Nagoya, in the region of central Honshu in Japan, is largely an industrial city, but in spite of this there are some notable sights for leisure visitors and plenty for business travellers. Originally developed hundreds of years ago as a castle town, Nagoya has blossomed into a major Japanese city that's full of thriving businesses and home to more than 2 million people.
As a large and prosperous city, Nagoya is home to a full range of hotels, from recognised global brand names in a Western style to more homely Japanese guest houses and ryokan experiences. The area of Sakae is busy with hotels and nightlife, but there are other choices as well.
There is no better place to see Nagoya's state-of-the-art side than at SCMAGLEV and Railway Park. This museum is devoted to both the past and the future of the railway industry. You will get to learn all about how Nagoya thrived as a result of railways and look at all of the newest rail designs. You can even see what it's like to drive a train in one of the many simulators!
The port area of Nagoya is slightly more modern and has been developed with tourists in mind, including the attractive aquarium and the maritime museum.
After you've returned from the future, take a look at Nagoya's past at the Nagoya Castle, which is right in the middle of the city. The castle looks a little different today than it did when it was built back in the 1600's. That's because it had to be rebuilt after World War II. However, the refurbished castle is well worth the price of admission. And, while you're inside, take a look at the grounds. They're full of native trees and plants that are beautiful anytime - but especially when they are blooming.
Head over to Sakae - one of Nagoya's downtown districts if you're looking for some fun. The area is perfect if you're looking for a day of shopping, a night out in the clubs, or a hotel room near the action.
Another must-see is the Noritake Garden, which offers a glimpse of two different Japanese worlds: the green trees of the gardens, as popular in the country, and the factory and shop for porcelain.
Eating in Nagoya
The city of Nagoya boasts an impressive selection of establishments for trying out different Japanese flavours and menus. Traditional food is relatively simple to find, and most of the places are geared towards real working lunches and dinners rather than tourists. Miso katsu is a big theme at the Yabaton restaurant, for example, and if a taste of barbecued eel is the thing, Atsuta Horaiken near the Atsuta shrine will serve up its famous hitsumabushi.
For visitors who want to get close to the night-life and entertainment in the city, there are a number of cheap Nagoya hotels in and around the Sakae area that give good access to these pleasures. The prime tourist attraction is the castle in the area of Nishi Ku, where Nagoya accommodation can also be found.