As Japan’s fourth-largest city, Nagoya remains the nation’s foremost industrial centre, with the Port of Nagoya dating back to 1907. Known as the ‘Excalibur of Japan’ for its ancient ties to the Imperial House, Nagoya’s most historical landmarks are perhaps its traditional castle and the Atsuta Shrine – the location of one of the Three Sacred Treasures. During the Meiji Restoration, the city acted as a trade point between the ancient capital Kyoto and Edo before emerging as Japan’s largest aircraft and automotive manufacturer following World War ll.
Nagoya Castle, the Osu Kannon Buddhist Temple and the Atsuta Shrine showcase the best of traditional Japanese architecture, as well as a 1,000-year-old camphor tree. Head to the Tokugawa Art to see modern art or gain deeper insight into famous Japanese exports at the Asahi Factory and Toyota Museum. Some of the city’s best day trips include Legoland Japan or nearby Inuyama, where you’ll see fertile countryside and views of the Japanese Alps.
Renowned for its unique regional cuisine, Nagoya’s food culture stems from its industrial origins with simple, hearty dishes filling the menus. Some of the city’s most famous dishes include Hitsumabushi – a rice dish featuring unagi, served in a traditional wooden container. At the Oasis 21 department store, you’ll find a Studio Ghibli store, while the Sakae and Osu Kannon districts provide restaurants, street food, comic sellers, and traders stocking Japanese denim.