Nagoya is the biggest city in the central region (Chubu region), and 4th largest city by population in Japan. However, it is very common that Nagoya is hardly put in the Japan sightseeing bucket list, even among Japanese travelers.
When looking at the glory of popular attraction spots in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and other cities, each spot in Nagoya is not enough to stand out, but it doesn’t mean Nagoya has nothing to see.
Since the transportation networks are developed and the city size is compact to get around, so I am saying 1 day is enough for sightseeing.
Especially the unique local cuisine, called “Nagoya Meshi” (名古屋飯), you can’t miss if you are in Nagoya.
Today, I am going to introduce the 1-day itinerary that getting around staple sightseeing spots by Nagoya city subway.
- “Morning set” as the beginning of the day
- Get a subway pass
- Lunch at Kinsyachi Yokocho
- “Oasis 21” & Nagoya TV tower (Sakae)
- Atusta Jinugu Shrine
- Osu Shopping District & Osu Kannon
- Finish at Nagoya station
Get The Subway Pass At A Closest Station
To save money and make travel handy, get a prepaid transportation card or a 1-day pass for the Nagoya subway.
There is a “Nagoya subway 24-hour ticket” for unlimited Nagoya city subway rides if you think it has a good deal for you.
- Price…¥760 (Adult) ¥380 (Child)
- Available for all subway lines (only) in Nagoya
You can buy the ticket via ticket vending machine, station officer booth, station master’s office, Transportation Bureau Service Center (Commuter Tickets)
SHORYUDO Nagoya Subway & Bus 1-Day Ticket
*the Nagoya City Transportation Bureau website
- Price…¥620 (2 tickets limited by one passport)
- Available for all subway lines & Nagoya city buses, and the sightseeing route bus “Me~guru”
- Available for non-Japanese passport holders
It is a discount travel pass for only international visitors. “Shoryudo ticket” gives you unlimited ride for subways, Nagoya city buses, and the sightseeing route bus for all day when you purchase.
This ticket is available in only certain places listed below and requires you to show a non-Japanese passport.
- Chubu Centrair Int’l Airport, Meitetsu Travel Plaza
- Chubu Centrair Int’l Airport, Central Japan Travel Center
- Nagoya City Kanayama Tourist Information Center (Kanayama Station, Loop Kanayama 1F)
- Oasis 21 iCenter (Sakae Station, Oasis 21 B1F)
- Transportation Bureau Service Center (at Nagoya, Kanayama, Sakae subway stations)
Start A Day With “Morning Set” At Kissaten
For the beginning of the Nagoya trip, find “Kissaten” (喫茶店) which means a “coffee shop” around you.
You can’t leave Nagoya without the experience of “Morning Set”.
• What’s the “Morning set”???
“Morning set” custom is seen mostly in only the central region of Japan, it is the service offered during a certain time in the morning at coffee shops.
Where To Go For “Morning set”
Go to Nagoya Castle
Take Meijo (Purple) Line and Get off “Shiyaku-sho(city hall) station”(市役所 M07).
Nagoya Castle is a popular sightseeing spot, especially “Honmaru Goten”(本丸御殿), the castle palace, is the new attraction opened in 2018.
Souce; Nagoya castle official website, Honmarugoten
Don’t miss the traditional luxurious paintings that incorporate ancient techniques and wisdom on the Fusuma door (traditional Japanese door) and ceiling.
Unfortunately, the iconic castle tower has been reconstructed and is planning to complete hopefully in three years.
Also, Nagoya Castle Park is famous for spectacular cherry blossoms in Spring. Many visitors enjoy vibrant pink blossoms with the “Ohanami” party in the park.
Fill Up Your Stomach With “Nagoya Meshi” at Kinshachi Yokocho
“Kinshachi Yokocho” (金シャチ横丁) is the new attraction in Nagoya Castle, has been lively with foodies since it opened in 2018.
You can find “Nagoya Meshi” such as “Miso Nikomi Udon noodles”, “Hitsumabushi”, “Miso Katsu”, and more.
Go To Nagoya’s Downtown, Sakae District
After lunch, head to Sakae downtown area from the castle. Return to “Meijo Koen” (M08) or “Shiyakusho”(M07) station, get on the subway toward Sakae. The Meijo Line is a loop line, so take the subway that runs counterclockwise.
After you take selfies with Spaceship-aqua and Nagoya TV tower, take a peek the underground shopping malls.
Hundreds of shops and eateries in the underworld, it is actually three big shopping malls which are “Sakae Chika” (サカエチカ), “Central Park” (セントラルパーク), and “Mori no Chikagai” (森の地下街).
Only even walking though is very fun, stop to buy cheap and cute hair accessories, bags, and stationaries.
It is one of the big underground shopping malls in Japan so don’t get lost. To the next spot, get on Meijo Line again, get off “Jingu Nishi”(M27).
The Substitute Plan
Sakae Downtown area is mostly for shopping or as the terminal station, not so many things to do for sightseeing. If you want to skip Skakae for now and come back later, (Osu shopping district and Sakae downtown are in a walking-distance,) “Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium” is recommended as the substitute plan.
From Nagoya castle, go to Kanayama station(金山, M01) and transfer to “Meiko Line”(the purple double line) toward “Nagoyako-Nagoya Port'(名古屋港, E07).
Feel 1900-year History & Peaceful Atmosphere At Atsuta Jingu Shrine
Atsuta Jingu Shrine(熱田神宮) has 7 million visitors every year and is a famous and sacred place as one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan, Kusanaginomitsurugi (the sword). There are 28 shrines in the precincts, including the main shrine.
Get off “Jingu Nishi” station follow the sign marked 300 meter to the west entrance.
If you are lucky, you can meet the famous messengers – “Chickens”.
Have A Tea Break At Atsuta Shrine; Kiyome Chaya
If you visit the main shrine, you should definitely stop by at “Kiyome Chaya”(きよめ茶屋). In this tea house, you can enjoy the “Kiyome Mochi”(きよめ餅) with Matcha green tea looking out at the Japanese garden. “Kiyomemochi” is the specialty of Atsuta Jingu. It is the silky rice cake with sweet bean paste filling, there is also another type with chestnut in it.
Before going back to Nagoya station, one more stop. My husband’s favorite place, Osu Shopping District.
Get on Meijo line (clockwise) and get off “Kamimaezu” station(上前津 M03).
Osu Shopping District
“Osu Shopping District” is the arcade shopping streets surrounded by four major streets in Nagoya, close to Sakae, Yaba-cho, and Fushimi. It does not only have a lot of street food stalls but also many shops where you can buy anything for a good price.
A typical traditional shopping street with a unique mix of culture and generation. Lots of shops selling gifts and food. This place is like a small town, each street and alley has a different aspect. It is a good place to take a peek of the local resident’s life and one of my husband’s favorite places.
Osu is also well-known for the Cosplay festival held.
Finish at Nagoya Station
Take Tsurumai (Blue) Line from “Osu Kannon station” (大須観音) near Osu Kannon temple to Nagoya station.
Nagoya station is another downtown, as the terminal station of central Japan, fills with numbers of eateries in underground shopping malls, big department stores(JR Takashimaya, JR gate tower, Midland square, Meitetsu Department store, Kintetsu Passe) overground around the station.
If you don’t have the whole day to spend in Nagoya, just take a stroll around Nagoya Station.
Go to ESCA where almost all kinds of “Nagoya Meshi” gathered in one place.
This staple Nagoya trip plan is the golden route that is perfect for your first sightseeing in the town.
Yet, there are more places that I can’t squeeze in the one-day itinerary.
Hoping you get interested in Nagoya and read other posts about Nagoya.
Feel the Nagoya power and head to the next destination!!