Nagoya is an underrated tourist location in central Japan overshadowed by Tokyo to the Northeast and Kyoto to the Southeast. Notwithstanding, Nagoya has plenty to offer anyone seeking rich history and beautiful sites.
We have compiled 22 of our favorite locations for fun and photography to boost your Instagram page. With the help of fellow travelers, photographers and popular Instagrammers, we have sample images for each of the 22 spots!
1. Nagoya Castle
The Nagoya Castle is one of the more historically important castles of Japan, dating back to 1615. There are many great vantage points to capture the beautiful castle, which lights up when the sun hits it, as you can see in the image below from instagrammer @tertichx.
2. Nagoya Station
The Nagoya Station is is one of the world’s largest train stations in the world. With so much going on there, photographic opportunities are abundant. Most obvious are the tall towers atop the station, but I personally prefer the striking artwork in front of the station, as you can see in the below image from Kazunari Photography.
3. Ōsu Kannon
Ōsu Kannon is probably the most popular Buddhist temple in Nogoya, located in the center of the city. It was originally built in the Twelfth or Thirteenth Century, but was reconstructed in the Twentieth Century. The scale of the intricately detailed building can be seen in the image below from travel blogger Febrian.
The front of the temple shows a very classic design that is definitely impressive, as you can see in the below image from instagrammer @jesisemba.
Another great image from Osu Kannon can be seen in the image below from Anna Fujii.
4.Nagoya TV Tower
The Nagoya TV Tower is the oldest TV tower in Japan. It stands prominently on the Nagoya Skyline and can be viewed from a ton of great locations, but our favorite is seen in the below image from Oasis 21, which is featured later. The image comes from Instagrammer @lalelillolu.
5. Atsuta Jingu
Atsuta Jingu is a Shinto Shrine that has an understated beauty much different than the grandeur of Osu Kannon. The Shrine is believed to date back to the First Century and is affectionately referred to as Miya or Atsuta-Sama. You can really feel the peaceful beauty in the below image from Instagrammer @iamwucecilia.
6. Shirotori Garden
Shirotori Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with a ceremonial tea house. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful garden in Nagoya. The impressive fall colors are on display in the following image from Instagrammer @iamklareese.
7. Meiji-Mura Museum
Meiji-Mura is a combination architectural museum/theme park featuring historic buildings covering the last two centuries. There are many photo opportunities at Meiji-Mura, just one of which you can see below from instagrammer @daphne_cat026.
8. Nagoya City Science Museum
The Nagoya City Science Museum is located in central Nagoya. It features the world’s largest planetarium. The most popular photo attraction is the giant metal sphere, featured in a fun pose in the image below from Grace Elliott.
9. Tokugawa Gardens
Another beautiful Japanese Garden, Tokugawa Gardens features a large lake, waterfalls and lots of water features. You can see more fall colors in this image from Jeremy Knowles.
10. Toyota Automobile Museum
Located in the neighboring Nagakute City, the Toyota Automobile Museum is a surprisingly large museum showcasing Toyota’s history, but also featuring many other vehicle manufacturers and artwork.
I love the ancient car on display in the image below from Nipuna Salinda.
Another gem of an old vehicle is shown at the museum in the below image from Garry Glenn.
11. Higashiyama Zoo
The Higashiyama Zoo is much more than a zoo, making it a very popular tourist attraction, being a zoo, botanical garden and theme park all in one. Some of the most popular attractions include a greenhouse with Sakura, koalas, elephants and the giraffes seen below in the image from Instagrammer @zarzhik.
12. Midland Square Sky Promenade
Across from Nagoya Station stands Midland Square, Nagoya’s tallest building. The Sky Promenade takes up the top three floors.
The view is on full display in this daytime image from Melissa Sheehan.
You can see the nighttime view in the below image from Instagrammer D A N I E L A.
A more detailed image of the skyline can be seen in the following beautiful image from @tom_mgln.
13. Oasis 21
Oasis 21 is a mostly underground shopping center and bus terminal located next to the Nagoya TV Tower. Its modern construction provides many great photo spots, many of which are often illuminated with colored lights.
The famous roof is shown below with the TV Tower in the background in the image from Ruben.
You can see some of the different lighting displayed in the below image from Instagrammer @nahm_happystory.
14. Inuyama Castle
Inuyama Castle or Inuyama Jo is located in the neighboring city of Inuyama. This beautiful castle is a protected historic site, being one of only twelve original-construction castles from the Edo Period.
You can see the beautiful castle in the below image from Instagrammer @henrys_creek.
The temple is also home to one of the classic Japanese red-gate tunnels that always make for a great photograph, as seen below, also from Instagrammer @henrys_creek.
15. Nabano no Sato
Nabano no Sato is a flower garden and plant nursery southeast of Nagoya across the river in Mie Prefecture. Unlike many gardens, you will want to visit Nabano no Sato anytime of the year as something will either be in bloom or, during the winter, they set up a fantastic light display.
You can see some of the impressive flower displays in the image below from Instagrammer @kats.0311.
Arimatsu is a historic part of Nagoya, which used to be its own town. It is a great area to walk around and just enjoy the environment and see some of the old temples, like the one in the image below from Sarah Ridley.
17. Port of Nagoya
The Port of Nagoya, located in Ise Bay, is the largest port in all of Japan. It is popular for its huge aquarium, but offers many other fantastic photo ops, like the one below from Kimm.
18. Noritake Garden
Noritake Garden is much more of an urban garden, a short walk from Nagoya Station, than it is a traditional Japanese Garden. In addition to the garden, there are restaurants, shopping and other activities.
One of the most famous part of Noritake Garden is the fantastic sakura shown in the below image from Elysia Ang.
In another great image, this one from Jasmin Gogo, you can see more flowers and the walking paths that provide a welcome break from the surrounding city.
19. Toganji Temple
Taganji Temple is a Buddhist temple in the Motoyama area of Nagoya. The big attraction at Toganji Temple is the giant green Buddha, which is on full display in the image below from Kate Gibson.
The enormous scale of the green Buddha can be seen when you pose in front of it, like the great image below from Eliza Morquecho.
20. Nittaiji Temple
The Nittaiji Temple is another famous Buddhist temple located in Nagoya. It was built in 1904 and is the resting place of the ashes of Buddha, which were gifted to Japan from Thailand.
The temple is beautifully captured in the image below from Photographer Kun Mookdasanit.
21. SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park is located in Southern Nagoya in Minato, next to Legoland Japan. The impressive museum, owned and operated by the Central Japan Railway Company, features 39 full size railway vehicles, a buscab, dioramas and simulators.
With all those trains, there are tons of great photos to be made. I love the image below with the yellow train from DoiN’ THe MoD.
In the image below from Meow Chaonarai., you can see more of the trains on display, with everything from the modern bullet trains to the older vehicles in the backround.
22. Legoland Japan
Legoland Japan is a popular theme park located next to the Railway Park in southern Nagoya.
Besides having a fun day at a theme park, the unique nature of Legoland makes for great images, like the unique carousel featured in the below image from @suya0205.
Japan is one of my favorite places, having served a 2 year mission in Hokkaido. There are so many under-the-radar places to visit besides Tokyo and Nagoya is a great example. Join our Facebook Group and share with us any of your favorite places in Nagoya and let us know if we missed any gems.
If you want more great Japan images in your life, check out our Instagram Guide to Sapporo.