What do you know about Japan’s fourth largest city Nagoya? If you recognize the name mainly as a station along the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Kyoto, or a convenient stopover on the way towards the rural realm of Takayama and Shirakawa-go, then you are certainly missing out on discovering a city with a distinctive culture and prominent history. Nagoya fascinates with an unexpected variety of attractions and traditions rooted in the city’s important historical presence. A journey around the multiple spots of interest reveals an excellent blend of old and new, quaint and bustling, religious myths and dazzling pop-culture. You will be astonished to discover that Nagoya is the birthplace of the famous shogun warriors Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, as well as pachinko parlors! You will find out that Nagoya is home to one of the Three Sacred Imperial Regalia, as well as the annually-held World Cosplay Summit. Yet there is no perceivable controversy of impressions. The city is easily experienced in its entirety – a diversity of images in which the harmonious coexistence between the past and the present guarantees that your time spent there will be remembered as extraordinary. Nagoya will certainly live up to your expectations and even exceed them!
Now capital of Aichi prefecture, the city was originally the historical center of the Owari feudal domain, home to Japan’s three most famous samurai warriors Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Nagoya flourished as a castle town during the Edo period when it was directly governed by one of the three branches of the Tokugawa clan. Industrialization during the early 20th century linked the region strongly with Japan’s best-known automobile company Toyota which originally began as a manufacturer of high-speed automatic looms. Air raids during World War II devastated Nagoya and destroyed many of its historical samurai residences, as well as a large part of the castle. Reconstruction efforts ran parallel to intensive modernization which resulted in the city’s present eclectic image. In Nagoya you can spend a day visiting a nearly 2000-year-old shrine, entering one of the world’s largest and most modern planetariums, enjoying a unique geisha show in a classical ryokan inn, and strolling the streets of the popular Osu Shopping District known for its numerous entertainment and pop-culture shops.
Welcome to Nagoya, a city of thriving prosperity and inviting ambience!
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