The wonderful city of Nagoya is the 4th largest in Japan. It’s economically powerful and home to many of the country’s top auto manufacturing plants such as Mitsubishi, Honda, and Toyota.
One of the top attractions is the Nagoya Castle. Even though the original castle and many others of the city’s historic sites were damaged during World War II, Nagoya still has plenty to offer. These are some of the most popular sites to visit.
1. Nagoya Castle
(photo credit: zhzheka)
The original castle was built early in the Edo Period, but was destroyed during a bombing raid in 1945. It was rebuilt in 1959 with a more modern feel to it and is now a popular museum. Some of the original parts of the castle are still there such as the gates and there are numerous historical displays that feature helmets swords, and painted screens.
The fifth floor of the castle features an observatory where you can get some fantastic views of the city. You’ll also find gold-plated artifacts here including tiger-headed dolphins.
2. The Osu Kannon Temple
(photo credit: ehisforadam)
The Osu Kannon Temple is quite unique as you can also do your shopping at this sacred site. The original temple was erected back in 1612 with the modern version being constructed in the 1970s. It features dozens of Buddha statues, a Japanese pagoda, and an enormous red-paper lantern. You can shop at the flea market which is held twice a month.
There’s also an outdoor shopping center next to the temple which is an ideal place to pick up souvenirs, traditional crafts, household items, antiques, and food.
3. Atsuta Jingu
(photo credit: shenghunglin)
Also known as the Atsuta Shrine, this is one of Japan’s important sites. It was founded close to 2,000 years ago and houses a famous sword, which is known as a sacred treasure and is viewed upon as one of the nation’s most significant icons.
There are hundreds of other traditional cultural exhibits that have been donated over the years by Japanese citizens. These include mirrors, furniture, sacred garments, and ancient masks.
4. The Asahi Brewery
(photo credit: FullyFunctnlPhil)
Asahi Brewery represents one of Japan’s top beverage companies. You can visit the factory to learn how the beer is made and can even try brewing your own. There are 90-minute guided tours available which takes you through every step of the beer-brewing process.
It begins with the ingredient selection and winds up at the packaging process. You’ll be able to sample several types of beers as well as some of Asahi’s non-alcoholic beverages.
5. The Tokugawa Art Museum
(photo credit: mrstaticvoid)
This fabulous museum opened its doors for the first time back in 1935 and features artifacts of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun. It also has hand-scrolls from the 1100s which belong to the Tale of Genji, which is believed to be the first novel written in the world.
You’ll also find long swords, samurai swords, armor, arrows, educational tools and household utensils etc. which were personal items of the shogun. There’s also a residence, teahouses, and a theater on site. There are gorgeous Zen gardens as well as special exhibitions.
6. The Toganji Temple
(photo credit: zhzheka)
This is one of Japan’s smaller temples. It has a 50-foot high Buddha statue as well as a large wooden block which is believed to possess purging and healing powers. The temple is quite busy every May during the popular Benzaiten Festival. This is due to the large number of artists who visit the temple to pay their respects to the Saraswati, a Hindu Goddess.
The temple lies in the middle of the city, but is quite a peaceful retreat filled with beautiful gardens. The temple was constructed between 1532 and 1535 in the Temmon period.