So many Filipinos are visiting Japan lately. I know so because my facebook feeds are filled with friends’ Japan holiday photos, as I’m sure yours too. And my blog post on How to Apply for Japan Visa in the Philippines is getting a lot of hits. I myself have been to Japan 3x this year. And why not? With multiple entry Japan visa, weak Japanese Yen, and frequent Cebu Pacific sale, traveling to Japan is easier than ever for Filipinos.
You don’t have to stop at Tokyo. More direct flights from Manila to other regions in Japan are becoming available with Cebu Pacific. For example, Cebu Pacific has direct flights to Nagoya 4x a week. So you should check out Nagoya this 2016.
What’s in Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya is probably most famous for its port (Port of Nagoya), the biggest and busiest port in Japan, responsible of 10% of its trade. It is also known for Toyota City, where the famous Toyota car brand was born. Shopping is also one of its known attraction. Nagoya is also one of the 4 cities in Japan where you can watch SUMO Wrestling, other cities would be Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka.
Also, because of its location, flying to Nagoya gives you the opportunity to explore nearby cities around Aichi prefecture such as Gamagori and the neighboring Gifu prefecture (Takayama and ShirakawaGo). Last October I had the chance to do just that.
Here’s a list of things you can do and visit around Aichi and Gifu prefectures. You can easily visit these all in 4 days if you’re the “amazing race” type or pace them out in a few more days. Some of these are worthy of more time.
1. Nagoya Castle
What’s a trip to Japan without a proper visit to an amazing castle? Nagoya Castle was built in 1610 during the Edo period, a cool time period in Japan history when the Shogunate ruled the country.
Nagoya Castle is one of the grandest castle ever built in Japan but was unfortunately bombed during the World War 2. Restoration has recently been completed and is today a main tourist attraction in Nagoya.
Nagoya Castle is in a huge complex with several structures, shrines, and park. The castle itself is a museum that houses artefacts from the Edo period. Also an attraction here is a group of actors dressed as Samurai Warrior. They’re called the Nagoya Omotenashi Bushotai. They roam the castle and perform for guests.
On special occasions, they’d perform an elaborate historical skit that draws huge crowd. We were lucky to witness one during our visit however as the skit was in Japanese, I understood nothing but enjoyed the screaming and fight.
At the end of the show, we went to line up to have photo taken with our favorite Samurai. Because I didn’t understand anything to know who was the most noble character, I only have looks to go with and my choice was Toshiie Maeda. haha . The Samurai Group also tours other cities and abroad to promote Nagoya Tourism.
2. Toyota City, Motomachi Plant Tour
Motomachi Plant Tour in Toyota City one of the most interesting thing you can do in Japan’s Aichi region. From an overhead bridge way, you can see how step by step how parts are assembled into a complete car. Observing from above, you can’t help but be impressed how efficient the assembly line is.
Anyone who appreciates efficiency and zen should definitely visit this place. The tour will impart a lot of mission, mantra, and all good zen stuff that you can apply to your life. Entrance is free but have to be booked in advance. Tour is offered in English and Japanese. For more info on Toyota City Motomachi Plant Tour, click link to visit its website.
3. Gamagori Orange Park
Gamagori Orange Park is a huge citrus farm where visitors can enjoy fruit picking all year round. It is strange to be called the Orange Park because oranges are only available from October to November. Other fruits available for picking on different season of the year are strawberries, grapes, and melon.
Fruit picking is free as long as you eat it in the park. If you want to bring home fruits, you’ll have to pay 500JPY per basket.
The park has a big souvenir shop and restaurant that offers seasonal set menus. The souvenir shop sells different food produced in that region: Ebisenbei and Chikuwa Republic.
4. Laguna Ten Bosch
Laguna Ten Bosch is a huge marine complex situated in the Mikawa Bay. The complex consists of Festival Market shopping mall; Lagunasia: an ocean theme park; and restaurants. It was during weekday so we had the theme park to ourselves! We rode crazy roller coasters and ferris wheel. At night, we watched 3D Light Mapping (see video).
This is the birthplace of the famous One Piece Japanimation and in here, you can cruise on a life size Thousand Sunny Ship.