Peak travel season in Nagoya generally falls around April, May and June, when temperatures are warming up but rainy season has yet to hit. Festivals like Golden Week from the end of April through early May bring throngs of tourists, as do the pink blooms of the cherry blossoms when they unfold in the same months. Airfare is typically expensive during these months. It can be cheaper to visit Nagoya during the wet months of July and September, as well as the cold months of November and February.
There’s no doubt that the Japanese city of Nagoya is one of the country’s wealthiest, an economic powerhouse whose business residents include the likes of Toyota and Honda. Just because the city is economically driven, though, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a stop on a cross-country tour of Japan. From culture to nightlife, there’s a surprising array of activities awaiting tourists in Nagoya.
One of the biggest attractions in Nagoya is the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, once one of the company’s original factories and now an interactive museum with no shortage of cars on display. Another must-see attraction is Nagoya Castle, not only for its historic architecture and design but also for its museum, gardens and observation deck.
The city is teeming with temples and shrines for those who want to delve deeper into Japan’s traditional past. Others may enjoy the annual festivals celebrated in Nagoya, which include the Nagoya Sumo Summit, the Nagoya Castle Summer Night Festival and the World Cosplay Summit. Shoppers, meanwhile, will enjoy hunting for bargains at the traditional Osu Shopping Arcade or the more modern Sakae shopping district.
Expect to dine on plenty of Japanese noodles while in town, as well as chicken and eel specialties of the city. The locals of Nagoya certainly know how to party, too. Join them after dark in the Sakae district, where bars and nightclubs offer entertainment every night.
Nagoya is essentially the Japanese equivalent to Detroit in the U.S., and a very rich auto history has led to the development of a first-class road network in Nagoya. An international driver’s license is necessary to drive in Japan, but for those who aren’t driving, taxis are another great way to take advantage of the city’s impressive road network. Public transportation options abound, too, with subways and buses available to help travelers navigate the city. Riding a bike through town is another popular option, and rental companies are available throughout Nagoya.
The island gateway of Chubu Centrair International Airport (NGO) is the closest airport serving Nagoya, about 22 miles south of the city. Visitors find it easy to get to and from Nagoya from the airport, as train and shuttle buses connect the two. Taxis and car rentals are also available at Chubu Centrair International Airport.