I visited Nagoya city in February 2020 (before Coronavirus pandemic), where I spent my life for 10 years.
I had a free whole day myself so that I decided to walk to Shiken-Michi (四間道) from Fushimi (伏見) area.
I found the nice nostalgic coffee shop for “morning set” as the beginning of the day, found the beloved rice cracker shop in the old shopping street, walking by the riverside, felt ancient solemn and mysterious atmosphere at the local shrine on “SHIKEMICHI” street.
It was the beautiful day to photo walking, “Shikemichi” historic district was full of photogenic sights, met lovey fatty cat, and passed through the unique arcade shopping street.
I have no clue how much I walked…I feel A LOT.
I highly recommend to wear comfortable jogging sneakers for Japan trip.
Start “Morning set”
You can’t miss breakfast at Kissa-ten called “Morning set” when you travel in Nagoya.
“Kissa-ten” (喫茶店) is a Japanese traditional (old-style) coffee shop, where people enjoy the place as a community saloon or the place where you can escape from hustle-bustle life.
“Morning set” (モーニングセット) is especially popular breakfast service across the central regions in Japan, and recently get well-known as “Nagoya-meshi”.
The reason why “Morning set” is popular because you will get complimentary breakfast when you order just a drink during the morning service.
It is generally a piece of butter toast and boiled egg, but you will get more food depends on coffee shops.
Kissa Karasu (喫茶カラス)
“Kissa Karasu” is located in Fushimi area, which is one of the popular “retro Kissa-ten” in Nagoya.
I ordered a cup of hot coffee(¥400), and the butter toast and a boiled egg came with a drink.
It is not a “Morning set”, but “Ogura Toast” (¥450) is also the popular menu here (and in Nagoya).
Due to the nostalgic and retro things in Japan has been the hot trend among millennials and international visitors,
its old-fashioned and nostalgic atmosphere attracts them so hopping “retro coffee shop” has been trending recently.
As common as other retro coffee shops, the atmosphere in “Kissa Karasu” makes you time- slipped to the Showa era. (1929 – 1989)
Do you know a “Space Invader” boom around 1978?
Kissa Karasu has two arcade game tables (one is “space invader” and another is “Japanse Mahjong game”) which is less chance to see these days.
|Opening hours||Weekdays: 7:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
Sunday & Holidays: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
|Morning service time||until 10:00 a.m.|
|Closed||Saturday & some times|
(the menu is Japanese only)
“Misono street” (御園通り) is the shopping street that begins from “Misono-Za”, the Kabuki theater in Nagoya.
It is one of the old and small shopping streets in Nagoya, there are many local retail and restaurants still have on business.
“Shusyoudou Kouraku” (秀松堂光楽), the Japanse traditional rice cracker (Senbei-せんべい) store, has been business the corner of Misono street since 1930.
The signature rice cracker is “Umya Nya” (うみゃあニャア), means “tasty Meow” in Nagoya accents and cat language.
In Japan, “Meow” is not “Meow”. We say “Nyaa~” in Japanese.
It’s a very small store but full of rice crackers and “cat goods”.
|Address||1 Chome-10-13 Sakae, Naka Ward,|
Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008
|Opening hours||Weekdays: 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
Weekends & Holidays: 8:30 a.m. – 4 :00 p.m.
Also, you can stop by “Misosno-Za”(御園座), the Kabuki theater, close by “Shusyoudou Kouraku”.
There is a neat gift shop on the ground floor, you can buy local Nagoya goods and foods if you are interested in.
Along Hori Riverside
After Misono street, walk down “Hori riverside” to “Shiken-Michi”.
Hori river runs north-south through the center of Nagoya City, which is a 16.2km long river flowing down to Nagoya Port.
It hardly says the river is clean and beautiful, however, Nagoya city has been challenging to restore the river as the heart of the city for about 20 years, especially Nayabashi (the bridge) area, new buildings, and stylish restaurants are opened along the riverside.
There are still local homey “Izakayas” along the other side of the river, it is like a contrast of “New” and “Old”.
I started “Shigemichi historic district” tour from “Sengen Shrine”(浅間神社).
It is unknown when the shrine had built, however the shrine had relocated in 1647.
The shrine appeared suddenly when I walked into the residential area, and I felt the ancient solemn and mysterious atmosphere form the shrine.
“Oinari-sama”(お稲荷様) is revered as a god of harvest, it also is called, “Inari”, “Oinari”, and “Oinari-san”.
From ancient years, “Oinari-sama” has been existing as a guardian for protecting the people.
You can often see the pair of fox in Shrine, it is believed the messengers of the god.
It is called “Fujiko Shrine”(富士光稲荷社), I am sorry that I am not 100% sure how to read, could be “Fujihikari Shrine”.
Don’t forget to read shrine manners!
“Shikemichi”(四間道) is a 400m-long historical street along the Hori river that was prospered when the Nagoya Castle was around 400 years ago.
During the Edo period, over middle-class merchants had their business on the main street, but most lower-class merchants and craftsmen rented houses in tenements along the backstreets called “Nagaya”(長屋).
In recent years, those houses along Shiken-Michi have been transformed into cafes, wine bars, and galleries that remained the Edo period atmosphere, and it became a trend spot among young people and visitors from other regions.
You can take a walk from Nagoya station to Shiken-Michi, or take a sightseeing route bus in Nagoya called “Meguru”.
The Old Arcade Shopping Street
“Endoji” arcade shopping street
The “Endoji Shotengai” (円頓寺商店街), Nagoya’s oldest shopping arcade just by the Shikemichi historic district.
Meet the local people, hop local bars & Izakayas at night.
Actually, “Endoji Shotengai” has been trending among young people, there are stylish bars and cafes that have been opening in recent years.
Endoji Alley & The Cute Chubby Cat
The narrow alley in “Endoji Shotengai”, the atmosphere of this alley is like not accept aliens, but it’s really attractive, you know.
I met lovely chubby cat, I guess she is loved by local people in this narrow alley.
I could use all my courage to enter the alley easily due to in the middle of the afternoon, and I was shooting pictures and met the local adorable cat.
It is only less than 2 miles if you walk directly from Kissa Karasu to Shiken Michi historic district.
I didn’t walk straight, indeed, I walked more but it was very fun.
Sometimes (often?) I like going for a walk alone in a beautiful place with the intention to ponder about insignificant things.
And love walking around where I have never been.
I highly recommend to visit “Shiken Mishi” & “Endoji Shopping Street” to feel “nostalgic” Japan.
By the way, the cubby cat is very friendly.
Do you want to know what you can do in NAGOYA?