Nagoya is the 4th most populated city in Japan and our 3rd stop for this Japan Diaries. Early morning we said our goodbyes to Tokyo and took another bullet train ride to Nagoya. By this time the temperature continued to drop and having 5 layers of clothing was still not enough for me. Nevertheless, we still had the best of times in Nagoya.
After riding a subway and walking for 10 minutes we found our hostel, our favorite of all, left our bags and made our way to Nagoya Castle on foot. Nagoya Castle is among the top castles to visit in Japan and one of the biggest in the country. (Admission fee: 500 JPY)
Nagoya Castle is 6 stories high and inside the donjon (inner tower) is a museum containing exhibits on the history of Nagoya and the castle, and it’s interactive too! And among the highlights is the view from the 6th floor. We started at the top floor and made our way down a floor at a time.
After we’ve had our fill of the castle we were on the way out when we were sort of ushered to go into the Palace. The palace (Honmaru Goten), along with the castle, was destroyed during the World War II. The castle donjon’s reconstruction was started in 1959 and was reopened to the public 6 years ago. The start of the palace reconstruction took place during that time and in 2013, they’ve open the entrance hall and the main hall to the public. While the castle is built with protection in mind, a palace is built to prove royalty. And inside the Nagoya Palace (Honmaru Goten) are rooms with tatami floors and walls made of gold. Royalty indeed!
Nagoya offers a lot of interesting sites and places and its access is made easy by the Meguru Bus Loop. It’s a sightseeing bus that stops at most of the tourist spots in Nagoya, including the Nagoya Castle. We boarded the Meguru Bus Loop across the Nagoya Castle (500 JPY unlimited ride; 210 JPY single ride), paid the driver for the ticket and settled inside.
We just sat there for the next 30 minutes (or more) while admiring the view and missing a few stops along the way. Honestly, we were tired and hungry and cold that we just wanted to rest for a while inside the warm bus. Eventually, we decided on alighting at the Hirokoji-Fushimi (stop 9) to have a look at the Nagoya City Science Museum.
Afterwards we got on the bus and finally got off at Nagoya Station, caught a glimpse of the JR Central Towers, and had to rush over to Meitetsu Bus Center (next to Nagoya Station) to catch the bus bound for Nagashima Onsen/Nabana No Sato. Meitetsu Bus Center is located at the 3rd and 4th floor of the Meitetsu Department Store. We paid 1780 JPY for our roundtrip bus ticket to Nabana No Sato at the ticket center located at the 3rd floor and proceeded to the 4th floor to get some meal (our first for that day!) from Family Mart while waiting for our bus to leave. Take note that the last bus leaving Nagoya is at 6:10 pm while the last bus returning to Nagoya from Nabana No Sato is at 9:05 pm. (See table at picture below. We had to ask for a friend to translate the words as it were all in Japanese. But basically, you have to worry about the timing at the last 2 columns as it is the timing of the bus going back to Meitetsu Bus Center).
Nabana No Sato, part of the Nagashima Resort, is mainly a flower park with restaurants, an onsen (hot spring), some shops and most notably one of Japan’s best winter illuminations. And I am not exaggerating on that, because personally, it is the best winter illumination I have seen. There is an entrance fee of 2100 JPY (S$25; 860 pHp), which includes 1000 JPY worth of coupons that you can use at the food and souvenir establishments inside the park. So you really just pay 1100 JPY (S$ 14; 450 pHp) for the entrance. If you are going to Nagoya during the Winter, you should never miss going to this place. It runs from October to May so imagine going there with Sakura blooming on the trees as well. It must be a wonderful sight to behold. But for now, I’m just gonna post more photos on the the winter illumination in NABANA NO SATO.
After watching the Lights show, we had to rush back to the bus stop so that we wouldn’t miss the bus going back to Nagoya. We were able to use all the coupons to buy for snacks that we ate for breakfast the next day. I must say, going to Nagoya was totally worth it. I’m sure we missed a lot of tourist spots because we lacked the energy and time but I guess that would be for another time.
Read more on our Tokyo DisneySea Adventure!
*photos were taken by an iPhone 6s and Xiaomi Yi Action Camera