Nagoya, Japan – Where to Go and What to Eat

Nagoya is famous for a variety of delicious foods, but also for its history! Nagoya is where Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi were born. You can learn a little more about Nagoya’s history inside the Nagoya Castlemuseum.

This is not the original castle. The original burned down during WWII from an air raid, but some artifacts survived. You can see those in the museum as well. If you go to the top of Nagoya Castle you can view Nagoya city from a high vantage point.  Walk around the observatory deck to have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.

They have these viewfinders (that remind me of Wall-E from the Disney movie) for those buildings that are too far away to see clearly.

If you need proof that you visited Nagoya Castle you can get this stamp. Woohoo!…yeah, I’m not sure what you would do with this. I’m thinking it is more for the kids.

Transportation for the rich back in the day. I think my butt would have fallen asleep along with my legs and toes! Also, I’m sure the up and down movement from the two people carrying the carriage would have made me nauseous as well. I’d rather walk thank you!

There are 2 statues of Shachihoko on the top of this castle. The used to be made of gold, but they apparently had a problem with people stealling the scales for money. Then, they were made of bronze and these are the ones that were in the fire during WWII. They had completely new ones made and placed on top of the rebuilt Nagoya Castle.

Here is the other one and also the giant version they have in the lobby area of the castle. It’s one of Nagoya’s symbols so they needed a giant Shachihoko in the lobby. But, at least it is the color the original versions would have been when they were made.

This one I have no idea, but it looks cool! It kind of looks like chopsticks with steam or fire coming off of them…what do you think?

This is a giant bath tub that used to have gold sheets or flakes placed on the bottom. This bath tub could probably fit 4 – 5 people, sitting cross legged, comfortably.

This is the little souvenir that I got for myself. I couldn’t resist, it was too funny! There is a mini Shachihoko biting the tail of Rody a donkey or horse like character.


When visiting Nagoya eating Hitsumabushi is a must. This is a famous dish in Nagoya and if you like eel, or are open to trying eel (which I highly recommend you do), then you should eat Hitsumabushi. You have to eat  (well, you don’t HAVE to, but this is the way the restaurants recommend you eat Hitsumabushi) in 3 steps. First, you eat the first third simply, the way it arrived in front of you.

Second, you eat another third with the dried seaweed and wasabi that is provided. Third, you eat the last portion by pouring soup over the eel and rice to make ochazuke. Oh it’s so delicious! Although, I have to admit my favorite is the second step….I tend to skip the third step, but don’t tell anyone (Shhh!). For the restaurant link please see the last photo.

If you are in the mood for some cake then I recommend A La Campagne. It is located on the basement floor of the Mitsukoshi department store, next to the escalators that connect the Mitsukoshi department store and the LaChic department store. If you aren’t in Nagoya then don’t worry they have many locations! Several in Tokyo, a few in Kobe and a couple in Osaka as well. I will warn you that the site is in Japanese, so I hope you can decipher the address or ask someone to help you (Hotel staff maybe?)

The atmosphere is very cozy and the display case will make your mouth water. I pass by this cafe almost daily after work (because it is a short cut to my train station and because I like to torture myself, apparently). The top photo is of their chestnut cake which is only available during the chestnut season (Autumn) in Japan. The second photo is a mousse like cake, a very creamy, whipped cheese cake. It was so fluffy and just melts in your mouth. They tend to rotate the types of cake they make each day, but they usually have the popular ones available. Another thing to remember is that many of the cakes are available by season only. Which means you can enjoy the fruits that are in season! If you liked “Qui fait bonne” which has disappeared from the Matsuzakaya department store in Nagoya (because of H&M, yay!) this is a good replacement for that cake shop.

Author of this article

Victoria Marie Hurd

Victoria blogs on Victoriainjapanland about places that she visits. Most are in Japan, but also about other countries that she visits. She has been blogging since she moved to Nagoya in 2010. She enjoys using her photos to show the interesting sights that she encounters in her travels. When she isn't taking photographs she is working as an English instructor and daydreaming of places that she can go to to take photos. She resides in Nagoya with her Japanese boyfriend and her cat.

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