Like Eating in Takayma, this is a brief journal of our recent visit to Nagoya, Japan – to document events and preserve memories – which is one of the main reasons for having this blog (see earlier article Ten reasons why everyone should have a food blog).
Nagoya (名古屋), the capital of Aichi Prefecture, is Japan’s fourth most populated city with a population of about 2 million. It is located on the Pacific coast of Honshu Island about 440 kilometers Southwest of Tokyo. There are direct flights between Singapore and Nagoya.
The city of Nagoya is modern and busy. There are many impressive high rise office blocks and shopping malls teeming with people. Eating in Nagoya should not be a problem. Food and beverage outlets are everywhere. However, most of them are crowded throughout the day, and night.
We visited Midland Square, an integrated development with a swanky shopping mall which reminded us of Singapore’s ION Orchard. There were many restaurants and cafes in Midland Square but we soon found out that we either needed a reservation or to join a long queue if we wanted to dine in one of those eateries.
Eventually, we found an Italian restaurant where there was no queue and had a few unoccupied tables. However, when we asked for a table we were told that the restaurant had been fully booked. Seeing our disappointed and hungry faces, the manager said we could have one of the tables if we could finish our meal within an hour. We gladly accepted his offer. Although it was not our destination of choice, our first meal in Nagoya at Pizzeria Isola turned out well. Our Spaghetti Pomodoro (1,250 yen) and Fettuccine Bolognese (1,530 yen) were very well cooked and were delicious.
4th Floor Midland Square
450-0002 Nagoya City
Nakamura Ward, Meieki 4-7-1
Tel : +81 52 527 8820
We stayed at the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel which is right on top of the Nagoya Station and in the same complex as JR Takashimaya Department Store.
Breakfasts was at Pergola All Day Dining. The dining hall was huge. We thought it could probably be used to host a 300 table wedding dinner. The buffet breakfast spread was extensive – covering all the usual international selection as well as a wide variety of Japanese food. There had a coffee station for guests to take away coffee – a very nice touch on cold winter days.
Pergola All Day Dining
15th Floor Marriot Nagoya
1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku
Tel : +81-52-584-1111
To get to the tourist attractions, we hopped on to the Nagoya Sightseeing Route Bus. The all day pass was 500 yen per person for unlimited trips. We thought the price of the ticket was cheap – especially when the pass also got us discounts for the tickets to the attractions we visited.
The first attraction we visited was the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry & Technology. It was a really interesting and informative visit. We were surprised to learn that Toyota started as a textile company and only started to make automobiles in the 1930s.
Our lunch was a bento meal (520 yen) at the Toyota Museum Cafe. Coffee was 150 yen.
After lunch we took the sightseeing bus and visited Noritake Garden and Nagoya Castle.
Afternoon tea was at stylish 88 huit huit Pancake Cafe. It seemed to be a very popular place. We had to wait for a while to get a place inside the cafe. Even though the temperature was about 10 degree Celsius, there were some who preferred to take the tables outside instead for waiting. The cafe kindly provided those customers with blankets.
88 huit huit Pancake Cafe’s specialty is of course pancakes. We tried a savoury version with egg (450 yen) and pancakes with berry sauce (400 yen). The pancakes were freshly made and very nice. This is our favourite eatery in Nagoya.
88 Huit Huit Cafe Nagoya
Meieki 4-8-19 M4 Terrace 1F, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya
Tel : 052-551-0880
Dinner was at a small restaurant in the JR Nagoya Station complex – a katsu don set and a tempura set (1,080 yen each).
After dinner we were glad to stumble upon a group of carolers who were singing familiar Christmas songs in English.
After a morning of shopping, we had lunch at Cafe & Meal Muji Nagoya (Nakamura-ku, Nagoya, Meieki 1-chome 2-4 Meitetsu Department Store). It was very nicely decorated and had tables of various sizes as well as a very large communal table. A Set with 2 hot items and 1 cold item was 890 Yen. The set came with a choice of rice or bread and miso soup or vegetable soup.
We saw a Hoshino Coffee outlet and dropped in for coffee and their delicious strawberry cheesecake. The coffee and cake set was 720 yen.
JR Nagoya Takashimaya occupies the 2nd basement floor to the 11th floor of the JR Central Towers building. The basement floors have a wide variety of food outlets and confectioneries. The 12th and 13th floors are dedicated to dining. There are many restaurants specialising in various Japanese cuisines as well as restaurants serving food from various parts of the world. There is even a Ding Tai Fung there.
We had dinner at a small cafe which offered one of Nagoya’s specialty – Kishimen (1,000 yen), a broad and flat noodle in broth which has a touch of sweet sake seasoning. We also had a mushroom soup set (1,000 yen), which comprised delicious soup in a tea pot, various types of mushrooms and pickles with rice. For desserts, we had the red bean stew with mochi and chestnut (160 yen) with strips of sour plum on the side.
That was our short visit to Nagoya. A little sightseeing, a litlle shopping and plenty of eating in Nagoya.