Japan’s fourth largest city, Nagoya is an economic powerhouse, home to the nation’s auto manufacturing giants Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi. Historically Nagoya played a role as a castle town of the Owari, one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family throughout the Edo Period. The Nagoya Castle we see today is a concrete recreation of the original which was destroyed during the bombing campaigns of 1945. Sadly most of the town’s historic buildings, temples and shrines were utterly ruined during this tumultuous time and as such Nagoya is often overlooked by tourists.
Most visitors to Japan will only catch a glimpse of Nagoya between bullet train stops, but those who take the time to discover the city will be surprised to find a very lively nightlife, great restaurants and a number of interesting attractions. Nagoya castle has an observatory on the top floor with great views over the city. The Nagoya City Museum, Science Museum and the Art Museum provide hours of interesting browsing as does the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The city has a wonderful zoo and botanic gardens in Higashiyama as well as an excellent orchid garden that will delight anyone who loves the delicate flora species.