HOME > About Nagoya

About Nagoya

The central city of the Chubu Region

Nagoya is located at the center of Honshu (the main island of Japan) with a population of 2.24 million. Nagoya has a long history and is the birthplace of three notable feudal lords, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. Traditional industries like ceramics and textiles as well as key modern industries like automobiles, aviation and machine tools have also developed in Nagoya, and Nagoya plays an important role in Japan's industrial society. Today, Nagoya continues to draw attention and keeps on developing as a Japanese international city.

Location and Transportation

Nagoya is located at the center of Japan.
You can quickly and easily reach Nagoya by air or rail.

>> Access Page

Nagoya, with an important role and a long history

Nagoya has a long history dating back 1900 years, when Atsuta Jingu, which has a close relationship with the legendary people who appear in Kojiki (the oldest history book of Japan), was established. Nagoya is especially defined by its history after the establishment of Nagoya Castle. After a prolonged period of war, Tokugawa Ieyasu was victorious at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. That event marked the start of the Edo period, which lasted for 300 years. Ieyasu, who became the first Shogun (military ruler of Japan), built Nagoya Castle and moved the whole town of Kiyosu, the main city of the region until that point, to Nagoya. This move was called the “Kiyosu-goe” and occurred in 1614. Following that, the first lord of Nagoya Castle, Tokugawa Yoshinao, improved the infrastructure of Nagoya as a castle city, which contributed to the prosperity of the Owari Tokugawa family. During the rule of the seventh lord, Muneharu, culture, including Noh, Kyogen and tea ceremony, blossomed. Examples of this cultural development, along with items ranging from crafts to books that illustrate the development of Nagoya and the prosperity of the Owari Tokugawa family, are preserved and exhibited at Tokugawa Art Museum.

Approaches to nature and the environment

Verdant parks, including Higashiyama Park, which contains a sprawling zoo and botanical gardens, dot Nagoya from the northwest to southwest. Fujimae Tidal Flat, a globally important layover for migratory birds located near the Port of Nagoya, was registered under the Ramsar Convention in November 2002. In addition, Nagoya has taken up the philosophies promoted by Expo 2005 Aichi Japan, which was held from March to September 2005, and continues environmental preservation activities with the goal of becoming “Eco-Capital Nagoya.”

One of Japan’s top industrial cities

The Nagoya area contains a ceramics production area with a history spanning over 1000 years, a textile production area, and a brewing industry area that includes the brewing of sake (rice wine). Nagoya and its environs became a hotspot for Japanese industry in the 19th and 20th centuries with the development of manufacturing industries based on traditional manufacturing. Several defunct factories are maintained and used as museums to show the lively history behind modern industry. Nagoya continues to draw attention as a manufacturing city.

Art and culture cultivated by history

In the Edo Period, the prosperity of the Owari Tokugawa family and the Tokaido Road brought human and material resources and technologies to Nagoya. The seventh lord, Tokugawa Muneharu, administered affairs of state with great originality and completely changed the previous policies of simplicity, fortitude and belt-tightening. His sensational style galvanized Nagoya. Commerce developed along with the development of the Tokaido Road, and rich merchants learned arts like tea ceremony, Noh and Kabuki, as well as literature like waka (tanka: a 31-syllable Japanese poem) and haiku. The result was a unique culture in Nagoya. This is why Nagoya became noted as a city of artistic culture along with other big cities like Edo, Kanazawa, and Kyoto. The local industries, including ceramics, tie-dying, and Japanese paper were passed on from one generation to another. Many such industries are still alive and thriving.

Cuisine that combines Eastern and Western Japan (the specialties of Nagoya)

Akamiso (reddish-brown fermented bean paste) is a food ingredient peculiar to Nagoya and its environs. Although its appearance is not appetizing, it is an ingredient with a unique flavor that can be used in preparing a wide variety of dishes. The representative examples are miso-nikomi-udon (Nagoya-style udon served hot in a pot with miso soup) and miso-katsu (fried pork cutlets with rich red miso sauce). People can savor different flavors from those of Tokyo or Osaka and enjoy combinations of ingredients or ways of cooking peculiar to Nagoya. The unique cuisine of Nagoya is closely watched.

A beautiful city with history and modernity in harmony

The City of Nagoya held the World Design Expo in 1989, and that experience led Nagoya to further emphasize its aesthetic appearance as well as city infrastructure. The City of Nagoya is trying to become a safe and convenient city while practicing innovation in design that beautifies the whole city and allows its citizens to live comfortably. For example, night illumination not only makes the city attractive but reduces crime. In 2002, Oasis 21 was established in Sakae, one of the busiest areas in Nagoya. It combines parks, public facilities such as a bus terminal, and commercial facilities. Preservation of historical townscapes, including those of Arimatsu and Shikemichi, is emphasized. In Nagoya, urban design with a historical appearance and modern infrastructure is being pursued.

Page Top