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Top Activities in Nagoya

See all 83 things to do in Nagoya

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Nagoya Attractions

Nagoya is Japan's fourth most populous city and the capital of the Aichi Prefecture. While not as flashy as Tokyo or nearby Osaka and Kyoto, the city is abundant with its own unique charm and a more laid-back vibe reminiscent of the countryside. With a mix of both historically significant sights and modern offerings, Nagoya has no shortage of things to do. Trace the city's heritage back to the Edo Period, explore its history of Japanese handicrafts, or discover contemporary Japan in the many museums scattered throughout Nagoya.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Nagoya

Sakae - Sakae, a bustling commercial district, is considered the downtown heart of Nagoya. The area is home to the Hisaya Odori Park, a modern green space created after World War II that features many waterfalls, fountains, and artworks. Visit the Nagoya TV Tower, the first tower of its kind built in Japan in 1954, or the Aichi Fine Arts Center and Museum, adjacent to the modern complex of Oasis 21. Sakae is also known for its shopping, boasting department stores and the Sakae-Mori Underground Shopping Center.

Nagoya Port - One of the largest and busiest ports in Japan, Nagoya Port attracts both tourists and industry. The newly redeveloped Garden Pier portion of the port features the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium and the Fuji, a retired Antarctic survey ship that now houses the Antarctic Museum. The pier also features green spaces like the Garden Pier Green Park and the Bluebonnet wildflower garden.

Korankei - Just outside of Nagoya is Korankei, a lush valley blanketed in maple trees that show off the vibrant hues of Japan's seasons. Reputed to be one of the region's best spots for viewing autumn colors, the gorge attracts visitors with walking paths along the Tomoe River that boast incredible vistas up the slopes of Mount Iimori. Korankei is also home to the 17th-century Kojakuji Temple and the vermillion Taigetsukyo Bridge, a brilliant landmark of the area.

What to See in Nagoya

Nagoya's most famous historic attraction is the Nagoya Castle, built at the beginning of the Edo Period. Most of the original fortress was destroyed during air raids in 1945, and parts of the castle are still undergoing reconstruction with traditional materials and techniques. The park surrounding the castle is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in the spring. Nagoya is also home to the Atsuta Shrine, one of Japan's most important Shinto shrines. The shrine is said to hold the legendary sword Kusanagi, an Imperial Regalia of Japan, and its Bunkaden treasure hall houses over 4,000 relics and National Treasures. Be sure to visit the Tokugawa Art Museum to see the preserved feudal residence and samurai antiques of the Owari, one of the 3 major branches of the Tokugawa family during the Edo Period.

Sightseeing in Nagoya

Although Nagoya owes much of its domestic fame to its status as an manufacturing and trading hub, the city still boasts its fair share of historic and cultural must-sees. The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, a railway museum, seamlessly blends Nagoya's best assets, highlighting the evolution of Japan's rail ways from steam locomotives to the latest high-speed, magnetic levitating trains. Car manufacturer Toyota is headquartered near Nagoya, and the Toyota Kaikan Museum and Toyota Techno Museum offer a look at the history of the global company. Nagoya's family-friendly offerings include the newly opened Legoland Japan, which features recreations of Japanese landmarks made from Lego bricks, and Nagashima Resort, which is composed of 5 leisure facilities. Relax in the hot springs of Nagashima Spa Yuami no Shima, or get your fill of thrills on the rides at the amusement park Nagashima Spaland. Also within the resort is the Anpanman Museum, based on the iconic anime character of the same name.

Dive into Nagoya's heritage with a visit to Noritake Garden, a museum that introduces Noritake, one of Japan's leading ceramics companies with a history of over 100 years. For centuries, Nagoya was a center for Japanese handicrafts, including the Arimatsu and Narumi dying techniques, which were innovated in the 17th century. Indulge in Japanese culture by trying your hand at calligraphy or the more modern art of making fake foods. For a day out of the city, escape to mountain village of Shirakawago in the Gifu Prefecture. The village is lauded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its centuries-old farmhouses built in the gassho-zukuri style, most notable for its hand-laid thatched roofs. Nagoya is also known for its regional cuisine such as tebasaki marinated chicken wings and miso-katsu—pork cutlets served with regional red miso sauce.

Free Things to Do in Nagoya

A vacation in Nagoya need not cost a fortune. You won't have to spend a penny if you go to:

Atsuta-Jingu Treasure House - Crammed with intriguing objects and exhibits, this gallery is a wonderland for minds that thirst for knowledge.

Nagoya Twin Tower - If you like modern architecture, add this landmark to your sightseeing list.

Nagoya City Archives - Feel like you've taken a step back in time while learning the secrets of this historic site.

International Design Centre Nagoya - If you'd love to explore some of the more important or unique places in the community, this place is worth visiting.

Ōsu Kannon Area - Gain an understanding of the local faith at this holy sanctuary.

Ran no Yakata - Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul by spending a little time with Mother Nature.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Nagoya

Nagoya City Centre

Museums, hot springs, and coffeehouses highlight some notable features of Nagoya City Centre. Make a stop by Osu or Nagoya City Science Museum while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Fushimi Station or Marunouchi Station to get around town.

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Minato Ward

Get to know Minato Ward and its many features like its museums and monuments. You might want to explore sights like Port of Nagoya Aquarium and LEGOLAND Japan, and you can jump on the metro at Nagoyako Station or Tsukiji-guchi Station to get around the city.

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Sakae

Shopping, hot springs, and coffeehouses highlight some notable features of Sakae. Make a stop by Osu or Nagoya TV Tower while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Sakae Station or Yabacho Station to get around town.

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Naka Ward

Beautiful parks, various museums, a 400-year-old castle and lively shopping and nightlife districts dominate this busy central Nagoya neighborhood.

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Kanayama

Kanayama is well-liked for its bars and spas. If you're hoping to get in some sightseeing, Atsuta Jingu Shrine and Nagoya-Boston Museum of Fine Arts are top spots, and you can jump on the metro at Nishi Takakura Station or Jingu Nishi Station to get around.

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Nakamura

You might take some time to check out the abundant dining options in Nakamura. Spend some time visiting top spots like Takashimaya, and catch the metro at Nakamura Koen Station or Nakamura Nisseki Station to see more of the area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Nagoya on a sunny day?

When the weather is putting on a show, these outdoor activities are hard to pass up:

What to do in Nagoya on a rainy day?

There's no need to squelch your way through a wet day when there are awesome indoor activities to try:

What is Nagoya famous for?

Grab your camera and enjoy taking in these remarkable sights:

  • Nagoya Castle
  • Atsuta Jingu Shrine
  • Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

What should I not miss in Nagoya?

You'll want to put these sights high on your must-do list to get the most out of your visit:

  • Nagoya Dome
  • Port of Nagoya Aquarium
  • Nagoya City Science Museum
  • Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden

Are there cheap things to do in Nagoya?

Keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket with these fun and thrifty activities:

What can you do in Nagoya for free?

Your break in Nagoya needn't break the bank with free attractions like these to discover:

  • Osu
  • Oasis 21
  • Nagoya Station Tourist Information Center
  • Port of Nagoya