Nagoya has been my home for the past 4 years. I left my home to study in Japan as a teenagers, and coming back as an adult. I love this city so much! Probably you will skip this place when visiting Japan because it is not as famous as Tokyo or Osaka, but there are a lot of hidden gems here to explore. I will start with 9 things to do in Nagoya during winter.
1. Visit Osu Kannon
Osu Kannon is the most popular buddhist temple in central Nagoya. This beautiful temple is located near Sakae shopping street( high-end or semi branded shopping street) and Osu shopping arcade. List this temple in one of your things to do in Nagoya during winter if you want to see the spirit of praying during Japanese new year. it may be crowded but it’s worth your time.
2. Fukubukuro Shopping at Osu Shopping Arcade & Sakae shopping street
Fukubukuro is Japanese new year custom where merchants selling unknown items put together in one bag and they sell it with substantially cheaper usually up to 60% discounts. There are around 60 stalls in Osu shopping arcade selling various types of goods from clothes, local fruits and vegetables, souvenirs, as well as secondhand goods. They also sell cosplay items here! Isn’t it amazing? Meanwhile, you can find high-end brands alongside Sakae shopping street which is just beside Osu shopping arcade. These high-end brands boutique also selling fukubukuro during new year period. It’s a catch that you can’t miss during winter!
3. Visit Nabana No Sato Winter Illumination
Many tourist do not know about this place except local people. Winter illumination here is so spectacular and worth your time to visit during winter. Nabana no Sato actually one of Nagashima Resort properties. It will be tulips festival during Spring, Cosmos and Dahlias during Fall and illumination during winter. This place is situated beside Nagashima Mitsui Outlet and it is accessible by bus directly from Nagoya Station. There are also a lot of local stalls selling local street foods outside the park, so do not miss this place when you visit Nagoya during winter!
4. Christmas shopping at Nagashima Mistui Outlet Park Jazz Dream
Yep, you guys heard it right! That is actually the long name for Nagashima Outlet. If you guys are looking for high-end brands and luxury items for a cheaper price, don’t miss to go to this place during Christmas. Usually Christmas sale will start from 20-31 Dec, but 25 Dec is the peak day. They will sell the items with much cheaper price usually up to 70% discounts! This is definitely a must thing to do during winter in Nagoya.
5. Ride Steel Dragon 2000 Roller coaster at Nagashima Spa Land
Steel Dragon 2000 is the highest roller coaster in Nagashima Spa Land and the longest in the world! If you have a strong lung to scream and not afraid of height, go for it. It may be quite cold during winter but don’t worry, because you can relax at nearby Onsen/ hot springs afterwards. Nagashima Spa – Yuami no Shima offers open-air and indoor hot spring baths for men and women to relax and enjoy beautiful nature. There are also massage service and saunas if you want.
6. Visit Nagoya Castle
Even though you can visit Nagoya castle all year round, but visit it during winter also worth your time. Nagoya castle is the most popular castle in Aichi prefecture. It was built in the beginning of Edo period as one of the residence of the ruling Tokugawa family. Nagoya castle is famous with its golden Sachiko or sea monster – a carp fish with a head of tiger. They believe that Sachiko can protect the castle from fire. So, if you are into history and architecture, do not miss to visit this place even in winter!
7. Playing princess at Okashi no Shiro
Okashi no Shiro means Sweets Castle. This place is suitable for people who dreams to be prince or princess when they were kids. A western style castle that display scenes from fairy tales as well as various types of sugar crafts exhibition. You can playing princess by renting various selection of dress and taking a lot of photos inside or outside the castle. Other than that, if you have sweet tooth, this place is paradise for you because they have sweets buffet and you can eat cakes, cookies, puddings, ice creams as many as you want. Believe me this place is worth to visit during winter!
8. ‘Stargazing’ at Nagoya Planetarium
My favourite activity in Nagoya Planetarium is stargazing. Their starry sky projection on the dome is so incredible. If you are into science, there are other attractions such as experiencing tornadoes and electric sparks. Me and my friend visited their freezing laboratory to experience -30 degree Celsius and that was kinda cool. So, if you guys travel to Nagoya, don’t miss to visit this place!
9. Visit Japanese Folk Village – Sanshu Asuke Yoshiki at Korankei
This folk village located in nearby city called Toyota city. Korankei actually famous for its autumn foliage and it is very crowded during Fall season. However, you can visit here during winter too because they also have a folk village. Here, tourist can experience life of a farmers in mountainous village from Meiji period. You can also experience making Japanese crafts such as bamboo baskets etc. Besides that, there are a lot of vendors selling local street foods here as well as souvenirs that you can buy for families or friends.