For the city in Batam, Indonesia, see Nagoya (Indonesia).

Nagoya (名古屋) is the capital and largest city of Aichi prefecture, in the Chubu region of Honshu.


The hub of the Aichi region, Nagoya is Japan's fourth-largest city after Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka and one of the nation's major economic centers. In terms of manufacturing, as home to auto-making giants Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nagoya is to Japan what Detroit is to the United States which, along with having been completely flattened during World War II, also explains why it's not one of Japan's top tourist draws and most tourists just zip through on the bullet train on their way between Tokyo and Kyoto. But if you do decide to stick around, there are plenty of car-related attractions, a restored castle, an ancient shrine and surprisingly happening nightlife.


Nagoya Castle

Now a modern metropolis, Nagoya gets its name from an old manor called Nagono which was built in the area in the 12th century. The manor prospered for two hundred years, and people began to refer to the area by the manor's name. Over time, the pronunciation of the Chinese characters in the name "Nagono" shifted to "Nagoya", by which the city is now known.

Three famous local figures later helped to put Nagoya firmly on the map of Japan. Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu all hailed from around Nagoya, and all shared the ambitious goal of unifying Japan under one government. Tokugawa finally succeeded in 1603 after winning in the Battle of Sekigahara, and established the Tokugawa Shogunate, which would rule Japan for the next 250 years.

Soon after uniting the country, Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the construction of Nagoya Castle for his son. He then ordered the people of nearby Kiyosu (on the outskirts of Nagoya) to move to the area around the castle, and a town soon came into being. Cotton, ceramics and lumber were the main industries sustaining the town as it grew into a small city.

Following Japan's opening to the world during the Meiji era, Nagoya rapidly industrialized and established transportation links with the rest of Japan that would allow it to easily export its goods. During World War I, Nagoya became known for its foundries as well as its machinery and heavy industry exports, which would continue to grow throughout the 1930s.

The 1920s marked the beginnings of the automotive industry in Nagoya, which continues in importance to the current day. At the heart of the industry is the Toyota Motor Corporation. Starting from humble beginnings as a loom-making company, Toyota entered into the automobile business in the 1930s. It now stands as the world's largest automaker, and continues to dominate the local economy along with the car-making giants Honda and Mitsubishi.

During World War II, much of Nagoya's manufacturing infrastructure turned to the production of military goods, making it a prime target for bombing raids. Almost 25% of the city was destroyed during the war, with almost half the population fleeing to the countryside to avoid the attacks.

The end of the war marked a new start for Nagoya. Car-friendly wide streets and boulevards were bulldozed through the rubble of war, making for the city of today.

Nagoya now ranks as one of the nation's economic powerhouses, and is home to the head offices of Toyota Motor Corporation, Brother Industries, Daido Steel, Makita, Denso Corporation, INAX, Suzuki Motor, Honda Motor, Noritake, NGK Insulators, Olympus Optical, Yamaha and many others. Unlike other parts of Japan, which borrowed heavily for elaborate and expensive public works projects in the bubble years of the 1980s, ketchi (cheap) Nagoya held to a pay-as-you-go philosophy, and has not been as adversely affected by the post-bubble recession as other major centers.

The booming economy has also brought many foreigners to the area, and the region now hosts a thriving community of Japanese-descent Brazilian immigrants, who help to keep the wheels of the local economy spinning. With its strong economy and growing population, Nagoya is a city to watch in the coming years.


Nagoya's climate varies greatly throughout the year, with average temperatures ranging from a low of 4°C (39.2°F) in January to a high of 27°C (80.6°F) in August. The city is known for its incredibly hot and humid summers like many cities in Japan, with high temperatures routinely surpassing 30°C (86°F)in August, so those with an aversion to heat would be better off visiting in the milder temperatures of the spring or autumn.


While divided into 16 different wards or ku (区), the focal points of this sprawling agglomeration are Nagoya Station (名古屋駅) to the north, Sakae (栄) to the east and Kanayama (金山) to the south.

Tourist Information

Nagoya Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nagoya Chamber of Commerce & Industry Bldg. 11F, 2-10-19 Sakae, Naka-ku,  +81 52 202-1143 (Tourism Dept). Operates three tourist information centers across the city:

Get in

By plane

Not arriving via Centrair Airport?

  • If you happen to arrive in Japan at Osaka's Kansai International Airport, Nagoya can be reached in no less than two hours by taking the Haruka limited express train to Shin-Osaka station, then changing to the Tokaido Shinkansen.
  • A small number of air flights operate daily from Tokyo's Narita Airport to Centrair Airport, for the benefit of international passengers. Otherwise, Nagoya is no less than three hours away by taking the Narita Express limited express train to Tokyo's Shinagawa station, then changing to the Tokaido Shinkansen.

Chubu Centrair International Airport (中部国際空港 Chūbu Kokusai Kūkō), Japan's third major international gateway, is on an artificial island 30 minutes south from the center of town. Facilities include two hotels, restaurants, a shopping concourse, and an onsen spa with views of the runways. Centrair opened in 2005, and this airport replaced the preexisting Nagoya airport, also taking over its IATA code NGO.

The best way of connecting between Centrair Airport and central Nagoya is the Meitetsu Airport Line. The fastest trains are called "μSKY" (myuu-sukai) and depart for Nagoya every 30 minutes. The journey takes 28 minutes at a cost of ¥1200: the ¥850 regular fare plus the mandatory ¥350 first class charge, also called the μticket (ミューチケット myuu-chiketto). Only first class cars are available on "μSKY" trains. Slower Limited Express trains, also operating every 30 minutes, offer both first class (reserved) and ordinary class (non-reserved) seating and take 37 minutes for the run to Nagoya. Note that Meitetsu trains are not free for JR Railpass riders.

Buses run from Centrair Airport and several destinations within Nagoya: the Nagoya Tokyu Hotel (5 minute walk from Sakae subway station), Nagoya Kanko Hotel (2 minute walk from Fushimi subway station) and the intersection between Nishiki Dori and Hommachi Dori, near the Circle K convenience store (also a 2 minute walk from the Fushimi subway station). The trip takes approximately one hour and costs ¥1000. Note that there are only eight round-trip buses per day, and the buses do not serve the main Nagoya train station.

Tsubame Airport Limousine offers private van service between Nagoya and Centrair Airport. The one-way cost is about ¥13,400 per vehicle. Vans can seat up to seven passengers, so a party of seven would pay ¥1,910 per person.

Slightly more expensive than the van is a taxi... one hailed directly by yourself is extremely expensive. As a rule of thumb, a trip to Nagoya station will run approximately ¥15,000-16,000.

Nagoya Airport

While all other companies have moved to Chubu, regional flights by Fuji Dream Airline still use the old Nagoya Airport (IATA: NKM), also known as Komaki Airport, to the north of the city. Flights are available to a number of domestic destinations including Aomori, Iwate, Niigata, Kochi, Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Nagasaki. Shuttle buses (¥700) connect to Nagoya station in 28 minutes.

By train

Nagoya Train Station

Nagoya is located along the Tokaido Shinkansen route between Tokyo and Osaka. To the west are Gifu and Kyoto, and to the east are Hamamatsu and Shizuoka.

Thru Nozomi trains from western Japan reach Nagoya from Okayama (1 hr 40 mins, ¥10980), Hiroshima (2 hrs 20 mins, ¥13830) and Hakata station in Fukuoka (3 hrs 20 mins, ¥18030). It is slightly longer via the Hikari service; you will need to change trains at least once, either at Okayama, Shin-Kobe, or Shin-Osaka.

If you wish to sacrifice travel speed for savings, you can take advantage of the Puratto (Platt) Kodama Ticket, which offers a discount for Kodama services if you purchase at least one day in advance. You get a reserved seat and a coupon for a free drink (including beer) which can be redeemed at a "Kiosk" convenience counter inside the station. With this ticket a trip to Nagoya costs ¥8100 from Tokyo (3 hours; 2 trains per hour), ¥4200 from Kyoto (1 hour; 1 train per hour) and ¥4300 from Shin-Osaka (1 1/4 hours; 1 train per hour). A few early-morning Kodama trains cannot be used with this ticket.

Nagoya also serves as the terminal point for the hourly Wide View Shinano, a limited express train that runs from the mountain resort towns of Nagano and Matsumoto. Nagoya is reached in 3 hours and 2 hours, respectively.

Local trains from Tokyo take about 6 hours at a cost of ¥6090, requiring several train changes along the way. However, trips on local trains are more valuable if you purchase and use a Seishun 18 Ticket during the valid time period: as low as ¥2300 per person if five people travel together. Otherwise, consider using a bus starting from ¥5000, or step up to the bullet train for ¥7900 using the Puratto Kodama Ticket.

Remember that the Japan Rail Pass covers all journeys described above, EXCEPT for Nozomi trains.

Nagoya is also served by the Meitetsu (名鉄) and Kintetsu (近鉄) private railways. If coming to Nagoya from Osaka, a travel option that comes cheaper than the Shinkansen is a Kintetsu limited express service called the Urban Liner (アーバンライナー), which runs out of Namba station. The Urban Liner departs at 0 and 30 minutes past the hour, covering the journey in as little as two hours, but at a cost of ¥4150 each way. (The shinkansen, by comparison, makes the run from Shin-Osaka to Nagoya in under an hour for ¥5670). Japan Rail Passes are not valid for the Urban Liner.

By bus

As Nagoya is a major city, there are many day and overnight buses which run between Nagoya and other locations throughout Japan, which can be a cheaper alternative than the shinkansen or local trains.

From Tokyo, bus runs to Nagoya are frequent, using the Tomei Expressway along the southern coast or the Chuo Expressway through the central part of the country. Trips take anywhere from 5 to 9 hours depending on the route and stops. Some of the faster, nonstop daytime runs utilize the Shin-Tomei Expressway, a new highway that runs parallel to the existing Tomei Expressway.

The following are among the major bus services available between Tokyo and Nagoya: (Current as of September, 2012)

Willer Express

Discount bus operator Willer Express runs daytime and overnight buses with a variety of seating options. Bus journeys can be booked online in English, and Willer's Japan Bus Pass is valid on all of their routes with some exceptions.

Buses from Tokyo leave from Willer's own bus terminal, located west of Shinjuku Station in the Sumitomo Building. Some buses also leave directly from Shinjuku Station's West exit, Tokyo Station - Yaesu-Chuo Exit, Tokyo Disneyland - Goofy Car Park, Hamamatsucho Station and Yokohama Station. Buses discharge in Nagoya at the Taiko exit in front of the BIC Camera store.

Willer's overnight one-way fares to/from Tokyo start from approximately ¥3000 for overnight trips in standard seats up to ¥5300 in canopy seats with advanced purchase. Daytime bus fares start from ¥3000. Fares are typically higher on weekends and holidays.

JR Bus

JR Bus (Japanese Website) is also a major operator on the Tokyo-Nagoya route. The drawback is that you cannot make online reservations in English, but you can make reservations in train stations at the same "Midori-no-Madoguchi" ticket windows used to reserve seats on trains.

JR Buses depart from Tokyo Station - Yaesu Exit (八重洲口) and the JR Highway Bus Terminal (JR高速バスターミナル) located adjacent to Yoyogi Station on the Yamanote Line (one stop south of Shinjuku).

JR Bus offers, in order of comfort and price, Seishun (youth) buses with 2x2 seating configurations and Standard buses with individual seats arranged 1x1x1. Some buses offer more spacious Super Seats and Premium Seats which incur an additional surcharge of ¥600 and ¥1200, respectively.

JR Bus' overnight one-way fares to/from Tokyo start from approximately ¥2350 for overnight trips in Seishun buses up to ¥3900 for standard buses with advanced purchase. Daytime bus fares start from ¥2280. Fares are typically higher on weekends and holidays.

Japan Rail Passes (for trains) used to be valid on this and other JR highway bus routes, but as of April 2013 this has been discontinued.

Meitetsu Bus

Meitetsu is a major transit operator located in Nagoya, operating long distance buses throughout Japan's major cities. Meitetsu runs daytime and overnight buses between Shinjuku and Nagoya's Meitetsu Bus Center in conjunction with Keio Bus. Fares start from ¥3500 one way.

To/From Kansai and Kobe

Meishin Highway Bus Line: 16 daily round-trips between Nagoya and Kyoto (2 1/2 hours, ¥2500), seven round-trips between Nagoya and Osaka (3 hours, ¥2900), and six round-trips between Nagoya and Kobe (3 hours, ¥3300). Discounts are given on round-trip purchases.

By boat

Taiheiyo Ferry (太平洋フェリー) +81-52-398-1023. Offers overnight car ferries to Sendai (21 hrs 40 mins) and Tomakomai in southern Hokkaido (40 hrs) on the SS Ishikari and SS Kitakami from the Nagoya Ferry Terminal (Japanese).

The ferry terminal is located south of Noseki stn (野跡駅) on the JR Aonami line (あおなみ線 Aonami-sen). Get off at the station and board a city bus bound for Feri futo (フェリーふ頭) bus stop (takes 7 to 10 mins). Shuttle bus also available from the downtown Meitetsu Bus Center (名鉄バスセンター) next to Nagoya Station. Bus departs from 4F, platform 2 at 5:20PM and arrives at the ferry terminal at around 5:55PM. For further details, check out the ferry's website.

Get around

Nagoya is a big automotive industry center, and it shows. The street network is extensive and even downtown locations can be easily reached by car. On the downside, trains and subways are less convenient than in Tokyo or Kansai, and more expensive. For those travelling with a JR Rail Pass, note that the train network doesn't have many stations in the city and you'll probably find yourself using the bus or subway a lot, something your pass won't cover.

By subway

There are 5 main subway lines:

Subways run every several minutes between about 5:30AM until about 12:30AM. Fares range from ¥200 to ¥320. One day passes can be bought for ¥600 (bus), ¥740 (subway), and ¥850 (bus & subway).

On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays you can also take advantage of the cheaper Donichi-Eco-Kippu (ドニチエコきっぷ) one-day subway ticket which offers unlimited subway travel for ¥600. Please note that this pass is often not available from subway ticket machines and may have to be purchased in person from a station employee at the ticket gate.

City transportation one day passes also offer discounted entry at various attractions in Nagoya, including Nagoya Castle and the Toyota Museum.

Wifi access is available in most subway stations. More information about public transportation in Nagoya can be found on the official website of the Nagoya Transportation Bureau.

By taxi

Taxis are a viable option in this car city, especially as the basic fee is only ¥480 (compared to ¥710 in Tokyo or Yokohama). The catch is that the basic fee only takes you 1.3 km compared to 2 km in most other parts of Japan. But for shorter distances within the city, a taxi is not only much more convenient than descending to those dark, unappealing subway stations, but also as cheap as the subway if there are at least two of you.


Atsuta Jingū
Tokugawa Garden
Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology
Nagoya Port Aquarium
SCMaglev and Railway Park
Ōsu Kannon


Nagoya TV Tower viewed from Oasis 21



Nagoya Sumo Tournament
Nagoya matsuri
Tsutsui-chō/Dekimachi tennōsai



The Chūnichi Dragons (中日ドラゴンズ Chūnichi-doragonzu) , winners of the 2007 Japan Series, play in the Central League of Japanese Professional Baseball. Check out one of their games at the Nagoya Dome (Japanese) in Ōzone, northeast of downtown. (15 min walk E of JR Ōzone stn. (Chūō line) via S exit, Subway: Nagoya-dome-mae-yada (Meijō line))


Shopping Areas

Ōsu Shopping Arcade
Ferris Wheel at Sakae



Best bets for cameras and electronics include Bic Camera, a massive 5 story camera and electronics megastore across the street from Nagoya station (on the Taikō-dōri side). Ōsu Market also has a number of large and small electronics shops, including Goodwill (computers and peripherals - otaku culture fans will also want to check out the maid cafe in the basement), DOS Para and others. Unfortunately, some of the electronics shops in Osu (such as Goodwill) are not located on the main shopping streets, and you may have to ask around to find them. There are also two Eiden electronics superstores located in Fushimi and near JR Ōzone stn on the JR Chūō Line.



Nagoya is big on miso, a sauce made from fermented soybeans and grain. You should not leave the city without trying misokatsu (味噌カツ), fried pork cutlet with a rich, red miso sauce on it.

The other Nagoya classic is shrimp tempura, particularly when wrapped up in rice and dried seaweed and turned into a handy portable package known as a tenmusu (天むす).

The city is also known for uirō (外郎), a confectionery made out of rice flour and sugar; a little firmer than gelatin but not as sticky as mochi. Many different flavors are available, including red bean (小豆 azuki) and green tea (抹茶 matcha).

Nagoya's noodle specialty is kishimen (きしめん), a flat, broad noodle often served in a miso or soy sauce broth. Available in most restaurant-gai in shopping centres or close to major railway stations.

Hitsumabushi (ひつまぶし) is an eel dish. Hitsumabushi is served with rice in a small box, and can be eaten three ways. First, just the eel and rice; second, with green onions and nori, and third, with tea or soup stock poured over it.




Nagoya's nouveaux riche are catered for by several luxury department stores and many first-class restaurants, which are sometimes difficult find for auto-less tourists.


Around Nagoya station, there are a lot of places for cheap drinking. Sakae is the big nightlife district, in a loose triangle formed by the Sakae, Yaba-cho and Osu Kannon stations. Sakae has a large red light district as well, but as with most of Japan, there's no sense of danger so don't worry about drifting around. There are countless izakayas around Kanayama station, both cheap chains and more upscale places.

If the bar and club scene is not for you, try Nagoya Friends and their bimonthly international parties. Always a dynamic mix of foreigners and Japanese. At the party it's all you can drink and eat (~¥3000).




Nagoya has some good clubs. A lot of the DJs who play Tokyo also pass through Nagoya. Many of the most popular clubs are located in Sakae and Shin-sakae-machi (just east of Sakae and south of the Naka ward office).

Be aware that even on week-ends, on less popular nights, clubs empty or even close early (around 2-3AM) in Nagoya. This is a sharp contrast to Tokyo, where most people come by train and have to stick around for good or for bad until the first train in the morning. In auto-city Toyota, however, many people come by car; they can and will go home early if they are bored.

Gay and Lesbian dance events are held monthly by the Nagoya Metro Club at LOVER: z across from the CBC-TV building in Shinsakae-machi.




  • Nagoya Marunouchi (名古屋丸の内), 1-4-20 Marunochi, Naka-ku (2 minute walk from No. 8 exit of Marunochi Station on the Tsurumai and Sakura-Dori Subway Lines),  +81 52-223-1045, fax: +81 52-223-1046. Singles ¥5800-6300, Doubles ¥6800-7800, Twins ¥7800. Weekly rate ¥5000 per night.
  • Nagoya Nishiki (名古屋錦), 3-9-3 Nishiki, Naka-ku (5 minute walk from No. 4 exit of Hisaya Odori Station on the Sakuradori Subway Line),  +81 52-953-1045, fax: +81 52-951-2045. Singles ¥6000, Doubles/Twins ¥8000.
  • Nagoya-eki Sakuradori-guchi Honkan (名古屋駅桜通口本館), 3-16-1 Meieki, Nakamura-ku (5 minute walk from Sakura-dori Exit of JR Nagoya Station),  +81 52-571-1045, fax: +81 52-561-1046. Singles ¥5900-6300, Doubles/Twins ¥8300.
  • Nagoya-eki Sakuradori-guchi Shinkan (名古屋駅桜通口新館), 3-9-16 Meieki, Nakamura-ku (5 minute walk from Sakura-dori Exit of JR Nagoya Station),  +81 52-562-1045, fax: +81 52-562-1046. Singles ¥6300, Doubles/Twins ¥8300.
  • Nagoya-eki Shinkansen-guchi (名古屋駅新幹線口), 7-16 Tsubaki-cho, Nakamura-ku (3 minute walk from Taiko-Dori (Shinkansen) Exit of JR Nagoya Station),  +81 52-453-1047, fax: +81 52-453-1046. Singles ¥6300-6380, Doubles ¥7300, Twins ¥8300.
  • Nagoya Shin Sakae-machi (名古屋新栄町), 2-22-21 Higashi-Sakura, Naka-ku (6 minute walk from Shin Sakae-machi Station on the Higashiyama Subway Line),  +81 52-934-1045, fax: +81 52-934-1046. Singles ¥5800-6300, Doubles ¥7000-7800, Twins ¥7800.






Nagoya has two Citibank branches for foreign-friendly cash withdrawals with a main branch in Sakae and a mini-branch in the North Tower above Nagoya Station:

There is also a 24/7 Citibank ATM across from the Meitetsu station entrance gate at the airport. As elsewhere in Japan, post offices and 7-Elevens also allow international ATM withdrawals.

Foreign Exchange


Radio Stations


Like other major cities in Japan, you can also pick up the (Tokyo-centric) English dailies The Japan Times and Japan News (by the Yomiuri Shimbun) at selected bookstores and convenience stores around the city (or read them for free at the International Center library).

Go next

Inuyama Castle
Owari Tsushima Tennōsai(eve)


Routes through Nagoya

Osaka Gifu-Hashima  W  E  Mikawa-Anjō → Toyohashi Tokyo
END  W  E  Shiojiri Tokyo
Nara Kuwana  W  E  END
Gifu Ichinomiya  W  E  Okazaki Hamamatsu
END  W  E  Tajimi Tokyo
Kameyama Kuwana ← Yatomi  W  E  END
Yokkaichi Kuwana-Minami  W  E  Toyota
Kyoto Ichinomiya  W  E  END
END  W  E  Toyota Tokyo

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 25, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.