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21 Amazing Sightseeing Places In Nagoya

a Japanese building with a pond

Nagoya is a city in the heart of Japan with plenty of sightseeing places and attractions for tourists to explore. This city is not only a hub of industrial advancements but also has a wealth of historical landmarks, delicious cuisine and a warm welcoming atmosphere.

However, Nagoya is often overlooked by tourists despite its many amazing attractions.

It has everything from the majestic Nagoya Castle to bustling streets adorned with neon lights. Nagoya offers a delightful blend of tradition and contemporary charm. So, whether you’re an avid explorer or a curious traveller, Nagoya promises an unforgettable journey through time and culture.

To help you decide which attractions you should visit first, we have compiled a list of 21 incredible sightseeing places in Nagoya.

Guide To Nagoya’s Top Tourist Attractions

1. Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle is a historical landmark that stands as a symbol of the city’s rich cultural heritage. Originally constructed in the early 17th century, the castle has undergone restoration over the years, preserving its awe-inspiring beauty and architectural grandeur.

Surrounded by gardens and a serene moat, the castle’s appearance is accentuated by its imposing main keep, with exquisite golden dolphin ornaments. Inside, visitors can explore museum exhibits that showcase the castle’s history and artefacts from the past.

the exterior of a Japanese castle

2. The Nagoya City Art Museum

The Nagoya City Art Museum is a great tourist attraction for Nagoya visitors. The museum’s sleek and modern architecture adds to its grandeur, making it a visual treat both inside and out.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the rich artistic heritage of the region, featuring exquisite paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and calligraphy. The museum’s well-curated exhibitions offer visitors a unique insight into the evolution of Japanese art.

the exterior of an art museum in Japan

3. The Atsuta Jingu Shrine

The Atsuta Jingu Shrine stands as a revered and historic treasure in Nagoya. As one of the country’s most sacred Shinto shrines, it has a lot of cultural significance.

With a history spanning over a millennium, this sanctuary is said to enshrine the legendary Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi, one of Japan’s three imperial regalia. Visitors can pass through the imposing wooden gates and are greeted by a forested pathway that leads them to the main hall.

It’s a great experience for any tourist wanting to learn more about the culture in Nagoya.

the hall of a shrine in Japan

4. Meiji-mura Museum

The Meiji-mura Museum is a captivating step back in time. This open-air museum pays homage to the Meiji era, one of the most transformative periods in Japanese history. Stepping into Meiji-mura is like entering a living time capsule, with over 60 meticulously preserved buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries on display.

Visitors can wander the streets, looking at the elegant Western-style architecture, traditional Japanese houses, and iconic landmarks from the era. The museum’s commitment to historical accuracy is inspiring, making it a cherished destination for history enthusiasts and curious travellers alike.

a Japanese building with a pond

5. Higashiyama Zoo

Higashiyama Zoo is a great day out for tourists and families alike. This zoo is one of the oldest in the country with a rich history and a diverse array of animals from all corners of the globe.

From elephants to penguins, colourful tropical birds and adorable pandas, the Zoo offers the opportunity to observe and learn about a wide variety of creatures. In addition to the animals themselves, the zoo has amazing enclosures with conservation at the forefront.

a glasshouse surrounded by gardens

6. Nagoya Port

Nagoya Port seamlessly blends modernity with rich maritime heritage. As the country’s largest port, it offers an array of experiences for visitors to take in.

Strolling along the waterfront, tourists can expect stunning views of the sea, while also witnessing the impressive array of docked vessels. The port area is a haven for seafood enthusiasts, as it has various seafood restaurants serving the freshest catches of the day.

a port at night with boats and lights

7. Higashiyama Botanical Gardens

With its beautifully landscaped gardens, ponds and picturesque bridges, Higashiyama Botanical Gardens presents the perfect setting for peaceful and relaxing strolls for tourists.

This horticultural haven is a must-visit for those wanting to embrace and experience the picturesque gardens while exploring the captivating cultural tapestry of Kyoto.

8. Tokugawa Art Museum

The Tokugawa Art Museum is a great tourist attraction that offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Tokugawa shogunate. Housed within a stately and meticulously preserved building, the museum showcases an impressive collection of historical treasures.

This includes samurai armour, traditional textiles, tea ceremony utensils and ancient calligraphy. Visitors are enraptured by the museum’s extensive display of intricate ceramics and delicate lacquerware, exemplifying the refined craftsmanship of Japan’s past.

9. Hisaya Ōdori Park

Hisaya Ōdori Park is a vibrant and inviting urban oasis that’s popular with both locals and tourists alike. Spanning across lush greenery and scenic walkways, this park offers a refreshing escape from the bustling city streets.

Tourists can relish in the serene ambience as they take strolls, picnic with family and friends, or simply unwind amid the beautiful surroundings. The park also hosts a variety of seasonal events and festivals that offer even more than the standard experience.

10. Nagoya TV Tower

In the heart of downtown Nagoya, this 180-meter-tall tower provides breathtaking views of the city’s skyline and surrounding landscapes.

You can ascend to the observation deck, where you are treated to stunning views of Nagoya Castle, Nagoya Port and the Nagoya Dome. Besides the views, the tower also has an array of dining and shopping options on its lower floors, making it a vibrant hub of activity.

11. Toyota Techno

Toyota Techno stands as a marvel of modern technology, embodying Toyota’s remarkable innovation. Its advanced research and development centre lies at the core of Toyota’s engineering expertise.

Within its walls, revolutionary strides in automotive technology and sustainable mobility solutions take shape. Skilled engineers and scientists work together in its impressive labs and testing grounds, envisioning and refining the vehicles of the future.

12. Toyota Automobile Museum

Toyota Automobile Museum is an ideal destination for automobile enthusiasts and tourists alike. This museum showcases a collection of over 140 automobiles, spanning from the start of the automotive industry to the modern-day.

Tourists are treated to a fascinating journey through time, exploring the evolution of automotive design, engineering, and technology. From vintage classics to iconic sports cars, the exhibits offer a great experience for visitors.

13. Temples of Ōsu

The Temples of Ōsu are a serene testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage. The sacred precinct houses and several stunning Buddhist temples, each exude a sense of tranquillity. Tourists can explore ancient architecture with intricate wooden carvings, traditional artwork, and beautifully landscaped gardens.

The Temples of Ōsu offer a peaceful retreat from the modern hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the contemplative atmosphere and learn about the deep-rooted religious traditions of Japan.

14. Noritake Garden

Noritake Garden is a delightful and enchanting oasis that celebrates artistry and craftsmanship. This beautifully landscaped garden offers a serene escape, inviting visitors to wander among picturesque water features, lush greenery, and elegant sculptures.

The garden’s centrepiece, the Noritake Craft Centre, captivates guests with its interactive exhibits, where they can witness skilled artisans at work, creating exquisite porcelain pieces.

15. Ceramics Factory Tour

The Nagoya Ceramics Factory Tour offers an immersive glimpse into the world of ceramics craftsmanship in Japan. Visitors embarking on this captivating journey are treated to a behind-the-scenes experience. They can witness skilled artisans in action as they mould, shape, and paint delicate ceramic masterpieces.

The tour takes guests through each stage of the creative process, from raw materials to the final firing, showing the precision and dedication that goes into crafting these exquisite pieces.

16. Lego Land Japan

Lego Land Japan is an amazing theme park that promises endless fun for families and Lego enthusiasts. The park is a vibrant wonderland, featuring captivating Lego-themed attractions, rides, and shows.

From thrilling roller coasters to immersive 4D cinema experiences, the park offers a delightful blend of entertainment and creativity. Visitors can marvel at the intricate Lego sculptures and participate in hands-on building activities that are great fun for all ages.

17. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is an innovative museum that celebrates the evolution of railway transportation. This state-of-the-art facility showcases an impressive collection of historic and modern trains.

From steam locomotives to the latest magnetic levitation (maglev) trains, the exhibits highlight the remarkable advancements in railway technology. The museum offers interactive displays and simulators, allowing visitors to experience the thrill of driving a train or operating a railway signal system.

18. Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is an aquatic wonderland that is perfect for visitors of all ages. The aquarium showcases diverse marine life from various regions, offering an immersive and educational experience.

Visitors can marvel at the underwater exhibits where you can get close to beautiful animals like dolphins, sea turtles and penguins. The aquarium’s highlight is the impressive dolphin and sea lion shows, where you can see these creatures showcase their skills and bond with their trainers.

19. Osu Shopping Street

The Osu Shopping Street is a bustling and vibrant marketplace. Steeped in history and tradition, the Osu Shopping Street has a mix of shops, restaurants, and stalls that offer an array of goods and delicious treats.

It has everything from traditional Japanese crafts and souvenirs to modern fashion trends and gadgets. The atmosphere is enriched with the warmth of the friendly shopkeepers who welcome visitors with genuine smiles.

20. Nagoya City Science Museum

Nagoya City Science Museum is a state-of-the-art museum that offers a range of interactive exhibits and educational displays for modern science and technology.

Inside, visitors can explore a wide array of scientific wonders, from the vastness of space and the universe in the planetarium to the complex workings of robotics and cutting-edge advancements in technology. So if you want to learn something new and expand your knowledge, the Nagoya City Science Museum is the perfect place.

21. Sakae

Sakae is a vibrant part of Nagoya which has many attractions for tourists such as shopping, entertainment, and dining experiences to suit all tastes.

Sakae’s neon lights create a dynamic cityscape, while the streets below are teeming with a diverse mix of locals and visitors. Sakae is an amazing place for tourists to visit with exciting nightlife and plenty of activities to keep visitors well-fed and entertained.

Tops Tips for travelling in and around Nagoya

There are many remarkable attractions for tourists to go and visit with a seamless blend of traditional Japanese culture and modern Japan.

However, there are a few things you can do to help you have an even better experience in Nagoya other than visiting its many sightseeing places. So to make your trip a little easier, here are a few tips for when you are travelling around Nagoya.

Visiting Nagoya at night

Nagoya is a very safe city at night, so you can wander around and enjoy the breathtaking Nagoya nightlife and attractions and feel comfortable whilst doing so. In fact, Nagoya is a beautiful city at night with its vast array of shops and neon lights that illuminate the city.

So you can wander around the many restaurants of the city and feel comfortable and able to enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The Nagoya Castle is also illuminated at night, which can make for a relaxing evening activity to view its beauty.

Visiting the areas around Nagoya

Although Nagoya has a beautiful city and mesmerising nightlife, the areas around Nagoya can be just as beautiful. Rural Nagoya includes some amazing sites and offers an interesting glimpse into rural life in Japan. It has everything from well-preserved ancient Japanese architecture.

It’s a great place if you have a few days spare to travel outside Nagoya on your visit and has plenty of incredible towns to visit. However, it is important to note that to explore everything that rural Nagoya has to offer, you will need a couple of days to visit and see everything it has to offer visitors.

Explore more articles on Japan

We hope this article will help you in deciding the best sightseeing places you should visit in Nagoya. If you are interested in exploring more articles about the culture and lifestyle in Japan, we have plenty more articles for you to discover.

If you want to discover more about Japan and how you can earn a living whilst settling there, contact us today. There are plenty of opportunities to experience Japan first-hand and embrace the culture first-hand.

About the Author

Brian McDonough is a consultant at Interac, Japan’s largest provider of ALTs (Assistant Language Teachers). Originally from the US, Brian has lived in Japan for over 25 years, giving him a unique perspective on the cultural differences and challenges people face when moving to Japan. He has first-hand experience of working in Japan as an American.