Nagoya travel guide

Nagoya Tourism | Nagoya Guide

You're Going to Love Nagoya

The Toyota and Honda factories are the not the only reason millions of travelers flock to Nagoya each year. Nagoya is Japan's fourth-largest city and is teeming with rich history, futuristic modern architecture, varieties of global and local cuisine, and a fast-paced nightlife.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Nagoya

1. A Vibrant City Center

Nagoya's city center Sakae is full of bright lights, great shopping centers, and pubs, bars, and restaurants without the crowds of Tokyo and Osaka.

2. Old Japanese Castles

Don't miss the oldest castle in Japan, Inuyama, which stands tall and is open for visitors to tour, as well as the nearby Meiji village.

3. Great Local Fare

From deep-fried, peppered chicken wings to battered pork cutlet served with red miso and round after round of delicious sake, you can literally eat your way through this city and skip the fine dining.

4. Nagashima Spa Land

Nagashima Spa Land is actually a thronging amusement park with the world's longest roller coaster, the Steel Dragon 2000.

5. Visit the Osu District

Home to vintage clothing boutiques, manga and second-hand record stores, and flea markets, the Osu District will keep you occupied for days.

What to do in Nagoya

1. Atsuta Shrine: One of the Most Important Sites in Aichi

The famous and revered Atsuta Shrine houses the Sun Goddess Amaterasu in addition to the holy sword Kusanigi. This sword is one of three historic imperial regalia that celebrate and legitimize the Japanese Emperor. In other words, this shrine is one of the most sacred spaces in all of Shinto. Whether or not this ancient religion peaks your interest, the shrine is a pleasant place to be, as it stands in a peaceful wooded park and boasts Shinmei-zukuri architectural features.

2. Nagoya Castle: The City's Historic Center

When this castle was built by the Tokugawa shoguns, it was one of the biggest in the country. Today, it still is, and the town that grew up around it has developed into Nagoya. While some castles give the impression of being pleasure retreats rather than forts, this imposing structure towers over the landscape with one end in mind: defense. A series of two moats and giant walls continue to strike fear and wonder into the hearts of visitors, even those who have no interest in conquering Nagoya. Yet if you visit in April, you may be more taken by the blossoming cherry trees at the castle's base than with the building itself.

3. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens: A Pleasant Escape from the Concrete

The grounds of this botanical garden, zoo, and amusement park have housed eager visitors since 1937. Now one of Asia's biggest attractions, the sprawling complex houses creatures like bears, elephants, tigers, and tropical fish, in addition to rare and beautiful Japanese trees, bushes, and flowers. The botanical gardens also have a greenhouse with tropical plants and an insect hall with all sorts of 6-legged crawlers. The iconic Higashiyama Sky Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, has massive observation decks and a restaurant that towers over 300 feet above the ground.

4. Nagoya City Science Museum: Fun for the Whole Family

In addition to having the world's largest planetarium, the Nagoya City Science Museum has a huge range of attractions and exhibits that teach visitors of all ages about the wonders of water, tornadoes, electricity, and more. There's no better way to learn about the many different environments and conditions present on and below earth's surface than the hands-on opportunities offered at the Nagoya Science Center.

5. Ōsu Kannon: A Buddhist Temple in Downtown Nagoya

Faithful Buddhists have flocked to Ōsu Kannon for over 800 years to pay their respects to deities such as Kannon, the goddess of mercy, whose wooden statue is the centerpiece of the interior. Inside the temple, you'll find the Shinpukuji Library, with its collection of more than 15,000 classic Japanese and Chinese Buddhist texts. The temple is also important for housing the oldest extant copy of the Kojiki, a historic tome detailing Japan's early history starting from its mythological origins. On the 18th and 28th of each month, the temple hosts a flea market with a wide assortment of goods for locals and visitors alike.

Atsuta ShrineAtsuta Shrine
Nagoya CastleNagoya Castle
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical GardensHigashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Nagoya City Science MuseumNagoya City Science Museum

1. Atsuta Shrine: One of the Most Important Sites in Aichi

The famous and revered Atsuta Shrine houses the Sun Goddess Amaterasu in addition to the holy sword Kusanigi. This sword is one of three historic imperial regalia that celebrate and legitimize the Japanese Emperor. In other words, this shrine is one of the most sacred spaces in all of Shinto. Whether or not this ancient religion peaks your interest, the shrine is a pleasant place to be, as it stands in a peaceful wooded park and boasts Shinmei-zukuri architectural features.

2. Nagoya Castle: The City's Historic Center

When this castle was built by the Tokugawa shoguns, it was one of the biggest in the country. Today, it still is, and the town that grew up around it has developed into Nagoya. While some castles give the impression of being pleasure retreats rather than forts, this imposing structure towers over the landscape with one end in mind: defense. A series of two moats and giant walls continue to strike fear and wonder into the hearts of visitors, even those who have no interest in conquering Nagoya. Yet if you visit in April, you may be more taken by the blossoming cherry trees at the castle's base than with the building itself.

3. Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens: A Pleasant Escape from the Concrete

The grounds of this botanical garden, zoo, and amusement park have housed eager visitors since 1937. Now one of Asia's biggest attractions, the sprawling complex houses creatures like bears, elephants, tigers, and tropical fish, in addition to rare and beautiful Japanese trees, bushes, and flowers. The botanical gardens also have a greenhouse with tropical plants and an insect hall with all sorts of 6-legged crawlers. The iconic Higashiyama Sky Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, has massive observation decks and a restaurant that towers over 300 feet above the ground.

4. Nagoya City Science Museum: Fun for the Whole Family

In addition to having the world's largest planetarium, the Nagoya City Science Museum has a huge range of attractions and exhibits that teach visitors of all ages about the wonders of water, tornadoes, electricity, and more. There's no better way to learn about the many different environments and conditions present on and below earth's surface than the hands-on opportunities offered at the Nagoya Science Center.

5. Ōsu Kannon: A Buddhist Temple in Downtown Nagoya

Faithful Buddhists have flocked to Ōsu Kannon for over 800 years to pay their respects to deities such as Kannon, the goddess of mercy, whose wooden statue is the centerpiece of the interior. Inside the temple, you'll find the Shinpukuji Library, with its collection of more than 15,000 classic Japanese and Chinese Buddhist texts. The temple is also important for housing the oldest extant copy of the Kojiki, a historic tome detailing Japan's early history starting from its mythological origins. On the 18th and 28th of each month, the temple hosts a flea market with a wide assortment of goods for locals and visitors alike.

Atsuta ShrineAtsuta Shrine
Nagoya CastleNagoya Castle
Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical GardensHigashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Nagoya City Science MuseumNagoya City Science Museum

Where to Eat in Nagoya

You're definitely not pressed for choice: Nagoya's best eats are everywhere. Try handmade udon noodles in thick broth at Yamamotoya Sōhonke for ¥1200 or some Tex-Mex fun at Desperados Mexican Restaurant and Bar for around ¥1,100.

When to visit Nagoya

Nagoya in June
Estimated hotel price
$17
1 night at 3-star hotel
Nagoya in June
Estimated hotel price
$17
1 night at 3-star hotel

Nagoya enjoys steaming hot summers and mild falls and winters. It gets as low as 39.2 degrees in January and gets as high as 95 degrees in August.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Fahrenheit (°F)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Nagoya

Plane

Nagoya is serviced by Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) which is 30 minutes away from the city's center. Take the μSKY train service, which costs ¥1200.

Train

Getting in by train, travelers use the high-speed shinkansen service. Depending on where you're coming from (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto), tickets cost between ¥6,180 and ¥10,780.

Car

Driving from Tokyo to Nagoya, you can take the Chuo Expressway or the Tomei. Chou Expressway is the more scenic route. The Tomei is a straighter route and though it has more traffic, you can catch views of Mount Fuji on a clear day.

Bus

Overnight buses to Nagoya, run by Willer Express, come from many neighboring cities. Tickets cost between ¥3,000-5,300 and can be booked online.

Airports near Nagoya

Airlines serving Nagoya

United Airlines
Good (2,856 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,393 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,189 reviews)
KLM
Good (355 reviews)
Air France
Good (403 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,065 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,337 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,442 reviews)
SWISS
Good (458 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,223 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (975 reviews)
Iberia
Good (927 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,458 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (284 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (316 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (337 reviews)
Finnair
Good (703 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (783 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (441 reviews)
Ethiopian Air
Good (147 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Nagoya

Osu - the Osu District is the home to many festivals, Brazilian and Filipino eateries and communities, as well as the self-proclaimed nerds and geeks of manga culture.

Popular Neighborhoods in Nagoya

Sakae - at the heart of Nagoya is its commercial district, Sakae. It attracts many tourists as the first stop for shopping, pubs, and nightlife spots.

Chikusa-ku - this neighborhood draws those who are spiritually inclined, home to the Tōgan-ji temple and its "Great Buddha of Nagoya" statue.

Where to stay in popular areas of Nagoya

Most booked hotels in Nagoya

Centrair Hotel
Excellent (8.8, 1661 reviews)
$68+
Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier
Excellent (8.7, 167 reviews)
$95+
Four Points by Sheraton Nagoya, Chubu International Airport
Excellent (8.6, 708 reviews)
$85+
Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae
Excellent (8.5, 1853 reviews)
$71+
J Hotel Rinku
Excellent (8.4, 257 reviews)
$51+
Legoland Japan Hotel
Excellent (8.3, 1338 reviews)
$270+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Nagoya

Public Transportation

Between the bus, rail, and subway, Nagoya is well connected. Tickets cost between ¥200 to ¥320, and a one-day pass is ¥850 for both bus and subway.

Taxi

Fares for taxis start at a basic fee of ¥480 and ¥725 per mile after that.

Car

Use services like JR Eki Rent-A-Car or Nippon Rent-A-Car to get around Nagoya for ¥7,668 a day.

The Cost of Living in Nagoya

Shopping Streets

The Osu Shopping Arcade is a great place to begin as it has dozens of vintage, independent, mom-and-pop shops, traditional craft markets, and second-hand electronic stores, and bookstores. Or check out the Oasis 21 mall in Sakae.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk costs ¥207 and a dozen eggs is ¥354.

Cheap meal
$7.65
A pair of jeans
$72.04
Single public transport ticket
$2.30
Cappuccino
$3.23