Vacationista: Nagoya, Japan (Day 2: Noritake Museum and Nagoya Castle)

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Our first day was spent being super tourist-y. We took the subway going to Nagoya station, the main station which brings you everywhere. From there, we took the hop on, hop off sight seeing bus. Fair warning that their subway system is really big and quite daunting for first timers. In my eyes, it was really complicated as I’m not really good with maps or directions. Good thing my sister is so she was able to figure it out.

On the hop on, hop off bus, you pay about Y500 and as the normal sight seeing buses, you have unlimited rides to the specific places included. Just make sure to check out the timing of the buses, located at each bus stop. Though as a rule, I think the buses come and go every 15 minutes. Since our trip was a chillax one, meaning we took our sweet time going around, we were only able to go to two places – the Noritake Museum and the Nagoya Castle. You may also opt to go to their Toyota Techno Museum (perfect for guys who like cars), Sakae area and their other smaller temples.

My aunt used to collect Noritake pieces with my grandmom when she was younger so she really wanted to go to the museum. Noritake is known for their delicate plates and ceramic wares with intricate designs. You can actually design your own Noritake, complete with baking, and take it home with you afterwards. It costs about Y1800 for a personalized Noritake plus free shipping within Japan. Overseas shipping depends on the country. Photos are not allowed inside though.

We also had lunch at their café – two types of pasta, burger patty and rice, and a small pizza (about Y700 each). Mental note that generally, meals in Japan are very expensive and start at Y750 for a good, sitdown meal. Of course, there are Y500 meals like their simple soup bowls. Even cheaper are their ready to eat sushi and noodles from their convenience stores (Y100), which you can find at almost every corner.

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After lunch, we then went to the Nagoya Castle via the hop on, hop off bus again. We spent most of the afternoon there since it was huge and entailed a lot of walking. Then again, Japan is a walking type of country. We went inside the castle and had a look around the museum. You may also opt to go at the top level and have a 360 degree perspective of the city. We also had our dose of matcha ice cream (Y300) to cool us from the heat.

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By the time we were through, it was close to dinnertime so off we went to the bus station again. We were supposed to go to the Sakae district to see the Nagoya tower and the Oasis 21 (which looks like a huge spaceship) but we rode the wrong bus! It was no biggie since we were taken back to the Nagoya station. We passed by a grocery store so we looked around and mentally listed down the cosmetics and other stuff we wanted to buy. We then had dinner at their subway, which had a lot of nice restos and cafes and where locals and office workers would eat. Dinner was katsudon and curry katsudon with rice, about Y750 each. Their subways are filled with tons of fashion stores, food outlets and even a small supermarket/ mini mall. You won’t get bored at the Nagoya station at all. Then back to the hotel to cap off our night.

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