Visit the castle in Nagoya, Japan
Built in the early 17th century by order of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nagoya Castle served as a bulwark against enemies traveling on the Tokaido road to Edo (today's Tokyo). Damaged in World War II, the rebuilt concrete main keep is now being restored to its original wooden architecture, but the castle grounds and some facilities are open during reconstruction.
Osu Kannon temple in Nagoya city, Japan
Originally established in the 14th century but moved here in 1610, Osu Kannon Temple was rebuilt in the 20th century and enshrines the bodhisattva of mercy, Kannon. The streets to the east of the temple comprise the Osu shopping district and are packed with bargain shops and restaurants.
Toyota, one of the world's largest automakers, began as a textiles company, and the superb Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology is housed in its 1911 weaving factory. Displays include not only metal processing and textile machinery but Toyota cars from the original 1936 Toyota AA sedan as well as sophisticated humanoid robots that play musical instruments.
Nagoya's delectable specialty foods are a must-try. You can't miss miso katsu, breaded deep-fried pork cutlet. Cruise to Nagoya and be on the lookout for kishimen, flat handmade wheat noodles typically served in a sake-flavored broth. Snack on the local rice cake uiro or tebasaki chicken wings flavored with ginger, garlic, mirin and vinegar. Enjoy the fruits of the local waters with hitsumabushi, charcoal-grilled eel.
Head to Noritake Square Nagoya shop, where you can visit the century-old factory of one of Japan's best porcelain makers and take home some unique wares, such as beautifully designed dinnerware and tea sets — you can even try your hand at porcelain painting. Stroll through the stalls at the Osu shopping arcade for anime-themed items and other unique trinkets.
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