Reluctantly sharing about one of my fav cities in Japan!
So as you would have guessed, this post is about Nagoya!
Before I went to Saitama, Nagoya was actually my favourite Japanese city. I really like how it had all the vibes of Tokyo (it ranks #4 out of the 5 major cities of Japan), yet remains very distinctively different with the food and cultural offerings.
(Now the super indecisive me is super torn between these two cities.)
Hair is always picture-ready thanks to Elein at Artistry
I'm obviously not a history/ culture buff and won't pretend to be one so I'll skip the talking about temples and shrines and go straight to the food bit.
This was our first meal in Nagoya!
I won't even call it a meal... snack maybe? We had alighted from the subway station and were making our way to our hotel when I spotted this standing burger bar in the station's underpass... and I got distracted. The shop's called Handsome Burger and it was SO GOOD omg. The brioche bun was perfectly buttered, patty super juicy and topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions. YUM!
Ok, another reason why I love Nagoya is for the beef. Nagoya is next to the prefectures of Mie and Gifu which are famous for producing Matsuzaka and Hida beef and sooooo, you have the answer.
There is this particular standing (ya, why do I have to always stand at all my favourite restaurants?!) yakiniku restaurant in Nagoya that's practically the sole reason why the hubs and I keep returning to Nagoya. I'm going to be selfish here and not tell you the name because it's really a very small restaurant that fits 8 people tops and queuing for it in the wintry cold is quite a bitch and I don't want any more competition haha. Not that my blog attracts millions of readers every day lah but... even one more customer when I'm there is one too many. But you can just Google lah. I'm sure you can easily find it I'm sure CAUSE IT'S THAT GOOD.
If you don't like beef, then you can have unagi!
Nagoya is also famous for its grilled eel on rice or hitsumabushi and it's eaten differently here from the rest of Japan. You basically eat a bowl in three different ways and we usually frequent Atsuta Horaiken which was originally founded in 1873 (yes you read that right!) at Atsuta Jingu Shrine. They have three dine-in branches to choose from and from experience, the standard is quite consistent amongst the three.
We also like the Nagoya miso-katsu (pork cutlet with thick miso sauce) and Zach always, ALWAYS raves about the huge GIANT prawn tempura.
By giant, I mean like a 30cm long prawn. WITHOUT THE HEAD wtf.
Somehow we always buy donuts when in Japan as Instagram props lol. But Krispy Kreme is really good in Japan too - unlike Singapore's which sometimes come with this overused oil stench.
Of course it's not all food and more food when we are in Nagoya...
We drink too!
Hahahha. No lah, as you can tell, 3 of us are having ginger ale and only the hubs is having beer. This was at a kushiyaki izakaya in Nagoya that was good but not life-changing so I won't crack my brain trying to recall where it was. But whenever you're having fried kushiyaki in Japan, you must, must, MUST order camembert cheese (or any other soft cheese) cause they do it so well! Omg.
We also got some shopping...
And sightseeing done. This picture is actually damn fake lah lol. It was ABSOLUTELY freezing and I basically threw my down jacket to the hubs and rushed to cross the road in the cold hoping to get at least one decent shot for the 'gram. Such dedication then haha.
The iconic Nagoya City Science Museum.
Osu Kannon temple...
Where there was a flea right outside the temple...
And Zach got insanely happy to have snagged this working Yashica camera.
Streets of Nagoya...
More food. This was sweet potato ice cream!
And my favourite Takashimaya at Nagoya Station.
Actually, the initial reason why we planned to visit Nagoya was for the Toyota factory tour!
I've always been impressed and fascinated by the Japanese kaizen philosophy and how they apply it to their business functions and processes. Back then, I was still running the apparel production business so I was EVEN more absorbed in the world of logistics and supply chain.
So anyway, Toyota's headquarters are located in the city of Toyota (cool right!), less than one hour from central Nagoya and tour are held once daily from Monday to Friday in English and Japanese. Each tour last approximately 2.5 hours and is free of charge. You will need to make an advance reservation here prior to joining the tour.
There's also the Toyota Kaikan Museum next to the headquarters, where they have various exhibits and it's where Toyota displays its new models and technologies to the public and periodically holds robot shows too. When we were there, the robot on display can play a violin better than a lot of people I know who have had formal lessons wtf.
Note to self: Save this video for Nate so that when he starts learning the violin/ cello/ whatever instrument, I can scold him with "Practise harder lah! Even a robot plays better than you!" #tigermomontheloose
And then it's back to Singapore! Trying to look Japanese here wtf.
Omg less than three weeks to my next Japan trip - can't hardly wait!!!