Nagoya is the fourth largest city in Japan, located in the Pacific coast, in the Chubu region, the center of Honshu island. This is the administrative center of Aichi Prefecture and one of the 15 national cities of Japan. Nagoya is a small island with waves all year round, has a long history and was dubbed as the city of Samurai. Come here you can not miss the enjoyment of Ugani spicy eel in cold weather. Nagoya is both a quaint old city with an ancient shrine of Atsuta Jingu nearly 2000 years of history. But Nagoya also is equally modern and bustling city with the area of Aqua spaceship at Oasis 21 Park, the world famous Toyota factory and the large shopping mall of OSU. So, is Nagoya worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the most visited destinations in Japan through our Nagoya travel blog (Nagoya blog, Nagoya trip blog) with the fullest Nagoya travel guide for a wonderful trip to Nagoya on a budget for the first time from how to get there, best time to visit, and top things to do … to find out the answer!
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The city was founded on October 1, 1889, and on September 1, 1956 the government issued a decree to recognize it as a national city. The name of the city was originally Nagoya, meaning “Capital in the middle” because it is located between Kyoto and Tokyo.
Atsuta Jingu is a solemn shrine, a place the Kusanagi sword is preserved – one of 3 very important symbols to the Japanese royal family. The shrine celebrates nearly 70 festivals and events every year, and many people visit the shrine. In the shrine there are also more than 4.400 national treasures representing the 2.000 years of history of this shrine.
Nagoya travel guide: When is the best time to visit Nagoya?
Nagoya is located in central Japan, so the climate is not too hot nor too cold, making it an ideal place to visit all year round. No matter what time you come to this city, the natural beauty along with the diversity of Nagoya culture will makes you surprised. But if you choose the best time to visit Nagoya, it may be spring and autumn.
Spring lasts from March to May, is a nice time to visit Nagoya, because you will be able to see blooming flowers everywhere. The best place to see flowers in the city is Nabana no Sato, there is also a Tulip flower festival with thousands of colorful flowers and along with lighting event until early May held in Nagoya at this time. Spring weather conditions are also pleasant, so you can enjoyment of exploring Nagoya without having to worry too much about being too cold weather. Moreover, this is also the time when big festivals usually take place during the year such as: Nagoya Castle Spring Festival (Nagoya-jo Haru Matsuri), Horse Festival..
In the summer it is often rainy and wet so visitors should not visit Nagoya at this time. In winter, you can consider if you like skiing. Nagoya is also a ski site that attracts many tourists during the cold winter days.
Nagoya city also has its own attraction in the fall (September – November), when a whole green area changes to dark red, mixed with beautiful yellow of maple leaves. Nagoya’s autumn scenery makes a strong impression with many people, especially those looking for autumn viewing spots in Japan. There are also a number of special cultural festivals held in the autumn in Nagoya, bringing a more perfect atmosphere for your trip such as Nagoya Festival (Nagoya Matsuri), Arimatsu Float Festival..
Nagoya travel blog: How to get to Nagoya from Tokyo?
Nagoya City is about 340 km to the west of Tokyo, 3/4 of the distance to Kyoto. With a distance of 340km from Tokyo to Nagoya to visit great places here is not too far away. From Tokyo to Nagoya there are many convenient and fast means of transportation, so you don’t have to worry about traveling.
Japanese trains are proud of accuracy worldwide. Shinkansen operates continuously from early morning. From Tokyo to Nagoya costs about ¥10.000 ($92.40) ~ ¥15.000 ($138.60), takes about 2 hours. If you depart from Kyoto to Nagoya, it is only 36 minutes by Shinkansen. From Osaka, the travel time will be 66 minutes.
From Tokyo to Nagoya quickly via Shinkansen – it depends on the train you take, but usually from 100 to 120 minutes ride:
- The fastest express train, Nozomi will take you to Nagoya within 1 hour 40 minute.
- Hikari is slower a little bit, takes about 2 hours.
- Slowest is Kodama – an older train takes 3 hours to make a trip from Tokyo to Nagoya, however, compared to 2 trains above, Kodama train tickets is quite low is an option for those who want to save cost.
During the peak season (ie spring and summer holidays, Golden Week and New Year holidays), an one-way regular ticket costs around ¥11.290 ($104.33). To save money (about 700 yen), you can buy seats without insurance (jiyuuseki), but there is a risk that you will have to stand on the way – especially during high season. You can buy tickets from Tokyo to Nagoya online here.
Note: If you do not rush to Nagoya, you can buy Kodama tickets around ¥8.300 ($76.69) and ¥9.500 ($87.78), depending on the time of the year. Note that you must purchase Platt Kodama tickets at least one day in advance and a limited amount. Contact JR Tokai Tours for more information.
You can fly from Tokyo to Nagoya (Chubu Centrair International Airport, 40km from city center) on one of Japan’s domestic airlines, such as ANA or JAL, with airfares from ¥7.000 ($64.68) to ¥20.000 ($184.80)/one way. If you book early, you can buy a cheaper ticket than Shinkansen, which is also one of the attractions of this vehicle. Flight time is about 1 hour, so this means is suitable for those who do not like to sit on the train for a long time.
However, you lose the waiting time at the airport, the transit time between the airports and the terminals, … so the total travel time may be longer than the Shinkansen, the cost may be much more. Besides, the number of flights from Haneda Airport to Chubu International Airport is relatively few, so it also is not very convenient, so you need to consider.
High-speed bus (Express bus)
The most cheapest way to travel from Tokyo to Nagoya is to take a one-way high speed bus (express bus) for ¥3000 ($27.72). In addition, this bus has a stop point at Nagoya station, so after getting off the bus, you can move to other places quite conveniently.
High-speed buses often run at night, so you can take advantage of the travel time to sleep, which can save the cost of staying, and without wasting time. The downside is that the trip takes about 6 to 8 hours, very long sitting time if you are afraid of get carsick, you should prepare the anti-carsick drug before. You can find a bus run from Tokyo to Nagoya here.
If you have more time, local train Seishun 18 is an extremely interesting option. With a ticket of ¥6.260 ($57.84)/way, very cheap if you want to experience the journey from Tokyo to Nayoga in 6 hours.
Another option is rent a self-driving car, using the Tomei highway. The expressway usage costs approximately ¥4.980 ($46.01) ~ ¥7.110 ($65.70), and you will need to pay the rental car fee separately. If you go with a large group, the cost will be cheaper than other means of transportation. Travel time is 4 ~ 6 hours.
If there are many drivers, then you can change driver with each other, you can visit wherever you like to go. However, you also need to considering and anticipate situations such as traffic jams, get lost roads, easy to cause accidents when driving on unfamiliar roads, …
Nagoya blog: Getting around Nagoya
Like other regions in Japan, there are three main means of public transport in Nagoya: Subway, bus and local train.
Like other Japanese cities, subway is a convenient way to getting around Nagoya. Subway in Nagoya consists of 6 lines: Higashiyama Line (yellow), Meijo Line (purple), Meiko Line (purple and white), Tsurumai Line (blue), Sakura-dori Line (red) and Kamiida Line (pink). You can easily get a subway map at the offices of all Nagoya City stations.
The subway tickets in Nagoya city ranges from 200 yen ($1.85) to 330 yen ($2.77) for adults and 100 yen ($0.92) to 160 yen ($1.48) for children. Subway in the city operates from 5:30 am to 00:30 am.
Bus in Nagoya with tickets of 210 yen ($1.94) for adults and 100 yen ($0.92) for children. Using the bus is also very simple. You only need to get tickets and pay at the front door of the bus and do not forget to press the stop button before reaching the stop point. However, the bus operation time is shorter than subway and will charge an extra charge at late night.
Me Guru bus is also not a bad option for your journey of discovery. Tickets for riding for 1 day are JPY 500 ($4.62) for adults, and JPY 210 ($1.94) for children.
Tips: If you travel a lot by subway and bus and want to saving costs, you should buy a day pass (1-Day Tickets) for both subway and bus. You will be able to ride without having to limit the number of inner city trips in a day with the price of JPY 850 ($7.86). Or Nagoya Subway 24-Hour Tickets only for subway with the price of JPY 740 ($6.84). Details see here.
Railway includes three firms: JR, Meitetsu and Kintetsu. Although the way to buy tickets and use them also is similar to subway, the railway will getting to more places. For example, if you want to go to Central Japan International Airport, you will have to take a subway to Kanayama (or Nagoya) station and then transfer to the Meitetsu train. Details of the schedule and ticket can be viewed at each firm’s website.
Nagoya trip blog: Where to stay?
Hilton Nagoya: The hotel is located near Nagoya station, about 1 km from the city center, and only 40 km from the hotel to the airport. Because of this advantage, you can easily to reach popular tourist attractions in the city. In which, some attractions near the hotel such as Former Kato Shokai Building, The Nagoya Shiki Theatre, Ecopal Nagoya … Staying at this hotel, you will enjoy great services such as indoor pool, gym , spa, sauna, massage.. A top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $167/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Meitetsu Inn Nagoya Nishiki: With 280 rooms and room rates from $33/night. The hotel is located near the train station not only convenient for traveling but also very close to major tourist attractions in the city such as Nagoya TV Tower, Fukusho-in Temple, Hisaya Odori Park … The hotel is rated as excellent with ratings of 8.6/10 on Agoda online booking website. A 3-star hotel with room rates from $28/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Nagoya Tokyu Hotel: Located 45 km from the airport and conveniently located near Nagoya station, Nagoya Tokyu Hotel makes it easy to access the city attractions such as Oasis 21, Aichi Arts Center, Sakae Mori no Chikagai. The quality of the hotel is highly appreciated by modern and complete equipment, each room has flat screen TV, air purifier, slippers, towels, mirrors.. A top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $167/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel: When staying at Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel (A top rated hotel in Nagoya), you will easily access the vibrant beauty at every corner of the city. Attractions near the hotel such as Meitetsu Department Store Honten, Nagoya Tokyu Hands Store, JR Central Twin Towers … make this place more unique and charming. In addition, the hotel offers many great recreational facilities such as indoor swimming pool, gym, massage, spa that will make your trip memorable. A top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $168/night (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Below we recommend more best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nagoya Taiko dori Side (Address: 18-10 Tsubakicho, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya Station, Nagoya, Japan, 453-0015 / Phone: +81 52-459-3155), a 3-star hotel with room rates from $57/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Richmond Hotel Nagoya Nayabashi (Address: 1 Chome-2-7 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008, Japan / Phone: +81 52-212-1055), a 3-star hotel with room rates from $34/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Mitsui Garden Hotel Nagoya Premier (Address: 4 Chome-11-27 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 450-0002, Japan / Phone: +81 52-587-1131), a 3-star hotel with room rates from $97/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Nagoya JR Gate Tower Hotel (Address: 450-6660 Aichi, Nagoya, Nakamura-ku Meieki 1-1-3, Japan / Phone: +81 52-566-2111), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $122/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Daiwa Roynet Hotel Nagoya Shinkansenguchi (Address: 1-23 Tsubakicho, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 453-0015, Japan / Phone: +81 52-452-7055), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $55/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Red Planet Nagoya Nishiki (Address: 3 Chome-1-22 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0003, Japan / Phone: +81 52-954-8488), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $34/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae (Address: 2 Chome-20-1 Nishiki, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0003, Japan / Phone: +81 52-231-5489), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $84/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
–> Airbnb link discounts up to $35 for the first booking here: https://www.airbnb.com/c/anht5185
Nagoya travel blog: Best places to visit and top things to do
The castle was built in the 17th century in the Edo period and owned by the most powerful family in Japan, Ieyasu Tokugawa. Here you can learn more about the history of Japanese feudal dynasties. The castle is home to many military secrets that are important to the history of Nagoya in particular and Japan in general. In World War II the castle was badly damaged but it was completely renovated by the state with its original shape and architecture. The castle is the symbol, the top famous tourist destination in Nagoya.
Go to inside the castle, you will have the opportunity to admire many artifacts dating back thousands of years still preserved such as iron hats, swords, iron armor … Especially, you will be overwhelmed by a pair of mascots of dolphins Kinsachi (the symbol of Nagoya) heavy 88kg with head of tiger shape is plated with 18 carat gold. If you visit the castle on the last days of March, you also have the opportunity to see the cherry blossom garden Meijo blooming brightly.
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031, Japan
Phone: +81 52-231-1700
Admission: 500 yen
Atsuta Jingu Shrine
Considered as one of the most important shrines in the country, Atsuta Jingu was completed about 1.900 years ago. Famous as the shrine of the legendary Kusanagi-no-tsurugi sword, one of the three treasures of the Royal Family and a very important symbol of Japan (note: visitors will not be able to visit this area).