Introducing variety of things about Nagoya and other places to go in Japan

New Nagoya cassette

Nagoya Castle was built by Ieyasu
Tokugawa (one of the Shoguns) in 1612.

Although, Ieyasu himself did not live there, one of 3 Branch Families lived

This was a very important castle during
the Edo Era.

This castle was burned down during the
world war II.

However, outside of the castle was re-built.

Inside of the castle was made with modern concrete.

Therefore, it did not seem like a real
castle like others still existing.

Nagoya City decided to rebuild the
castle and it is almost done.

At the same time, they made a
traditional looking street called
“Kinshyachi-Yokocho” and also, soothing
place called “Muneharu Zone”.

Nagoya Castle’s is very famous for a
pair (male and female) of imaginary
animal on the top of the castle called
“Golden Shyachihoko”.

Shyachi is a fish that has a face of tiger.

The reason it is so famous is because it is covered by gold.

For both Shyachihoko they used 88kg of
gold which may cost over $3mil.

Nagoya Castle is also very famous for
its cherry trees.

There are about 1,000 various cherry trees.

They usually bloom the end of March.

They also light up these trees during the night.

This is amazing.

They have several events and people
wearing costumes like Samurai and Shogun.

If you are to visit Nagoya, this is must to visit place.

Welcome to Nagoya!


Pachinko is a type of mechanical game
originating in Nagoya and is used as both
a form of recreational arcade game and
much more frequently as a gambling device,
filling a Japanese gambling niche comparable
to that of the slot machine in Western gaming.
Pachinko parlors are widespread in Japan.








Until a decade ago, it was aplace that
middle to old age men play.

Also, many were smoking at his seat.

In recent year, many became clean
and machines became more fun since
popular anime or pretty heroines or
cool heroes are used.







Prizes have many assortments such as
sweets, tobacco, and general merchandise.
Some exchange place look like a shop.

p2 p1






However, many people exchange prizes called
“special prizes” rather than general prizes
such as sweets, tobacco and daily necessities.

Why is that?

The answer is simple.














It is because you can receive cash in exchange
for the special prize received at the counter
if you bring it to a prize exchange office near
the pachinko parlor.






Why people need to take the “special prizes” to the
nearby prize exchange office?

That’s because Gambling for cash is illegal in Japan.

Pachinko balls won from games cannot be exchanged
directly for money in the parlor.

The balls also may not be removed from the premises

Pachinko balls won at the parlor are exchanged for prizes
or tokens, which can be exchanged for cash at a place
nominally separate from the parlor.

1 pachinko ball is usually 4yen.
But when exchanging back to money it varies from 3 to 4 yen.

So, if you sped 1000 yen, you can get 250 balls.

But do not be too happy.

Such ball can be vacuumed into a hole in a second.

If you would like to try, I suggest you visit a game center
located in most shopping mall.

If you are confident enough, you may try the
real “pachinko parlor”.

Lean Japanese from children’s songs

Song of Japanese Alphabet

This created by English speaking person.
But it is a very good way to learn
Japanese Alphabet.

Hatopoppo Dave

This was the 1st song I learned.
“Hato” means a pigeon.
“Poppopo” is the sound of a pigeon.
Small children call a pigion  “Hatopoppo”.

Musunnde Hiraite

Okasan (Mother)

Inuno Omawarisan




Kira Kira Boshi

GIFU Monne’s Pond






“Monee’s Pond” in Gifu Prefecture

It looks just like it, dosn’t it?

This pond is located at Itadori, Seki City and does not even have a name.
This pond is about 90km from Nagoya. Gifu Pref. is right next to Aichi Pref.

The water lily blooming in spring water with high transparency is very beautiful, just like painting “Monet’s Pond”.

“Nishikigoi” Japanese Carps are swimming in the pond, exactly “Japanese Monee’s pond”

Pond may look more beautiful if the weather not only the day you would like to visit but previous day was good. (Otherwise water may be muddy)

Therefore, it is better to check before you actually visit.

Tel.: 0581-57-2111 (Itadori Office)
Address: 1643-17 Kamigase, Itadori, Seki, Gifu, 504-2901, Japan

【Those traveling by means of transportation】
From Nagoya, take JR or Meitetsu Train to Gifu Station, then take Gifu Bus “Gifu Itadori Route (Sen), or Seki City Bus “Seki Itadori Route (Sen). Get off at “Horado Kiwi Plaza (End Point). Then transfer to the Regional Bus (Itadori Fureai Bus) and get off at “Ajisai En” (Hydrangea Garden) it is 150 meters from there. You can follow p people.

OASIS 21 in Sakae, Nagoya

Oasis 21 is a must to see.

It is a beautiful architecture in a park in the middle of
Sakae (Center of Nagoya).







This park opened in 2002 in Sakae.













This is complex four-level vaulted structure with the theme of
“Space ship Aqua” (reminds me of STAR TRECK)
that is the symbol of the park and abundant throughout.














The roof is transparent with shallow water pool.

(Sorry you cannot swim or go inside of the pool.)

This water makes the roof lighter than just glass roof,
and the water refraction makes the roof looks like diamond.

There is a tourist information office in the “Galactic Square”
on the basement Currently “Nagoya Mesi (Nagoya cuisine)
restaurant guide MAP” is being distributed free of charge.
So you can find a place to eat very easily.

Currently English, Chinese (Traditional & Simplified Chinese)
and Korean Pamphlets are available.

You can also enjoy rainy day here since there is a huge roof and
directly connected to the underground shopping center
lined with many restaurants, shops and events.

chikagai3 chikagai2chikagai

Oasis 21 is also directly connected to subway station and bus terminal.















This is a one day pass for subway. If you move within Nagoya,
this makes you same money.

The “Field of Green” is on the ground level where
flowers and trees are planted.







The “Galaxy Platform” is basement level where many
events are held.

Also on the ground level, there are various shops. If you like Japanese
Anime, you may find various Anime goods at Jump-Shop.




There are Nagoya TV tower and Aichi prefectural art museum at the walking distance.

Is Oasis 21 really a must to go place for foreign tourists?

Here are what they say:

I am on a vacation taking a month off and I got friends to 
show me the pictures and I found it beautifully and it's 
beautiful, is not it?" (Mike / USA)
I have been visiting Japan since 35 years ago.  
I have been in Nagoya 5 times.
I take photos as a hobby.  
At the Oasis 21 reflecting a TV tower  on the surface of the water 
makes an amazingly beautiful photo.(Ken-san / USA)
Oasis 21 was introduced on the Internet, and I knew the contrast of 
the water roof with the TV tower and the sunset is beautiful.  
It’s much better than the SNS (Annees, Justin, James / UK)
I went to Nagoya Castle, ate Miso Katsu, did a cosplay of a high-school 
Uniform in Osu, then came back on the sunset. Nagoya, super fun!"
(Diaz / Philippines)
This is the third time to Nagoya.  
It is very busy here, but if you take a picture the night is very beautiful, 
We took a lot of pictures here" (San & Si / Vietnam)
I've seen pictures before. I came to take pictures of the night view.  
It's a futuristic modern architecture" (David / Germany)

But the most famous and beautiful event at Oasis 21 starts at 9:00pm,
only for 1 hour.

Please see on your own eyes.


Japanese New Generation Amusement Arcade NAMCO

Japanese Amusement Arcades has been changing
as world is going to IoT and AI.

AEON and APITA are well known
shopping mall all over Japan.

20161211_2273256 aeon-nagakute-repo4






I have visited a new AEON Shopping Mall
in Nagakute, Aichi the other day.
They have newest and most amazing machines.

I tried 3D Mario Car Racing.
There was an instructor who would tell you
how to proceed.

Wow, the MARIO World was very colorful
and very realistic.
It was like I was really driving in the MARIO world.

dscpdc_0001_burst20180408174950600-774x1376 dscpdc_0001_burst20180408174945903_cover-774x1376 dscpdc_0000_burst20180408174944224-774x1376







For a while NAMCO Amusement Arcade was
getting boring.
They put more UFO Catchers to make money quickly.
It was for a kids’ and old peoples’ place to kill time.
←Although they still have space for them.

You must experience 3D World at NAMCO
when you come to Japan.

I really enjoyed the machine.
And I guaranty you, too.


Asahikawa Zoo in Hokkaido

In late March Hokkaido is still in winter.
(Just in case you did not know,
Japan is a long island approx. 3000km
from North to South.

So as we are enjoying spring in Nagoya,
Hokkaido will continue being in winter until May.)

In Hokkaido there is a Famous Zoo called “Asahikawa Zoo”






Number of visitors are approx. 2mil. per month
(more than the biggest Ueno Zoo in Tokyo.
(Ueno Zoo is very famous for Panda Bares also.)

Success Story
Until 8 years ago, this Asahikawa Zoo was
almost empty and about to close.

Director as well as employees had senses of crisis.

Asahikawa Zoo does not have rear animals like Panda Bares.

Penguins, monkeys, bares, etc. (All usual)
We can see in our small neighbor zoos.

They knew they did not have much budget to spend.
So employees brought up their ideas.

They came up this.

That is people only see animals in cages in many zoos.
Why don’t we show them how animal usually live in the nature?

It seemed like a good idea,
but showing natural life of animals may cost a lot of
money to change and may cause weakening
safety of visitors.

Especially there are many children in the zoo.
How can they ensure their safeties?

Then they came up with ideas that do not expose
visitors to dangers.

Orangutans’ aerial playground

Space is not just the ground.
So they show mother orangutans with baby on
clinging on mothers’ stomach crossing the ropes located 16m high.

Penguin & Seal Aquariums
By establishing transparent tunnels in the Penguin
and the Seal Swimming Pools, people can walk through
the tunnel watching penguin and seals swimming around from below.

If you are lucky you may a seal may say hello to you!

Especially penguins swim like flying.
People re-recognize that penguins are birds by this idea.


Seals are very friendly.
They would like to watch people.

Symbiosis of Different Animals

Guinea Fowls live with other animals
such as elephants and monkeys. Etc.

They also came up with other small but many events
such as night tour of zoo, lilting bug search, etc.

Visitors have no time to be bored.

These ideas were successful,
and the zoo became very famous of their ideas,
not by buying new expensive rare animals.

I visited the zoo one cold day.

Many animals were taking naps on the fresh white snow.

They looked like they were on the warm cotton.
But aren’t they cold???

Cherry Blossom Season 2018

My favorite season is here.
Japan is full of cherry blossoms.

Party, Party, Party!!

It is a Japanese Tradition to have a
drinking party under full blooming cherry trees.

People say
“We are so glad to welcome this season again!”

This season make us very alive and rejuvenated.

I visited many places all over the world,
but I could not forget the scene of
full blooming cherry blossoms especially at night.

In Nagoya the 2 biggest places to see
cherry blossoms are Nagoya Castel Park and
Turumai Park.

If you have chance, I highly recommend you to
visit Japan in late March.
(Of course Northern part will be a little bit later)

Here they are!

Cherry Blossoms in 2018:

Nagoya Castle Park

Turumai Park

By the way you do not need to go to a special places to see
Cherry Blossoms.

You can see them just walking around the neighborhood!!

Gacha-Gacha, Gacha-pon capsule toy

“Gacha-Gacha” or “Gacha-pon” refers to vending machines
that when you put 300yen and turn the lever,
the machine spit out a capsule toy.
The origin of “Gacha-pon” or “Gacha-Gacha” is the
noise when you turn the lever.

When turning the lever the noise sound Gacha-Gacha,
and when the word “pon” is an onomatopoeia for things come out

You can find them almost everywhere in Japan.
In some malls and shopping centers, there are whole sections of
Just looking at variety of these Gacha-Gachas is fun.

Actually the capsule toys are spitted out from “Gacha-Gacha”.

However, people refer the toy itself as “Gacha-Gacha”
in recent years.


When you open one of these plastic eggs, you’ll never know
what you’ll get even though it’s part of a series of toys.
That’s only a fraction of the fun of “Gacha-Gacha”.

Approximately ¥30 billion industry with 150 new toys
hatched every month.



While capsule toys are made mainly in China, the Gacha-Gachas
are uniquely Japanese.

In Japan, children to adults love Gacha-Gacha since
most popular comics small figures such as One Piece,
Picacyu, Doraemon, Dragonball, etc. can be found as well as
cute figures like Sushi, Various Foods, Cars, Motorcycles,
Insects, Various Animals Doll Figures, etc.

Recent years, Fuchiko (Lady Edge) of Cup serious are
very popular among adults.

I also have a few on my desk.


Gacha-Gacha will be a very good for souvenir from Japan.
Actually many foreigners are surrounding Gacha-Gacha in front of
Souvenir shops.

You should try one.

FUROSHIKI (Japanese Rapping Cloth)

FUROSHIKI is nothing but a piece of square cloth
if you don’t know how to use it.

But when it comes to gift-wrapping FUROSHIKI
is the perfect way to convey thoughtfulness
and courtesy through the care taken in the choice of
wrapping and in the way the fabric is folded and tied.

Whereas regular bags have a fixed amount of space
that can only carry a particular type of object,
a FUROSHIKI is highly versatile and can be adapted
to suit the exacts needs of the specific objects to be carried.

It is usually made with nylon, so it would protect things
inside the FUROSHIKI.

Original way of using FUROSHIKI








Varaety ways of using FUROSHIKI

















How to wrapp FUROSHIKI

Put one in your bag, it may become handy some time!!