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Nagoya: Eat Up & Shop 'til You Drop

This trip was organised by Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel. Click here to book a room at this hotel.

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Update!
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From September 2014, JR Nagoya Takashimaya is implementing a duty free system.
There is a new duty free counter for visitors to Japan on the 3rd floor to facilitate smoother service and processing along with the pre-existing duty free counter on the 11th floor.
Furthermore, the foreign language floor guide has been revised, and there are brand new pamphlets just for overseas visitors to make your shopping experience even more convenient! These are available both at Takashimaya itself and at the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel.
Also, starting December 1st, JR Nagoya Takashimaya is proud to offer a telephone interpretation service supporting English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish to help you with your shopping!

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Welcome to Nagoya, the fourth most populated city in Japan, well-known to Japanese for its tasty tebasaki chicken wings, red miso dishes like miso katsu, and the flat udon-like kishimen noodles, amongst others.

Nagoya is a short hop on the bullet train from Tokyo - taking about 1 hour 40 minutes or so. This makes it close enough to be reached easily, but far enough away to present something a little different. Nagoya differs greatly from other large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, boasting its own traditional cuisine as well as a dialect unique to the area.

I took a trip down to Nagoya recently to take a look around the city on my way to Gero and Takayama, which are both easily reachable from the city.

Arriving at the huge station building is a large reminder of how vast Nagoya is. Consisting of 3 towers - all of which are over 50 floors high - the station building is one of the largest in the world by floor area, covering a total of 410,000 m².

Nagoya Marriott Associa

Found within one of the 3 towers that make up the JR Nagoya Station Building is the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel. The staff had kindly invited me along to take a look around the facilities at the hotel. And so after arriving at the station I made my way up to the hotel lobby.

Just in front of the entranceway there are some high-stretching windows (pictured in the photo at the top of the article). From these windows there is a marvelous view of Nagoya, that really shows a great scene of the city - it seems to go on for miles. When I visited, I could see Nagoya Castle nestled into the cityscape that stretched out before me. It really was a spectacular view.

Lobby

The hotel lobby is situated on the 15th floor of the building and the staff were on hand with welcoming smiles as soon as I set foot through the doors. The interior design of the lobby area was sleek and tasteful, with plants positioned here providing a refreshing feel that compliments the modern decor. We were whisked off quickly to take a look around at what the massive hotel had to offer.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Rooms

There is a wide spectrum of room types to choose from. Standard Twin (35 m²) and Deluxe Twin (38 m²) are available on the Regular Floors, and the Concierge Floor offers Deluxe Twins (38 m²). A comprehensive range of amenities, such as toiletries and towels are provided for guests' use in rooms. Because all of the rooms are situated on high floors, you can be pretty much guaranteed a spectacular city view from your room.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Concierge Lounge

The Concierge Floors and Suite Floors offer exclusive service, including a private lounge on the 36th floor serving breakfast (7:00-10:00 a.m.), all-day coffee and tea as well as evening hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. The Business Center is equipped with up-to-date business facilities to serve as personal offices for business travelers. On top of free morning newspapers, two free bottles of mineral water and free high-speed Internet, there is also a meeting room, which is available for up to 2 hours free-of-charge.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Tower Fitness Club

The Tower Fitness Club, located on the 18th floor, is open from 7:00 - 22:00, and is made up of three main areas: the Relaxation Area, The Pool Area and the Fitness Area. The gym and pool are available for use until 21:00, while the locker rooms and baths are open until 22:00. For early birds, the gym can be used from 5:00 a.m., although the locker room won't be open at this time, so you'll have to get changed in your room. Guests can use the Tower Fitness Club for an additional fee of 3,240 yen per night, but if you're lucky enough to be staying on the Concierge Floor, then you'll receive free access to the facilities.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Restaurants, Lounges & Bars

The hotel has an incredible amount of restaurants, lounges and bars that can be enjoyed without having to leave the building. On the 15th floor can be found All Day Dining PERGOLA, Main Bar Estmare, Lobby Lounge Scenery; on the 18th floor Japanese Restaurant Ka-un, Sushi Hananoi, Chinese Restaurant Lin-ka, Teppan-yaki Restaurant Nakotei; on the 52nd floor French Restaurant Mikuni Nagoya and Sky Lounge Zenith. There is a blistering amount to choose from, which will leave guests with a plethora of options each night - there really is something for everyone here.

Pergola

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Ka-un

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Nakotei

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Takashimaya

-------------------
Update!
-------------------

From September 2014, JR Nagoya Takashimaya is implementing a duty free system.
There is a new duty free counter for visitors to Japan on the 3rd floor to facilitate smoother service and processing along with the pre-existing duty free counter on the 11th floor.
Furthermore, the foreign language floor guide has been revised, and there are brand new pamphlets just for overseas visitors to make your shopping experience even more convenient! These are available both at Takashimaya itself and at the Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel.
Also, starting December 1st, JR Nagoya Takashimaya is proud to offer a telephone interpretation service supporting English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish to help you with your shopping!

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Takashimaya is a famous department store, originally founded in Kyoto in 1829, which has now become a household name throughout the country. The chain also has stores in Paris, Taipei and Singapore. The massive JR Nagoya Station is also home to a Takashimaya store, and I was given an extensive tour around the vast array of shops housed within.

I caught the store just as it was opening, and was able to witness the opening at 10:00 a.m., the staff lined neatly up at the doors to greet the customers who were lining up patiently outside. The staff bowed respectfully to the customers as the doors were opened and the happy shoppers filed inside. I wondered to myself what the staff do when the store is closing at 20:00 in the evening...

With so many floors and shops on offer, the easiest way to learn more about the store is to consult this handy floor guide PDF written in English. The guide also includes important information on tax-free shopping for foreigners.

I took an opportunity to look around the store and snap some photos. One of the nice things about the department store that differentiates it from a Western counterpart is its abundance of Japanese goods:

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The store is also packed full of famous designer brand goods such as Tila March, the ever-popular Shiseido cosmetics, and high-quality Hakuho brushes.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

As mentioned earlier, Nagoya is proud of its culinary heritage, and the food floors of Takashimaya are representative of this - packed full of tasty tebasaki chicken wings, miso katsu, kishimen and tenmusu tempura rice balls. The staff were all busy making the food freshly, so I snapped a few shots of them while they were working. I started to feel hungry just looking...

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

Things to See

As well as shopping, Nagoya also has a fair few attractions in the city. Two suggestions would be Nagoya Castle and Osu-Kannon Temple.

Nagoya Castle (Map)

Nagoya Castle's history dates back to the beginning of the Edo Period, where it was a seat for the Owari branch of the ruling Tokugawa family. It is said to be one of the largest castles in Japan, which accounts for its fame throughout Japan. The park area around the castle is a popular place to visit during the spring cherry blossom season, and many visitors will flock to the area for hanami flower-viewing parties. The castle is currently undergoing reconstruction, but don't let that put you off visiting - visitors will be privy to the reconstruction work and get to see some of what's going on up close.

Osu-Kannon Temple (Map)

A Buddhist temple with an original history dating back to the Kamakura Period (1192-1333), when it was built in Gifu. The temple was moved to its current location in 1612 by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The temple is situated roughly 30 minutes on foot from JR Nagoya Station. Near the temple is the Osu shopping district - a covered arcade which is home to around 400 shops and restaurants.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge!

There is a lot to do in Nagoya City as well as this, including attractions such as: Tokugawa Art Museum, Nagashima Resort, the Science Museum and the Railway Museum.

The position of Nagoya makes it an extremely convenient stop off for those visiting the central area of Japan, with easy access to Takayama, Gero, Kyoto, Ise and other places nearby. It's also a fun and charming place in its own right. After a stop at Nagoya, I made my way on to Gero.

Book a room at Nagoya Marriott Associa



[ Hotel, Shopping | published 2014.12.04 | PermaLink ]
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