Nagoya Day 1-2: Combini food galore, kishimen, and late-night snacks at a shinya shokudo-esque izakaya.

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.

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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.

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To go towards Sakae, we got off at Kanayama station after a thirty minute ride from the airport and changed to the purple line (Meijo Line) that runs throughout the center of the city.

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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).

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530 yen bentou with hamburg steak, one small pork katsu, ebi katsu, half of an egg, and creamy cheese pasta.

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Why you so delicious??? Combinis in Japan never cease to amaze me. The hamburg was especially delicious.

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?

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Of course, at the combini. Hot and piping oden at Family Mart with a miso sauce, chili pepper, and spicy mustard for dipping.

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The simmered daikon was so tender and tasty. Not to mention, everything was very cheap.

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We also shared a bentou with various fried goods including a fish katsu and mentaiko rice topping. A perfect beginning to a long day.

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.

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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.

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There were literally hundreds of pigeons around the temple, probably because so many people feed them. A grandpa stood for a good ten minutes feeding the birds.

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Art on a building adjacent to the Osu Kannon.

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After visiting famous temples in Kyoto, the Osu Kannon seemed a bit on the smaller side, but was interesting to see nonetheless.

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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.

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We were both getting a bit tired at this point because of a lack of caffeine, so we headed to a nearby combini for cheap iced coffee.

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We immediately felt ten times better.

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Ice cream vending machine.

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Before walking back towards Sakae for dinner, we had a green tea soft ice cream snack.

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.

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Hot tea.

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When in Japan, drink all the draft beer you can. Brewed by beer gods.

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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.

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Kishimen in a hot dashii shoyu broth with a mini tempuradon on the side.

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Katsuobushi sprinkled on the top.

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Crispeh.

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.

We decided to go to a well known tebasaki joint called Yamachan.
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I assume this is the owner. The chopstick sleeves had instructions on how to eat the famous wings.

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Before our wings arrived we ordered a 500cc mug of beer and a highball, which consists of a shot of Suntory whisky and tonic water with heaps of ice.

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I had highballs before in Korea but after having a glass of it in Nagoya, I bought a bottle of whisky to make some at home as well.

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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.

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Pork kushikatsu with a thick salty/sweet miso sauce. The cabbage really is needed when eating kushikatsu. Provides a nice fresh crunch.

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Yum.

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We were completely stuffed but refused to go back to the hotel so walked around the area to find a lot of chair/stool-less bars and other drinking establishments.

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We decided to stop by an izakaya for a last late-night snack and beer drinking session.

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We were the only customers in the shop and sat at the counter. Felt very shinya shokudo-esque.

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The atmosphere was calm and very home-y and the shop was run by a old woman and her son.

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They gave us each a small bowl of fried whole shrimps and shishito peppers. The heads were nice and crunchy. My friend refused to eat the heads, so yay, more heads for me.

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We ordered yakitori, and the chicken was so juicy and moist I almost cried.

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The chicken was slightly pink on the inside which scared me a bit, but I didn’t get sick at all.

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Nothing like a nice cold glass of Kirin.

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We ordered okonomiyaki and were shocked to see the sheer size of this behemoth of a pancake. They gave us mayo so we could use as much as we wanted.

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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!

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4 responses to “Nagoya Day 1-2: Combini food galore, kishimen, and late-night snacks at a shinya shokudo-esque izakaya.

  1. 핑백: Nagoya Day 3 Part 1: combini feast at the park, matcha ice cream at Nagoya Castle, and Midland Square’s immaculate bathroom on the 42nd floor | yorimcha·

  2. 핑백: Nagoya Day 4: morning set at Komeda’s, last Mario Kart session at Osu, and cat sushi. | yorimcha·

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