Nagoya may not be one of the major destinations in Japan for many, but I took a couple of days in 2011 to taste what is actually one of Japan's biggest cities.
My first stop was Nagoya Castle, one of the more famous castles in the country and recognized for the Kinsachi golden tiger-headed carps at its top. You can kind of see them in my photo at the top.
The Toyota Museum gave a full historical look at how the company started, the different businesses that it started, and the technologies that they created. Being that I only thought of them as the car company that they are today, knowing everything that they did was an eye-opener.
JR's SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is fun for anyone interested in Japan's massive train network. There's a variety of retired trains and futuristic maglev concepts on display, and a cool train model environment that's a must-see.
Food-wise, Nagoya is known for a variety of dishes, but are best known for tebasaki (chicken wings) and for aka-miso (red miso) dishes. I tried their misokatsu, juicy pieces of tonkatsu sizzling in a coat of aka-miso.
One of the most well-known Nagoya misokatsu spots is Yabaton. The katsu itself is nice and tender, and instead of the usual sauce, the aka-miso is somewhat sweet. Definitely worth a try if you're in town.
KEEP IN TOUCH:
There's a different side of Kyoto that goes beyond the temples and shrines, and they are worth experiencing.
Good at any time of year, Kyoto is best known for its temples and shrines. Here are some to definitely see.
Known for being Japan's capital of comedy, Osaka is an outgoing, lively, party city.
A cultural day-trip from Kyoto and Osaka, Nara is full of history and... deer.
Fukuoka city is Kyushu's biggest, and rated as amongst the best places to live in the world.
I lived in one of Fukuoka's secret cherry blossom spots.
A weekend at the famous onsen hot spring area, right outside of Tokyo.
A little Europe-inspired town at the northern tip of Kyushu.
A day trip to relax at a power spot.
Delicious kurobuta pork at its capital in south Kyushu.