From Tokyo I took the Willer Express night bus (using my bus pass) and headed towards Nagoya, which lies half way between Tokyo and Osaka. I arrived very early in the morning and had a full day to spend in Nagoya before heading to Osaka in the evening. I headed to the nearest Starbucks for Wifi in order to plan my day. Keep in mind that before 7-7.30 everything will be closed (I arrived around 5.30, so I had to wait quite a while).
After a great coffee and locking up my backpack I headed to the bus stop where I decided to buy a ticket for the Nagoya Sightseeing Route Bus. I’m usually not a big fan of tourist busses, but this one was great. For 500 Yen you can hop on and off at many attractions around the city and see some interesting things. The route starts at the JR station (you can buy tickets directly at the bus stop).
The route I did was: Nagoya Station – Nagoya Castle – Tokugawaen – Nagoya TV Tower – Hirokoji-Sakae – Nagoya Station
If I’d had more time I would have also gone to the Toyota Museum, but the whole route took me about one day (9-16)
Very interesting if you haven’t seen any Japanese castle yet (first picture of the post). Make sure you enter the beautiful wooden pavilion and go up the castle for a view of the city.
Tokugawaen (240 Yen)
The beautiful little garden in Tokugawaen is worth a short visit. You’ll find little waterfalls, koei fish and a nice view where the new clashes with the old. I was lucky enough to see a wedding reception from the garden.
Nagoya TV Tower
At this stop I got off and went to see the Oasis 21, a huge shopping mall where I had lunch and saw some street artists (there was an event going on inside the mall)Hirokoji-Sakae
At this stop I went to the Design Center, where there wasn’t much to see besides an interesting exhibition on new products. I tasted some juices which came out of wine bottles (but were without alcohol) – pretty awesome!Hirokoji-Fushimi
Here I went to the City Art Museum (small but lovely permanent modern art collection). One of my favorite pieces was Frank Stella’s “The Sermon”. I also went to see the City Science Museum, which was very big but unfortunately only had Japanese explanations. For 180 Yen you can see how microwaves are composed, how tornados work, enter a room where there are -20°C or simply see a model of Nagoya with toy trains.