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Our main Japan office is in Nagoya and so I have spent a fair amount of time in the city, Japan’s “third” city – and yes I know that Yokohama is technically second, so Nagoya is further down the list. However, on my most recent visit I realised that I had spent all my time either around Nagoya station or the central shopping and business district of Sakae. Incidentally that’s a city district with only one kanji – name any other famous ones…?
So I decided to delve a little deeper to see what else Nagoya has to offer. The result was a very satisfying weekend afternoon wandering around the Osu district close to Osu Kannon, one of Nagoya’s biggest temples. Around the temple is a network of covered shopping arcades, lined with an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, cafes and food stalls. The atmosphere reminded me a little of Asakusa in Tokyo, with something of an old-world feel to it, despite the occasionally electronics store. They even have helpers on hand with yellow flags attached to their backs, offering maps, directions and local advice.
Fried local chicken (karaage) seemed to be the thing to eat in Osu, with several hole-in-the-wall shops serving freshly cooked chicken in various flavours to a queue of people. Each stall also had plenty of signature boards from celebrities, though with the number of celebrities Japan has this might not be much of a guide!
So if you thought Nagoya was just bright lights and modern buildings, take a trip to Osu; An afternoon well spent!