Visit Nagoya in Japan: castle, museums, art and parks

Nagoya Attractions

Nagoya Castle is located in the city of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. It was founded as a residence in 1612 for Yoshinao Tokugawa, the son of Ieyasu Tokugawa. It was burned during the war, but was reconstructed in 1959. The structure of the castle consists of chain towers with five layers of large and small towers. The castle is famous for its green roof and golden sachihoko (mythological fish) and is also a symbol of Nagoya City. The Castle, Nagoya’s main attraction

The tallest tower extends seven stories upward, with an observation room on the seventh floor. On the third and fifth floors there is a real-size exhibition of sachihoko models. Visitors can also experience what it’s like to live inside and outside the castle, use stone tools, and navigate on kago (large baskets). Here you can admire the views of the castle and learn about the city’s history at the same time. On the first floor there are painted images on sliding paper doors and other artifacts like swords and military equipment.

Nagoya Castle attraction

2. Tokugawa Garden

Tokugawa Garden is a Japanese-style garden located in the Nagoya district of Higashi, Aichi Prefecture. It was originally the mansion of the Ovari Tokugawa family and still has the ruins of the samurai residence at the main gate. Next to the garden is the Tokugawa Art Museum, which displays the scrolls of the Tale of Genji, and the Hosabunko Nagoya-shi Library, which contains manuscripts of the Tale of Genji.

In the center of the garden is a pond that symbolically depicts the natural landscape of Japan, a simplified version of a waterfall flowing into the ocean. The Daimyo Gardens of the Edo period (1603-1868) were also created primarily in this style.

The Tokugawa Gardens have a rich landscape and one can experience the grandeur of the Daimyo Gardens here. Tourists can enjoy different reliefs; there are both forests and cliffs. There are four seasons to admire: peonies bloom in April, irises from early to late June, and yellowing leaves appear in late November. It’s a great place to relax after an action-packed tour of Nagoya.

Tokugawa Garden in Nagoya

Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple

Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple is located in the Chikusa region. It is the only Buddhist temple in all of Japan that is not associated with any sect of Japanese Buddhism; all 19 sects in Japan use a rotational system in which the high priest of each sect serves three years at the temple.

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The temple was founded in 1904 to bury and preserve a stupa that had been donated by Thailand (this stupa contains the real thumb bone of Shakyamuni Buddha).

The tower in which this stupa is kept is made of stone and is an unusual building that combines elements of both Indian and Buddhist architecture.

The Nittaiji Temple is intended to symbolize good relations between the two countries. On its grounds is an image of Rama V, who donated the stupa, as well as a chamber in which the legacy of the Thai kings can be seen. Every October 23, on the anniversary of the temple’s founding, the Thai ambassador traditionally visits Japan to visit the temple.

Kakuo-zan Nittai-ji Temple

4. Meito Museum of Art

This is a private museum located in Aichi Prefecture, Nagakute. It was originally located in Nagoya, but in 1992 it was moved here and reopened as a Japanese-style art museum with a garden.

The museum has a large collection of modern Japanese paintings by various artists, including the “3 Great Japanese Beauty Artists: Shoen Uemura, Kiyokata Kaburagi and Shinsui Ito.

The museum displays famous paintings by various artists from the Meiji period (1868-1912) to the Heisei period (1989-nowadays). Among them are Gyokudo Kawai and Taikan Yokoyama. As you study the paintings, you can see how artistic styles have changed over the centuries, as well as learn about the history of Japanese paintings.

Meito Art Museum

5. Toyota Automobile Museum

The Toyota Automobile Museum was built in 1989 as part of the 50th anniversary of Toyota Motor Cooperation. Celebrating more than 100 years of gasoline-powered car history, the permanent exhibition includes not only Toyota cars, but also historic cars from around the world from the 19th and 20th centuries from various manufacturers.

The museum is divided into a “main building” and a “new building. The main building hosts exhibitions on the beginnings of automobiles, the development of automobile technology and the history of automobile culture. The new building highlights the history of Japanese automobiles and also hosts exhibitions of the company’s merchandise.

Toyota Automobile Museum

6. Shirotori Teien Garden

Shirotori Teien Garden is an authentic Japanese garden located in Atsuku Shirotori Prefectural Park, Nagoya.

It is a walking pond with a path. Among all the public parks in the Tokai region, it is the largest. The garden is in the style of the terrain of the Chubu region, and special attention is paid to the 3 Tokai prefectures (Aichi, Gifu and Mie), recreating their natural grandeur. In the western part is a hill in the shape of Mount Ontake, and the river flowing into each pond is made in the likeness of the Kiso River. The central pond and adjoining ponds are made in the likeness of Ise Bay.

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“Seiu-tei” in the main facility is a full-scale tea house made in the authentic Sukiya style. It often hosts tea parties and other events. There is also another tea house where you can drink matei tea while admiring the garden.

Shirotori Teien Garden

7. Jakko-in Temple

Founded in 654, this is the oldest temple in Owari Province. It is well known as a place of power that even Oda Nobunaga visited. The shrine is known for its blooming flowers in spring, green maple leaves in summer, beautiful colors in fall, and lingering “aura” in winter. The leaves are especially beautiful in the fall. So much so that the temple is called the “Momiji-in” or “Temple of Autumn Leaves.” There are about 1,000 maple trees growing around the main hall, and every year in the fall they delight the eye with a variety of colors.

Because of its rich natural surroundings and the nature trails that run through the land of the shrine, it has been designated a national park.

Jiakko-in Temple

8. Higashiyama Zoo

Located in the eastern Nagoya district of Chikusa-ku, Higashiyama Zoo is a municipal institution that opened in 1937. It was originally called the Zoo of the East. It also has an amusement park. It is a vast park with a zoo (main and northern), a botanical garden, the 134-meter Higashiyama Sky Tower, and an amusement park. The park is a Nagoya landmark.

Higashiyama Zoo

9. Botanical Garden Nagoya

The Botanical Garden opened in 1937. Originally there was a greenhouse, which is the oldest in Japan. It was called the Crystal Palace of the East. It has about 7,000 species of plants on display, and the entire garden was designed to transition into a natural forest.

In addition there is a plum and cherry garden, a tsubaki garden, a flower garden, and even a garden named after the famous poet and scholar of the samurai clan Owari Yokoi Yayu, the Yayu-en garden.

Nagoya Botanical Garden

10. JR-Maglev and Railway Park

JR-Maglev and Railway Park is a museum dedicated to the railroad and was founded in March 2011 in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. JR Tokai, the company that operates the Tokaido Shinkansen, also operates the museum.

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At the train exhibition, visitors can see the first Shinkansen Zero, the 100, 300 and 700 series. Here one can also look at the yellow Shinkansen 922, which is called the “Yellow Doctor.” It is used for railroad inspections, so people usually can’t see it from the inside. The 932 series train is the new “Yellow Doctor,” very popular with visitors because of its rarity.

Also on display here is an experimental JR-Maglev car for the JR-Maglev Shinkansen Central Line, scheduled for release in 2027.

In addition, you can see the Hojie 6005, the last steam locomotive in Japan, as well as many other old model trains.

JR-Maglev and Railway Park

11. Atsuta-jingu Shrine

Atsuta-jingu Shrine, located in a forest in the southern part of Nagoya city, has long been called Atsuta-san. Including tourists in recent years, this place is visited by 6.5 million people annually.

One of the three sacred treasures mentioned in Japanese mythology passing from emperor to emperor, Kusanagi no Tsurugi (the sword of Kusanagi), is buried here. The other two treasures are the mirror and the orb. This shrine became the emperor’s shrine after the shrine of Ise, which had been revered by courtiers and military leaders since ancient times.

In 113, the sword was buried. This was the year in which the shrine was founded. In 2013 it celebrated its 1900th anniversary.



Nagoya is a modern metropolis and one of the main economic centers of the Land of the Rising Sun. It is also the fourth largest city in Japan after Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka. Nagoya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Japan today with its Oriental traditions, urban architecture, fine restaurants, numerous entertainment and shopping complexes, and lively nightlife.

About Nagoya

Nagoya on a Map of Japan

Nagoya is located in the central part of Honshu Island at the following coordinates: 136.906398 degrees longitude, 35.1814464 degrees latitude. The total area of the city is 326.43 square kilometres. According to the latest data, the population of Nagoya is more than 2.3 million people.

The port of Nagoya is one of the largest in the country, with an annual cargo turnover of 120 million tons. There are two large rivers flowing through the metropolitan area, the Shonai and the Tempaku, which flow into the Ise Bay. The natural symbols of Nagoya are the lily and the camphor tree, obligatory companions of all Japanese shrines.

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Nagoya is the country's largest port

Weather conditions in Nagoya

Although the local climate is considered temperate, high humidity makes Nagoya a sweltering city. And in winter, when the cold northwest wind blows, the center of Aichi Prefecture becomes one of the coldest places in the region. Spring is the most favorable time to visit the metropolis, as the air temperature warms up to +20°C during the day and drops to +10°C at night. The bathing season begins in July, when the weather is hot with minimal precipitation.

Nature of Nagoya

What to see in Nagoya?

Nagoya city in Japan abounds with many unique attractions that attract a huge number of tourists. The most visited places are considered to be:

  • Nagoya Castle – one of the historical symbols of the city, within the walls of which the Treasure Museum is currently located;
  • Nagoya Science Museum – one of the most fascinating museums in Japan, which from the outside looks like an interesting technical exhibit;
  • Tokugawa Art Museum , where the rich possessions of the Owari imperial family are collected, including weapons, costumes, tableware, etc;
  • Osu Kannon, one of the twelfth-century Buddhist temples that preserves an ancient copy of the Japanese chronicle Kojiki;
  • Botanical Garden – the natural home to 7,000 species of seasonal plants, transitioning to natural forest, and rare birds;
  • Kiso Valley, an area at the headwaters of the river of the same name, known for its architectural monuments and craft traditions;
  • automobile museum Toyota , where tourists can consider more than 150 different exhibits on wheels and learn about new technologies of automobile construction;
  • Meiji Mura Park , called the open air museum of Meiji era buildings from all over Japan.

Entertainment and Recreation

Nagoya is a major city in Japan that will appeal to every tourist. There are plenty of opportunities for a great vacation with the kids. The city oceanarium “Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium” with large orcas and dolphins will certainly delight young travelers. You can go to sports complexes, game or entertainment centers, visit spas. There are horseback riding tracks in the city. Outdoor activities know no bounds, and a bicycle tour around Nagoya will provide a lot of unforgettable experiences.

Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium


You can choose from a large number of hotels in Nagoya in both European and national styles. Accordingly, they differ in class and price. In luxury hotels Hilton Nagoya or Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier a single room with all amenities will cost about $140. Near the train stations are business hotels. They offer rooms starting at $54 per night. Budget travelers can choose to stay in Nagoya with free breakfast such as the Nagoya Kanko Hotel or Kyoya Ryokan for $40-50 per night.

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Hilton Nagoya Hotel

Cafes and Restaurants

Most eateries in Nagoya offer national delicacies: pork cutlets in a rich miso sauce, shrimp wrapped in rice and dried seaweed, flat wide kishimen noodles, or hitsumabushi, an exotic eel dish. The price range in the city’s restaurants is quite wide. For example, at Café de Metro, you can get a large bowl of noodles for as little as $5, and a standard set of sushi for one person will cost $15. In mid-level restaurants (Desperados, La Marmite) the dinner will cost about $14.

Japanese Cuisine

Major malls are mostly located in the skyscrapers of Nagoya. At Oasis 21, JR Central Towers, or Midland Square, you can buy branded items for $100 or more. A low price may indicate that the product is made in neighboring China. Shopping aficionados should definitely visit the Osu shopping aisles, where family-run stores, thrift stores, souvenir stores, and “all for 100 yen” type stores are gathered. If you want to buy branded items at an attractive price, plan a trip to Nagoya at the change of seasons, during this time discounts reach up to 80%.

Osu Marketplace

Like most megacities in Japan, Nagoya has a fairly extensive transportation system. In addition to the subway, buses and cabs, the city has active rail lines, including private ones. These lines connect major districts with the suburbs. There is a branch line through the metropolis on which the high-speed Shinkansen train runs. Nagoya City in Japan has two airports. These are Chubu International Airport and Nagoya Airport in Komaki.

Nagoya Transport

How to get to Nagoya?

There are no direct flights from Russia to Nagoya. Travelers can take connecting flights through the capital of Japan. From Tokyo to Nagoya can be reached by both air and ground transport. Tourists arriving from Tokyo at Chubu Airport can take the Sky high-speed train to the city. It goes to Nagoya Meitetsu station and takes about 30 minutes.

Also in Japan, private tourist buses, which run day and night, can be used to travel between major cities. A bus trip from Tokyo, depending on the route and the number of stops will take about 6-8 hours.

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