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Delve Into The Deep of Japan’s Oceans and Nagoya’s Marine Past at Nagoya Port

Nagoya Port is one of the largest ports in Japan and is located in the south part of the city of Nagoya. It holds first place in volume handled between all the ports in Japan with 196 million tons of cargo and is the country’s largest car exporter.

Along with its impressive trade success, it is also a popular destination for many cruises that visit Japan every year. On top of all that, it is also a great tourist area to visit while in Nagoya. 

Explore the Port’s Entertainment and Attractions

While Nagoya Port’s purpose has always naturally been focused on trade, in more recent years it has also turned into an entertainment and educational hub. Along with a museum that will teach you about the fascinating history of the area, there are multiple attractions for you to enjoy, including an aquarium and an amusement park amongst others. Get your wetsuit on and let’s see what it has to offer! 

Nagoya Marine Rider

The Marine Rider entering Nagoya Bay, image via Shachi Bus

For a first impression, you can catch the Nagoya Marine Rider from the Nagoya Mirai Tower (former Nagoya TV Tower) in the center of Nagoya that will take you for a ride through the city towards the port, passing the Nagoya Science Museum and Atsuta Shrine before finally reaching Nagoya Port. After you arrive, you will be driven around the port and even into the sea! Make sure you bring your waterproofs; it’s going to be a bit wet! 

Nagoya Marine Rider (名古屋マリンライダー)
Entry Fee: Adults and Junior High School students and above: 3,500 yen, Elementary School Students: 1,750 yen, Children under two years’ old: 500 yen.
Opening Hours: Tickets: 8:00 17:30. Departures from Nagoya TV Tower: 9:30/12:55/15:55
Address: 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0003
Access: Take the Meijo Line to Hisayaodori Station.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Nagoya Port Public Aquarium

A couple watching the fish at the Port of Nagoya Aquarium

If you’re interested in seeing fish somewhere other than your local supermarket or Japanese restaurant, the Nagoya Port Public Aquarium is the best place to feast your eyes on countless types of fish, dolphins, killer whales, beluga whales, and myriad other sea creatures that roam the depths between Japan and the Antarctic ocean. They can be seen throughout the aquarium in the vast water tanks or even in shows such as feeding and training sessions. There is also a movie theater that shows educational videos on sealife that’ll give you the perfect opportunity to rest your legs, too!

During the summer, the Aquarium offers a night museum visit (from mid-July to the end of August). It’s a great way to further your experience and allows you to explore the behind-the-scenes performances, like the training sessions or feeding, without the large daytime crowds.

Make sure to check out the special combo tickets that offer a discount if you plan to visit all of the attractions in the area, including Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium, Fuji Antarctic Museum, Nagoya Port Building Observation Lounge, and Nagoya Maritime Museum.

More information on pricing and activities can be found on their official website, here.  

Nagoya Port Public Aquarium  (名古屋港水族館)
Entry Fee: Adults and high school students: 2,030 yen, elementary and junior high school students: 1,010, children under 4 yrs old: 500 yen. Discounts are available; please see their website (in English) in the link below.
Opening Hours: 9:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m (mid-March through November), 9:30 a.m to 5:00 p.m (December to mid-March), 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (during Golden Week and summer holidays) *Admission ends one hour before closing time. Closed on Mondays (or the following day if Monday is a national holiday)
Address: 1-3 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0033
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station, get off at the last stop and exit the station through Exit 3.
Website | Google Maps

Step Aboard the Fuji and Discover Life As an Antarctic Surveyor 

The Antarctic Icebreaker, Fuji.

Moored in the port is the Fuji, referred to as Japan’s first “genuine icebreaker”. No, not the type that you’d use at a party to start up awkward conversations, but certainly one that you could use as such after visiting and experiencing how surveyors lived their lives out on the Antarctic ocean between 1965 and 1983. 

Currently, the ship is accessible to the public as a museum. Its bright orange hull will surely draw your eyes as you exit the station into Nagoya port, and when you enter the ship, you’ll get a strong sense of what it would have been like to be aboard all those years ago. 

Icebreaker Fuji Antarctic Museum  (南極観測船ふじ)
Entry Fee: Adults and high school students: 300 yen, elementary and junior high school students: 200 yen, children under 4 yrs old: Free. Discounts are available; please see their website (in English) in the link below.
Opening Hours: 9:30 17:00 (final entry 30 minutes before closing); closed every Monday. If Monday is a national holiday, then it will be closed on the following day.
Address: 1-9 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0033
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station, get off at the last stop and exit the station through Exit 3.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

The Maritime Museum of Nagoya

A Model of Nagoya Port Inside Nagoya Maritime Museum, image via Nagoya Aqua

Just opposite the bridge that leads to the aquarium is the Nagoya Port Building, a striking structure that houses a 53-meter-high observatory and the Nagoya Maritime Museum. The museum describes the history of Nagoya port stretching back thousands of years and also its current functions as a commercial port. 

Nagoya Port Observatory

The Nagoya Port Building with the Observatory at the Top, image via Rainmaker47

Inside the Nagoya Port Building, you’ll also be able to have a gander at the sights from high up in the Nagoya Port Observatory. If you look straight down from the observatory, you’ll have a great view of the port and incredible views of the sea to the south and Nagoya station with characteristic buildings such as Midland Square and Lucent Tower to the north along with everything else in between. 

Nagoya Port Museum and Observatory  (名古屋港ポートビル・展望室)
Entry Fee (tickets sold separately): Adults and high school students: 300 yen, elementary and junior high school students: 200 yen, children under 4 yrs old: Free. Discounts are available; please see their website (in English) in the link below.
Opening Hours: 9:30 17:00 (final entry 30 minutes before closing); closed every Monday. If Monday is a national holiday, then it will be closed on the following day.
Address: 1-9 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0033
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station, get off at the last stop and exit the station through Exit 3.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Sea Train Land

The Sea Train Land Ferris Wheel Offers Excellent Views of Nagoya Port

For amusement parks lovers, Sea Train Land is an amusement park with the largest Ferris wheel in the Chubu region, a roller coaster, and other family attractions. In the cold winter months, it holds a fantastic illumination throughout the park that is perfect for those looking for a good date spot. 

Sea Train Land  (シートレインランド)
Entry Fee: Elementary school and above: 2,500 yen, Age 3 to elementary school: 1,400 yen
Opening Hours: Varies by month. Please check their website (Japanese only).
Address: 1-5-1 Nishirakucho, Minato ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0034
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station, get off at the last stop and exit the station through Exit 3.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Jetty

JETTY’s West Building, image via 円周率3パーセント

Here you can enjoy great views of the seafront from one of the many restaurants that serve an array of Nagoya’s most popular dishes, including Miso Katsu and Kishimen, along with Bento box lunches, a variety of cafes, souvenir shops, and even a game center. 

Jetty  (JETTY)
Entry Fee: None
Opening Hours: 10:30 18:30 (some restaurants stay open later. Opening hours may vary depending on the time of year)
Address: 1-7 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0033
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station, get off at the last stop and exit the station through Exit 3.
Website | Google Maps

Lalaport

Lalaport Nagoya Minato AQULS, image via円周率3パーセント

Lalaport is one of the area’s newest buildings and can be found just north of Nagoya Port. It offers an impressive collection of shops and restaurants that may be more familiar to those coming from outside Nagoya, including Gap, Loft, and H&M. This monolithic mall has everything you need for a successful shopping spree and includes many different types of food both Japanese and western. 

Lalaport Nagoya Minato AQULS (ららぽーと 名古屋みなとアクルス)
Entry Fee: None
Opening Hours:
Shops and Food Court: 10:00 am 8:00 pm
Restaurants: 11:00 am 9:00 pm
Aoki Supermarket: 10 am 8 pm (Sundays 9:00 am 8:00 pm
Address: 2 Chome-3-2 Komei, Minato Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 455-0018
Access: Take the Meiko Line from Kanayama station and get off at Minato Kuyasho Station. If you plan to shop a lot, it might be better to go by car, and there is plenty of parking! It can get busy, so it may take some time before you get a spot.
Website | Google Maps

Festival Fun Amongst the Fishes 

The Infamous Firework Display at the Nagoya Port Festival

Nagoya port holds a number of festivals throughout the year, the most popular of which being the “Nagoya port festival” (who would have guessed?), which is held on Marine Day (Umi no Hi in Japanese), the third Monday in July. This is easily one of the most popular festivals in Nagoya. Spectacular fireworks light up the night sky and create a great atmosphere for the crowds of people who go every year to enjoy not only the fireworks but the stall food and, of course, a little bit of alcohol as well. What would a festival be without it? 

Getting To Nagoya Port

Elly posing in front of the @Nagoya sign

From Nagoya station, take the JR train line to Kanayama station. Once there, transfer to the Meiko subway line to Nagoyako (Nagoya Port) station. Be careful! Not every train on the purple line will go down to Nagoya port, so make sure you get on the right one. After you arrive, you will be within a 1-minute walk from the port itself and about a 5-minute walk to most attractions. It’s really that convenient! 


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About the author

Hailing from the British Isles, Jeremy has lived in Nagoya for 7 years with plenty of travelling across the length and breadth of Japan. He would love to share his knowledge and experience of places to visit, eat and drink in Nagoya.

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