As I’ve noted countless times before, Nagoya is one of the most underrated cities in Japan. It is here that I first attended the World Cosplay Summit back in 2017, went to Legoland and Nagashima Spa Land, and also met my first boyfriend at a gaming bar (which is a legendary story I’ll save for later). Though Osaka and Kyoto undoubtedly overshadow this city with their hotspring getaways and large amusement parks like Universal Studios, Nagoya has a cozy atmosphere that can’t be beat. There are far less tourists here but still a lot of interesting things to see. As much as I love living in Tokyo, I often find it hard to relax so I try to escape to Nagoya at least twice a month. Every time I travel here, I discover something completely new and amazing. Be it a cafe, park, or meeting a new friend—I’m always left with fond memories on my way home.
I’ll be noting some of my recent discoveries in this article. Please see Aesthetic Food Finds in Nagoya for my recommended foods.
I had planned on flying to Aomori Prefecture earlier this year because it was ranked as the best place to see the cherry blossoms in Japan, but the festival was sadly cancelled due to the COVID-19. Fortunately my boyfriend took me to a semi-secluded area in Nagoya where the Yamazaki River runs through and you can see a perfect view of the cherry blossoms in this prefecture. Since the branches hang over the river, the petals gently fall into the water creating that dream-like Japan aesthetic you see in anime or printed on postcards. The sakura donut I picked up at Lyrical Coffee Donut only added to the already perfect scenery. Fortunately we could come here and still practice social distancing while enjoying the best season in Japan. It was a small moment of peace amidst the chaos around the world that I’ll never forget.
On our way back, we stumbled upon a very interesting restaurant called “Not Curry“. The menu consisted of some sort of soup pairing with rice. What interesting advertising! Also, the internet pointed out that my shadow looked like Isabelle from Animal Crossing when I uploaded it to social media. I haven’t played the game due to wanting to devote my free time to research and writing, but who would have thought! All sorts of magical things were happening here.
Yamazaki River Access
2 Chome Murakamicho, Mizuho Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 467-0008
Tsurumai “Pokeball” Park
This park became a meme in Nagoya due to it’s circular Pokeball-like shape and the fact that it’s a Pokemon Go hotspot. Besides Shiratori Park, Tsurumai is one of the most beautiful parks in Nagoya. I loved seeing the beautiful European-esque fountain, life-sized bird cages and gardens, and railings shaped like birds. Not to mention there was tall grass where you could seemingly hunt Pokemon. I imagine this is a popular photoshoot location for Pokemon cosplayers during World Cosplay Summit.
Our favorite activity here was live-Tweeting turtles. We sat by the pond and watched in awe as a turtle from underwater swam up to join its friend on the rock. Being a turtle and living in complete ignorance of the COVID crisis must be blissful.
Tsurumai Park Access
1 Chome-1 Tsurumai, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0064
In my next article, I will be exploring more aesthetic food finds in Nagoya. Please stay tuned for more updates~