nagoya

August 9th, 2013 / by / in: travel / 1 Response

IMG_7429

The beauty of working from home: one night, Mike and I decided to go Nagoya. We decided this around 2am and I booked bus tickets and a hotel room for the next day, because why not? Why not go to Nagoya on a whim?

Part of the reason was that I wanted to try out one of the Japanese highway bus companies. I didn’t want to go too far though — Tokyo to Osaka on a bus is too long, but to Nagoya (about five hours) was reasonable. You can take a highway bus almost anywhere in Japan, and it’s WAY cheaper than the shinkansen. For example:

Shinkansen to Nagoya from Tokyo: ¥10,980 ($120 CAD) each way
Highway bus to Nagoya from Tokyo:  ¥2500 ($25 CAD) each way

We took a Willer Express bus — it was convenient because they leave from Shinjuku Station, and their website is in English! You can book your tickets online with a foreign credit card as well.

A shinkanesen from Tokyo to Nagoya only takes about an hour and a half, compared to the five hours on a bus. So a bus isn’t the best idea if you’re trying to maximize your time in Japan. But we had lots of time!

IMG_7430

 The Willer Express buses waiting to be loaded. Pink airlines, pink buses, Japan is the best.

IMG_7433

 Pink seats, of course. These were the “Relax” variety of seats. Check out the myriad seats available on the Willer website!

IMG_7434

 They had tvs/video games in the seat backs, but I didn’t use them.

IMG_7439

 Nagoya-bound. All the automated announcements were in Japanese, English, and Korean.

IMG_7445

 One of the best parts of taking a highway bus was stopping at a Japanese rest stop. Japanese rest stops are amazing. They’re like American rest stops, but WAY WAY WAY BETTER. “Japanese rest stops fill me with happiness,” says Mike.

IMG_7444

 Tons of food outlets, including my favourite Osaka takoyaki place, Kukuru.

IMG_7441

 And of COURSE there was a ton of Chubu omiyage (souvenirs) available. Look at this cute Fuji-san! I think the best part of the rest stops are that they sell all kinds of region-specific foods and gifts, including regional fruits and vegetables.

IMG_7443

 There was also a bakery, other stores, and a Family Mart.

IMG_7585

 We stayed at the b hotel in Nagoya. The b is a chain of boutique-ish hotels in Japan.

IMG_7447

 Pretty standard tiny Japanese hotel room.

IMG_7449

With the requisite tiny bathroom.

IMG_7587

The hotel was across the street from a large mall.

IMG_7589

I thought it was imperative that we eat the Nagoya specialty, misokatsu (味噌カツ), a kind of tonkatsu with a red miso sauce.

IMG_7590

MISOKATSU. It was actually one of the most delicious things I ate in Japan. Sooooooooooo tasty.

IMG_7593

Mike’s misokatsu, with green onions. Seriously, if you ever go to Nagoya, EAT THIS.

IMG_7595

If you want to find this misokatsu place (it’s called Yabaton), just look for the giant pigs everywhere.

IMG_7588

Oyasumi, Nagoya.

Still to come: visits to an amazing train museum in Nagoya, AND Satsuki and Mei’s house, the house from Totoro!

 


1 Comment to nagoya

  • […] Is it worth the trek to Nagoya just to visit Satsuki and Mei’s house? YES. If you are a Totoro or Ghibli fan, you will love it, and it’s a uniquely Japanese experience. If you’re visiting Japan and you’re travelling between Tokyo and Osaka, the shinkansen stops in Nagoya on the way. Spend a day of your trip to visit the house and eat some misokatsu. […]

Leave a Reply