|Centrip Editorial Board

Must-See Tourist Spots in Nagoya: Centrip Japan's Complete Guide to Nagoya

Nagoya is one of the three largest cities in Japan. Nagoya has the atmosphere of a big city and a long history of Japan. Some townscapes remain as they were in the warring states period and the Edo period. The mixture of old and new is the best part of the city: the tourist spots vary from the historical to modern.

Oasis 21
Japan's #2 Spot for #instashots
Trip Advisor named Oasis 21 as its #2 spot for #instashots in Japan. The massive roof, known as the "Water Spaceship", with water flowing over its glass surface, projects rippling rays of sunlight down to the underground shopping area below. Oasis 21 lights up at night in a myriad of colors as well making it the perfect place for nighttime #instashots as well!
Nagoya Castle
Nagoya's #1 Tourist Destination
On the roof of Nagoya Castle rests a symbol of Nagoya—a pair of golden grampuses. Built by the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nagoya Castle is the first destination for most visitors to Nagoya. Next to the castle, a shopping district called "Kinshachi Yokocho" has several restaurants that serve Nagoya's most famous dishes and original desserts. A wide-ranging cast of characters that includes The Nagoya Hospitality Warriors, Tokugawa Ieyasu and Hattori Hanzo's Ninja Squad give visitors a chance to see samurai and ninjas in action.
Nagoya TV Tower
Japan's First TV Tower
The Nagoya TV Tower was built before Tokyo Tower. The Sky Deck 90-meters up from the ground along with the Sky Balcony and the observatory at 100-meters up where you can overlook the city of Nagoya, the buildings around Nagoya Station, and the Water Spaceship right below at Oasis 21. The restaurants have a gorgeous view at night.
Atsuta Jingu Shrine
A Shinto Shrine with over 1900 Years of History
Reverently referred to by the people of Nagoya as "Atsuta-san" and home to the sword Kusanagi, one of Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, visitors have come to pray at Atsuta Shrine since long ago. The Camphor Laurel tree that sits inside the shrine is said to be over 1000 years old. You can also enjoy Nagoya's famous kishimen, similar to udon noodles, at a small shop next to a pond that is enveloped in a spirtual atmosphere.
The Tokugawa Art Museum & Tokugawaen Garden
A Celebrated Garden and Relics of the Tokugawa Family
The Tokugawa Garden, a Japanese-style garden, was built over 320 years ago at the secret hideaway of then head of the Owari region, Tokugawa Mitsutomo. The Tokugawa Garden is a treat no matter which season you visit it. Next to the garden, you'll find the Tokuwaga Art Museum which houses relics and heirlooms from the Tokugawa family. Numerous famous items can be seen on display including an illustrated scroll of The Tale of Genji, which has been designated as a national treasure.
Shirotori Garden
A Miniature Japan Inside the Garden
This garden is designed to mimic the rain falling down the mountains and running into the ocean. Rocks, rivers and waterfalls in the garden show the geography of Central Japan. Throughout the year, you can enjoy seasonal plants and flowers. Many Japanese cultural events also take place here.
Cultural Path
Experience Modern Nagoya through Architecture
Entrepreneurs who contributed to Nagoya’s development from during the Taisho and Showa Periods built the houses and buildings in this area. The Shukumoku Kan has the atmosphere of Taisho Period. The Futaba Kan is a mixture of Western and Eastern culture. Kyu Haruta Tetsujiro Tei was once a Japanese-style room which was renovated to a Western-style room by the American navy.
Nagoya City Archives
The Atmosphere of the Taisho Period
Built as a courthouse 100 years ago, this is a great example of large scale modern brick architecture from the end of the Taisho period. The office is home to large continuous woven carpet, chandeliers, curtains, wallpaper, tables, and desks that have been restored to their original states. This building has been designated as a national treasure. You should not miss your chance to see the stained glass window by the central stairs. It is often used as a film location.
Noritake Forest
Birthplace of the World's Largest Ceramics Maker
This complex was built where Noritake, the world-famous, high-end ceramics maker was established. You can learn about the craft and history of Noritake here and there is a hands-on workshop to draw on pottery. The pottery here ranges from outlet items to the most sophisticated, and you can enjoy eating on Noritake dishes. The red brick factory is a must-see.
Nagoya Underground Arcade
Nagoya's Underground Arcades
The number of high-rises around Nagoya has been increasing lately but for a long time, Nagoya's been famous for the fact that you can do a lot underground. You'll find a lot of clothing stores, restaurants, dessert shops and cafes in the underground arcades downtown. You'll even find a few bars open around breakfast time.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
The Hightech History of Maglev Trains at the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
Central Japan Railways—which operates throughout the heart of Japan and the company that created the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train—presents their Railway Museum. Experience the history of trains in Japan starting with steam engine locomotives, electric railcars, the orginal bullet trains and the superconducting maglev trains set to debut in 2027. The museum also plays host to Japan's largest railway diorama and several train simulators—regular and bullet— that guests can enjoy.
Nagoya City Science Museum
The Guiness Book of World Records' Largest Planetarium
The planetarium's massive dome holds the Guiness Book of World Record for being the largest in existence. Not only is the planetarium huge, it brings a lifelike representation of our starry skies to its visitors. Museum specialists make excellent use of computer graphics and the latest in video technology in their presentations. In addition to the planetarium, the museum also boasts exhibits that let guests experience the world that exists at -30°C and a 9 meter tall man-made tornado.
Higashiyama Zoo, Botanical Gardens and the Higashiyama Sky Tower
The Widest Variety of Animals of any Zoo in Japan
Once known as "The Greatest Zoo in the East", the Higashiyama Zoo has over 80 years of history to its name. It ranks second in Japan for number of visitors annually. In recent years, one of the Higashiyama Zoo's Western Lowland gorillas named Shabani, has become an internet sensation for his handsomeness. Shabani has even had his own photo collection published. The gorilla house also sports illustrations by Dragonball creator Akira Toriyama.
Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium
Japan's Largest Aquarium
Experience the dynamic dolphin show performed in the world's largest pool— measuring 60 meters left to right, 30 meters front to back and 12 meters deep. Other guest favorites include the tornado-like school of Japanese sardines on display and the spotted seal training shows. The Nagoya Aquarium has led the way in research as well, fostering a breeding program for Loggerhead sea turtles.

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