Since Japan is so close by every time a holiday appears on the calender, I’m immediately tempted to book plane tickets. And that’s exactly what happened two weeks before Korea’s National Foundation Day, when me and my friend booked two tickets to Nagoya for a four day weekend without the slightest idea where exactly Nagoya is, what hotels to book, and if there’s anything to do there. Nagoya is a much less popular destination compared to Tokyo or any cities in the Kansai region (my Kansai adventures here), but is nonetheless a great place to visit to blow off some steam and let loose for a weekend.
The first two days consisted of me and my friend eating ourselves to a food-induced blissful coma.
Our food adventures began on the plane (Korean Air) with a smoked salmon sandwich.
After searching the web for information on Nagoya, it was pretty difficult to find out how to go towards the center of the city (Sakae/Nagoya area) from the airport. We took the train, specifically the Meitetsu limited express train towards Gifu.
To go towards Sakae from Kanayama, get on the train that goes to Higashi Betsuin for the next stop.
After walking around Sakae for about thirty minutes because of a lack of proper maps (please make sure you know exactly where your hotel is located BEFORE you leave) we finally found Hotel Mystays Nagoya Sakae. I highly recommend Mystays; very clean and the staff is very helpful. After checking in, we hit the combini (convenience store).
We walked outside a bit after eating, but because it was Thursday there wasn’t that much happening so we decided to go to sleep to get up nice and early the next day.
What do we begin our day with?
After downing a carton of cafe au lait, we headed to Osu Shotengai (shopping arcade) for some shopping and to pay a visit to the Osu Kannon, a famous Buddhist temple.
There were several small shinto shrines throughout the shotengai. This one had a series of torii gates which reminded me of the magical gates I saw in Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari.
The shotengai was actually quite expansive, selling all sorts of things ranging from food to clothes. There are several game arcades in the shotengai, where my friend and I spent a good twenty minutes or so playing rounds of Mario Kart.
There is a street lined with department stores in Sakae and we decided to go have dinner after looking around a bit. We went to a kishimen joint in a department store called La Chic.
Kishimen is one of the many local delicacies of Nagoya and is similar in texture and taste to udon, but instead of being round is flattened out almost like fettucine. We had both a chilled and hot version. The noodles were very elastic and had a nice chew.
We then headed to Nagoya station because we booked a different hotel for all of our three nights in Nagoya (the perks of booking hotels at last minute), checked in to EcoHotel Nagoya (more of a guesthouse than a hotel) and left to explore the area.
Our tebasaki wings arrived. We only ordered one serving (five wings), and the waitress kind of looked at us as if we were crazy. After taking a bite we understood why she looked at us weirdly. The wings are so addictive that it’s not possible to share just one serving. The crispy skin was nice and salty with a good punch of pepper and the innards were nice and moist. I know understand why there were about five different Yamachan restaurants just a couple minutes away from each other.
We ate so much we almost exploded. We walked around a bit and then went back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Stay tuned for day 3 of my Nagoya (food) adventures!