Nagoya Tourist Attractions
Nagoya, chief town of Aichi prefecture and Japan's fourth largest city, lies in central Honshu. Its situation in the spacious Ise Bay, opening on to the Pacific, has favored the development of the port, which is now the third largest in Japan (after Yokohama and Kobe). It is also an important industrial center.
The economic rise of Nagoya began with the Meiji reforms. Its main industrial activities are heavy industry, shipbuilding and automobile manufacture, together with chemicals and pharmaceuticals, textiles and ceramics (this last continuing a tradition established in the 12th C in nearby Seto). Many factories and workshops can be visited.HistoryNagoya grew up around the castles built by the Imagawa and Oda families in the 16th C, and gained increased importance when Tokugawa Ieyasu built the large castle, which still survives for his son Yoshinao in 1612 and appointed as Governor of the province of Owari. The castle was also designed to be a stronghold of the Tokugawa in their conflict with the Toyotomi family. After Ieyasu's defeat of his enemies in 1614-15 the Owara-Tokugawa dynasty resided in Nagoya until 1868, when they were compelled to surrender their authority to the central government. Soon afterwards there began the development of industry which laid the foundations of the city's prosperity. The air attacks of 1945 caused heavy damage in Nagoya, and the castle was largely destroyed. The post-war reconstruction gave the city a fine network of wide modern streets.
Atsuta Shrine is the most important Shinto shrine in Japan. In this shrine one of three Imperial insignia, the "grass-mowing sword" (kusanagi-no-tsurugi) was preserved.In Japanese mythology the sword originally belonged to the storm god Susanoo. When the legendary hero Yamato-takeru set out to conquer the eastern provinces the sword was presented to him by the high priestess of the Ise Shrines, Yamato-hime. Then, when his enemies tried to kill him by setting the long grass on fire, he saved himself by mowing the grass with his sword. He then hung the sword on a mulberry tree, from which it was stolen by Princess Miyazu-hime. And finally according to the legend, the brilliant flash of the blade set a cedar tree on fire. Hence in popular etymology, the name of the shrine (atsuta = "burning field").In the northern part of the wooded precincts is the principal shrine, Hongu, surrounded by an enclosing wall. To the east is the Treasury, a modern building which contains a large number of works of art (old and modern pictures, ceramics, jewelry and dramatic masks).
The Castle can be reached from the Central Station by subway. The main tower 157ft/ 48m high, was rebuilt in 1959; on the gable are two gilded dolphins (shachi). It now houses a museum containing art treasures from the palace which was destroyed during the last war, including painted wall screens, sliding doors and wall paintings, mainly of the Kano school. From the fifth floor of the tower there are extensive views of the city and the Nobi Plain. From the original castle there survive three corner towers, the second gateway and walls. To the east of the castle tower is the Ninomaru Garden, with a teahouse.The castle was built in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the then-shogun of the Edo government. Until the revolution of 1867 it was the residence of the Owari Tokugawas, one of the three Tokugawa houses. Much of the castle was burnt down in 1945 during the World War II air raids.
Japan's main island Honshu is covered by a network of high speed train lines that connect Tokyo with most of the island's major cities and Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. Japan's high speed trains (bullet trains) are called shinkansen.The Tokaido Shinkansen, connecting Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka, was inaugurated in the year 1964 as the first shinkansen line and the world's first high speed train. In 1964 the trains ran with speeds of about 200 km/h. Nowadays they reach speeds of over 300 km/h.
Museum Meiji Mura
Museum Meiji Mura is an open-air museum featuring Japanese architecture from the Meiji period (1868-1912). There are over 60 buildings including a prison, post office, bathhouse, churches and homes. Many of the buildings are open to the public and house furniture, temporary exhibits, and other items related to the respective buildings.
Tokugawa Art Museum
Tokugawa Art Museum houses many treasures which belonged to the Tokugawa family of Nagoya, including pictures, porcelain, weapons and documents; particularly notable items are the 43 parts of the "Genji-monogatari-emaki", a picture scroll by Fujiwara Takayoshi, and the "Saigyo-mono-gatari-emeki", a scroll depicting scenes from the life of the priest Saigyo (1118-90).
Address: 1017 Tokugawa-cho, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Chubu 461, Japan
Opening hours: Jan 2 to Dec 14: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Entrance fee in JPY: Adult ¥1200.00, Group discounts ¥1100.00, Senior over 65 ¥1000.00, Students ¥700.00, Child 14 & under ¥500.00
Useful tips: Group discount available for 20 or more. Last admission half hour before closing.
Higashiyama Multiple Park
Higashiyama Multiple Park made up of a zoo, botanical garden and amusement park, is also noted for its cherry blossoms. There is the Higashiyama Sky Tower that has an observation deck at an altitude of 180m where visitors can see the entire view of Nagoya.