Growing up, I have always dreamed of visiting Japan and I have always been grateful that this dream came true, several times already.
I have roamed the streets of Tokyo, Kyoto, Hokkaido, and the industrialized and very modern city of Nagoya.
Thanks to some corporate friends, I was able to visit Nagoya and explore both its very modern and ancient attractions that make it one of the most popular and important cities in all of Japan.
Nagoya is a major city of the Chubu region and is the capital of Aichi Prefecture. It is one of the most populous cities in Japan thanks to big companies and industries available in the city. It is also one of the most important ports.
My trip to Nagoya consisted of several meetings with business partners during the first few days but I was able to do some sightseeing as well during the tail end of the trip.
Thanks to my generous host, I stayed in the Marriott Associa hotel, a two story hotel which is located just on top of the JR Central Towers Nagoya station, the easiest access to the bullet trains.
To easily locate the hotel, just look for the two tall cylindrical towers from the Nagoya skyline.
During my tour, I was able to visit Nagoya Castle, which is easily the most famous and most visited landmark in the city.
Originally built in 1612, Nagoya Castle is one of the testaments to the power of the clan of powerful warlord Oda Nobunaga, who, along with his protege Tokugawa Ieyasu led the Tokugawa era of Japan. This era, was mainly the period of Japan’s unification.
As the history books say, Nagoya is the main stronghold of the Tokugawa clan.
The castle is popular because of the golden tiger-headed carp, a symbol of Nagoya, which is found on the castle’s roof.
I also visited the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology as well as the Toyota Automobile Museum which houses some cool, over the top cars, I can only dream of owning.
|me at the automobile museum|
We also toured around the site of the 2005 Aichi World Expo.The expo is the grandest showcase of what each country has to offer and it happens every five years. The last World Expo 2010 was held in Shanghai.
I wanted to go to the Atsuta Shrine which supposedly houses the mythical Kusanagi sword (Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven) but time constraints prevented us from doing so. The sword is one of three Imperial Regalia of Japan. However, no man has seen it.
The Japanese believe it’s being kept at Atsuta Shrine but it is not available for public viewing.
Nagoya is a very enchanting city rich in history and culture. I would have wanted to explpre more if not for the meetings I had to attend to during my visit.
However, I am looking forward to the time when I can come back and explore more of its beauty and charm.
*cover photo from http://www.lookjapan.org