Nagoya is such a beautiful city with parks that can rival famous European ones. It is small and not as busy as Tokyo or Osaka – perfect for a quiet getaway with friends and family.
Despite its size, though, you wouldn’t be hard pressed to fill your itinerary. Below is a list of things to do if you ever find yourself in Nagoya.
1. Browse the second hand Rolex section.
You must be saying, “What did she just say? Is she out of her mind?” Even if you’re not into expensive pre-loved watches, it’s nice to be able to look at the beautiful items without judgy eyes judging you. Japanese sales people are very polite and they welcome inquiries about the items they’re selling without scrutinizing you from head to toe.
Also, second hand Rolex watches in Nagoya are quite “affordable” and no, I’m not being snooty. I mean the resale value of some of these watches is so low that a lot of them cost less than half the price of brand new ones. So enjoy looking at the bright, shiny, sparkly things inside the display cases. Who knows? You might end up going home with one.
2. Have a sushi night.
If you’re tired of all those supermarket budget meals and can afford to splurge, have some sushi. There’s nothing better than sushi and cold beer to satisfy a hungry traveler. Also, you’re in Japan. It’d be sheer madness not to eat sushi while you’re there.
3. Be your own tour guide.
Instead of paying for a professional guide, do your own research and be your own tour guide. There are countless websites that tell you where to go. You can just buy a Me-guru One-Day Pass (850 yen metro and bus combo). The bus stops at all the must-see tourist spots in Nagoya like the Toyota Commemorative Museum, the Nagoya Castle, The Nagoya Tower and many more. It is much cheaper than, let’s say Tokyo’s one-day Hop On Hop Off which costs ¥2,500 each.
4. Go crazy at the Pokemon Center
Release your inner child and just go crazy at the Pokemon Center. It’s fun to go down memory lane and relive your childhood days when you would play with your Pokemon figures and plushies. If you play Pokemon on the Nintendo DS, you could get special Pokemon which are exclusive to the Pokemon Center.
5. Spend a few hours at the Port Nagoya Public Aquarium.
If you want half a day of reprieve from all that shopping, head on down to the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium. Don’t let the name throw you off. “Public” doesn’t mean deplorable. It’s a huge aquarium that can rival some of the world’s best. Just to sit in front of one of the many aquariums is very relaxing.
I also love the fact that bringing your own food is encouraged. There are many tables and chairs for people who have brought their own food. There are restaurants and a cafeteria on the top floors. When at the cafeteria (food court), be sure to order and pay for your food using the machine by the entrance. Ordering is easy enough. Just insert the money, choose the food you want, and get your ticket and change. Before you go back to shopping, you can take pictures of the Nagoya Port. Also, be sure to buy shrimp products from the Nagoya Shrimp Factory on your way back to the metro station.
6. Visit Don Quijote.
Ever heard of a shop that has everything? Well Don Quijote has EVERYTHING. From gym equipment to Halloween costumes, electronics to designer handbags, cosmetics to laundry detergent, and the list goes on and on. Even if you’re not big on shopping, you have to visit this place if only to take pictures. I’m telling you, you’ll go over those photos again and again and literally laugh out loud.
7. Eat strawberries.
Unless you’re allergic to them or they’re not in season, or simply can’t stand the sight, smell, and taste of them, do yourself a favor and try Japanese strawberries. They are sweet and succulent and perfect! Buy a packet or two. When you’re back in your hotel room or apartment and your stomach starts to growl you’ll be glad you bought them.
8. Go to Toki Premium Outlets.
Although not technically in Nagoya, Toki Premium Outlets is very accessible from Nagoya. Just take the JR Chuo Line to Tajimi. From there take the bus which is just outside the train station usually parked on bay number 2 not far from Family Mart. Train fare costs 670 yen, while the bus fare is 440 yen. Remember to take note of the bus schedule. Also, if you can, go on a weekday. Weekends are packed with tourists and locals alike. They are open all year round except on the third Thursday of February.
9. Go to Osu for bargain hunting.
If you love beautiful things but are not willing to pay full price, head on down to Osu. There are quite a few second hand shops that sell pre-loved items in various conditions.
You can find second hand designer watches, bags, scarves, jewelry, etc. for a steal. Komehyo is a good place to start, but there are other smaller shops that offer great deals as well. Being on vacation doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Make sure you visit Osu first before buying anything from a department store.
The Osu Kanon Temple is another reason to visit Osu. Watch people feed the myriad pigeons on the temple grounds. Marvel at how they all take flight at the same time. Make sure you watch your head, though, for the pigeons tend to fly low at times.
10. Explore Nagoya at night.
Nagoya is one of those cities which are beautiful in the daytime and at night. Take snapshots of the Nagoya Tower as it glows in the dark. The cool breeze gives you and your significant other reason to cuddle up as you walk along the main boulevard toward the tower. You can find a cozy cafe where you can enjoy a night cap, or perhaps a great sushi place where you can warm yourself up with a glass of warm sake.
By: Katy Concepcion-Wiggins