Nagoya is one of the cities along the Tokaido Shinkansen line, the popular, high speed train line. There are plenty of hidden gems in Nagoya. I recommend visiting if you are traveling on the Tokaido line.
I find that Nagoya doesn’t seem to feature highly in people’s itineraries. It’s a great city, because it has all the big stores like in the other big cities. Unlike the bigger cities, if you want to buy certain things, I found Nagoya the best place to get products. Whether its Pokemon related things or Supreme/Bape clothing, Nagoya stores generally have the stock and the size, unlike its counterparts in Tokyo and Osaka.
We traveled by the Shinkansen from our hotel in Kyoto to Nagoya Station. We opted to stay in a hotel close to the train station. After dropping our belongings, our first destinations were the Supreme and Bape stores in Sakae, the main shopping district in Nagoya.
We came around 11:00 am. When we arrived, we noticed that the Supreme Store was busy and already had a line for the new products being ‘dropped’. It was a Saturday after all. See the photo below. The Bape Store also had a line, but it wasn’t as long as the line at Supreme.
I’ve been to Nagoya twice now. I found both the Supreme and Bape stores well stocked. I was able to buy all the things I wanted. Both stores are for street-ware enthusiasts and the clothing is generally expensive. You won not expect Japanese level service at these stores, as they expect you to know what you want. Best not to cause a fuss.
The Nagoya Pokemon Center is within the main shopping district. It’s a large Pokemon Center house in a shopping center. We were lucky to come across a day where they were hosting children in a Pokemon event. It seemed like a lot of fun as the children were playing games with an attendant trying to guess Pokemon, etc. It was lively. There were heaps of kids huddled together. Like most Japanese kids, they were very well behaved.
Look at all these costumed Pikachu! I love visiting the Pokemon Center. There are so many potential things to buy as gifts or for my collection.
If you look behind the pedestal with the Pikachu statue, you will spot the signature of an important person to the Pokemon franchise. (By the way, you need to touch the Pikachu plushes, they are so wonderfully soft and well-made.)
We had lunch at a popular tonkatsu restaurant. There was a long line in front of the restautant. The tonkastu, breaded deed fried pork, had a layer of delicious teriyaki-like glaze. You can find the restaurant on the main shopping district road. It has a distinctive red pig sign out front. It’s a four storey building.
We also ventured around the streets to explore. We found heaps of excellent sights and places to eat. Nagoya also has plenty of walkways where you can treat yourself to sweets like Korean corn dogs, crepes, bubble tea, taiyaki, etc.
We spent the night trying to reach Nabana no Sato. It was a difficult journey since we failed to find a direct bus to the garden. In all, we rode a train to nearest station and had to walk for close to an hour to this garden. The walk was interesting, but it meant we arrived right before the sun set.
I recommend not taking the train to Nabana no Sato, since there are direct buses from Nagoya Station. We found and realized there were direct buses and dedicated stops when we were leaving Nabana no Sato. Unfortunately, the buses are not frequent during quieter seasons.
I highly recommend coming to Nabana no Sato when it hosts its Winter Illumination. That’s when they add lights to their garden display and its also when you can capture some really stunning photos.
We came during summer, so unfortunately there was no night illuminations. Nonetheless the garden was beautiful to walk around. There were so many different flowers on display. It was all very beautifully curated.
The gardens were picturesque and pretty. It is a great night to wander around and see all the wonderful plants in full bloom during this Summer season.
There is this stunning walkway that displays all kinds of flowers along the side. I recommend taking the time to look at each display as they all seem to inspire in a way.
I loved how lights were added to the water’s edge to illuminate the trees. In the above photo, you can see the trees reflection in the water. I think it looks more amazing in person.
Next time, I head into more rural Japan. Day 12 – Nagoya to Takayama – 30 June 2019 – Hida no Sato (Hida Folk Village) and Takayama Old Town.