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If you know the basics about the city you're visiting, your trip becomes even more fun! Here is some basic information about Nagoya, the biggest city in the Tokai region, which encompasses the prefectures of Aichi, Gifu, Mie, and Shizuoka. Hopefully this will deepen your knowledge.

What kind of place is Nagoya?

History

Nagoya was founded around 400 years ago. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the person who started the Edo shogunate (feudal military government), created Nagoya by moving everything from a town called Kiyosu, in the northwestern part of Aichi, into modern-day Nagoya and rapidly expanding it. As Nagoya Castle was built, many craftsmen gathered around it and created a castle-town. Thanks to that, Nagoya became known as a city of techniques and making things, and it's still known as a city of business and manufacturing.

Climate

The climate is rather harsh, with hot, humid summers and cold winters. Japan's hottest city with a high temperature of 39.7℃/103.4°F, is Tajimi, in neighboring Gifu. Even within Aichi, there is a large temperature difference and snowfall amount between the regions facing Mikawa Bay and the rest of the prefecture.

Character

The people of Nagoya are said to be vain and flashy. On the other hand, many people are quite thrifty. They take things quite seriously, so at first they may not open themselves up to you easily, but after a while you may become quite good friends.

Dialect

There are various dialects in the Aichi region. In Nagoya, they use a dialect called Nagoya-ben, which is mostly used in the western area of Aichi. It can be recognized by the use of the word "dera," which means "very."

Transportation Guide

Reaching Nagoya

Chubu Centrair International Airport is a large airport that connects Tokoname, Aichi, with the world. It's in an easy-to-reach location, just about 30 minutes from Nagoya Station by train. Since Nagoya is almost smack-dab in the center of Japan, you can easily access the rest of the country. It's about an hour and 40 minutes from Tokyo by the fastest bullet train, and about an hour by plane. There are also long-distance buses, so you can choose your transportation based on your schedule and budget.

Intracity Transportation

The subway is the most convenient form of transportation in the city. There are 6 subway lines: Higashiyama Line, Meijo Line, Meiko Line, Tsurumai Line, Sakuradori Line, and the Kami-Ida Line. Most of the major sightseeing spots are reachable by these lines. There are one-day passes for trains and buses, so make sure to check those out! There are other train lines as well, including the JR Line within the city, the Meitetsu that connects Aichi and Gifu as well as the Kintetsu that connects Nagoya to both Mie and the Kansai area. The Me~guru bus is a sightseeing bus that is also very convenient.

Famous Sightseeing Spots

Nagoya's most famous sightseeing spot is Nagoya Castle, crowned with gold shachihoko (mythical carp with the head of a lion). The Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai, people dressed as warriors related to Nagoya, greet visitors to the castle at the gates. On the weekends, they have martial arts demonstrations. Another place you should visit is Atsuta Shrine. It's one of the representative shrines of the Tokai area, and the grounds are full of greenery and a mystical atmosphere. You'll feel purified just by walking around the area. Other spots include the beautiful Japanese garden Tokugawaen; the Nagoya TV Tower in Sakae, the center of the city; the Nagoya City Science Museum, which has the world's largest planetarium; and more.

Take a closer look at Nagoya's sightseeing spots! >

Famous Meals to Try

If you visit Nagoya, you must get your fill of their unique food culture! First is hitsumabushi. Hitsumabushi is made using eel kabayaki, which is filleted and skewered eel grilled in a special sauce, but the way it's eaten is unique. The eel is cut into pieces on rice and comes in a set with condiments like green onions, seaweed, and wasabi, as well as a tsuyu sauce made with dashi broth. Your first third of the hitsumabushi should be as is. The second one is eaten with condiments, then the third has the tsuyu poured over it. It's a dish where you can enjoy three different flavors in one meal. Also, another must-try are the dishes made with the special red miso from the Tokai region that includes Nagoya. It's used in various dishes including miso tonkatsu, a breaded pork cutlet topped with miso and doteni, stewed beef sinew and daikon radish. Tebasaki, chicken wings seasoned simply with a sauce, pepper, and sesame that are fried twice for a crisp yet soft, addicting texture.

Take a closer look at Nagoya's famous cuisine! >

Recommended Souvenirs

The most famous souvenir from Nagoya is the "uirou." It's a steamed sweet made from rice powder and sugar, and it's characterized by a light white appearance and a refined texture. Other than the simple, plain type, there are various flavors available to enjoy, such as those made with brown sugar, matcha, or the fragrance of cherry blossom trees. Other than sweets, there are also lots of food souvenirs that you can enjoy at home, so you can buy meals that you liked. It you want to choose something to treasure, why not a kimono or a yukata made with Arimatsu-shibori, a tie-dyeing technique that is registered as a national traditional craft? Arimura-shibori mostly uses indigo dye on cotton fabric and there are various patterns available.

Take a closer look at Nagoya's souvenirs! >

Nagoya has so many charms that they can't all be listed in an article. If you're interested in Nagoya, why not visit? This website, which lists events, shopping areas, cuisine, and even hotel information, is very convenient for visiting Nagoya.

Nagoya's biggest charm is the number of delicious meals available! Please enjoy a delicious trip eating their famous cuisine as you wander around the sightseeing areas.

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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