋駅)
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address:  1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Website | Google Maps

Arimatsu Town

Arimatsu Town
A shop in Arimatsu Town

During the Edo Period the Tokaido route passed through the middle of Arimatsu Town, leaving merchant buildings that are still preserved today and have been designated as Tangible Cultural Heritage. Arimatsu is also well known as the “home” of the traditional technique of “Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori”, a technique of fabric dyeing that has been perfected for more than 400 years.

Arimatsu Town (有松町)
Address:  3008, Arimatsu, Midori Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 458-0924
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Endoji Shotengai Shopping Street & Shikemichi

Endoji & Shikemichi
Walking along the Endoji Shotengai Shopping Street

Just 15 minutes walk from Nagoya Castle, the Endōji shopping district, along with Osu and Ozone Shopping district, is one of the oldest shopping districts of Nagoya. In the past, Shikemichi was a samurai and merchant housing area and nowadays still features shrines and temples dating back to more than 400 years ago.  Most old buildings are being renovated as cafes and restaurants, serving local and western food.

Endoji Shotengai Shopping Street & Shikemichi (円頓寺商店街・四家道)
Address:  6 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 451-0042
Google Maps

Find out More About the Nagoya Taste at Its Restaurants, Izakayas and Bars.

Daijin

Daijin
Small bottles of hot Japanese Sake

Daijin is the oldest izakaya in Nagoya. Established over 100 years ago where you can enjoy a fresh variety of sashimi and small dishes from the local cuisine. But here is one thing: you will not find any rice dish or any set dish. The main attraction of this izakaya is not to enjoy the food, but to enjoy drinking sake while talking with the locals.

Daijin (大甚本店)
Opening Hours:  Monday – Friday 16:00 – 21:00, Saturdays 16:00 – 20:00; closed Sunday
Address:  1-5-6 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
Google Maps

Hana no Mai Meitetsu Lejac Shop

Hana no Mai
One of the best food course of Hana no Mai Meitetsu Lejac Shop. Image via Gurunavi

This is one of the most popular izakaya chains in Japan. They have private rooms for large and small groups. And also the menu is available in English. You can order small dishes or their very popular courses with all-you-can-drink included. They serve a huge variety of food using fresh and seasonal ingredients.

Hana no Mai Meitetsu Lejac Shop (はなの舞 名鉄レジャック店)
Opening Hours:  Monday – Thursday 17:00 – 1:00 (last order 24:00), Saturdays and Sundays 16:00 – 24:00 (last order 23:00)
Address:  1−25−2 Meitetsu Lejac 2F, Meieki Minami, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Niwatoridashi Oden Samon

Niwatoridashi Oden Samon
Different kinds of tofu and Oden assortments. Image via yelp

This izakaya is so popular that it always has long lines of people waiting, but it’s really worth the wait. Samon is a bar-izakaya specialized in oden, a typical winter dish which is cooked in a light broth of Nagoya’s local chicken (“Nagoya Cochin” and “Mikawa Dori”) with kombu seaweed and soy sauce. We know from the chef that the broth slowly stews for more than 10 hours!

Niwatoridashi Oden Samon (鶏だしおでん さもん KITTE名古屋店)
Opening Hours:  11:00 – 15:00, 16:00 – 23:00
Address:  1-1-1 JP Towers Nagoya B1F, Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Kawabun

Kawabun
Kawabun entrance

Kawabun is a traditional Japanese restaurant that has more than 400 years of history. Kawabun hosts regular events that showcase unique art forms: like geisha’s dance performances, traditional Japanese parlor games, sword dance performances, etc. These performances are not only about watching, you take part in them, playing parlor games with the geishas and talking with them while they serve you drinks.

Kawabun (料亭 河文)
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00, Saturdays and Sundays 16:00 – 21:00; closed Sundays
Address: 2-12-19 Marunouchi, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0002
Website | Google Maps

Prepare for Nagoya’s Nightlife.
What? Do You Think That in Nagoya There Is No Nightlife? Take a Look at These Places and Tell Us Later.

For those not interested in sleeping, Nagoya offers clubs where you can dance the night away, drink with friends or even eat ramen very early in the morning (as Japanese usually do).

Sakae Clubs

Emporium Nagoya
A night at The Emporium disco. Image via The Emporium

Live music or dance until sunrise? Club Mago, Club JB’S, Orca Nagoya or The Emporium. Nagoya’s got it all, so make your choice.

Sakae Bars

Nagoya Bar
During a pole danc show at BJ American Dining Bar

Check out the traditional Japanese pubs in Sakae, and the best American-themed bars offering pole dance shows and DJ parties every night!

Kanayama Komachi

Kanayama Komachi
Kanayama Komachi entrance

Jump in the new complex of restaurants and bars in Kanayama with over 16 Japanese traditional restaurants. Try not to  get lost in the lights.

Kanayama Komachi (金山小町)
Address:  4-6-9 Kanayama, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0022
Website | Google Maps

Hey, look at you! You got a little bit interested in Nagoya, didn’t you?
Even if other people say otherwise, Nagoya is not boring at all, right?
Stay tuned to what it’s coming up. Meanwhile you can leave us a message or ask us anything you want to know.

More about nightlife in Nagoya here!

Are you looking for more information about Nagoya?
How about these other articles? We’re sure you will like them.

Elisabeth Llopis
About the author

Web and Graphic designer living in Aichi Prefecture for more than 10 years. Trying to do the things that she loves and living the life with passion. She is also a travel-food lover and dance lover: her great passion.