Located south of the city, Nagoya’s port is one of the busiest ports in Japan. It serves Japan’s central region, known for its thriving automotive industry. Now, you might think that visiting a port and an industrial area isn’t exactly a fun way to spend your day, but that’s where you’d be wrong! You’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options and numerous family-friendly attractions. And when the sun goes down, the area is spectacularly lit up, making it a great place to spend the day and evening.
If you love aquatic life, then the Nagoya Aquarium is a must-visit. It is one of Japan’s largest and most impressive aquariums, located at Nagoya Port. The aquarium houses a diverse range of sea creatures, from Japan to the Antarctic. It is an excellent place for kids, friends, couples, and solo explorers to spend a fun day out.
The North building of the Nagoya Aquarium has a theme of “A journey spanning 3.5 billion years: Animals that have returned to the seas.” This building features multimedia displays teaching visitors about cetaceans and aquatic mammals. The highlight of this building is the world’s largest outdoor tank, where you can meet the aquarium’s star attractions – the dolphins.
The theme of the South building is “A Journey to the Antarctic.” This building is a breeding exhibition that takes you on a journey from Nagoya to the Antarctic, crossing the seas around Japan, the deep sea gallery, the equatorial ocean, the Australian waterfront, and the Antarctic ocean. The penguin enclosure is the highlight of this building.
In Japan, summer is synonymous with fireworks festivals, and one of the most popular festivals in Nagoya is the Nagoya Port Festival, also known as Nagoya Minato Matsuri. This event started in 1946 to boost morale and promote positivity in the aftermath of World War II. The festival takes place over two days in mid-July, but the highlight for most visitors is the display of around 3,000 fireworks that light up the night sky while enjoying the refreshing ocean breeze on Marine Day (Umi no hi), a national holiday.
Where: 1-3 Minatomachi, Minato Ward, Nagoya (map)
Nagoya Port Sea Train Land
Nagoya Port Sea Train Land is an amusement park that is free to enter. The park is located on the JR Freight Railway Company’s Nagoyako Station site and has 16 different attractions that both kids and adults can enjoy. The park’s standout ride is the Ferris wheel, the biggest in the Chubu area at 85m tall. Its see-through gondolas provide 360-degree panoramic views, allowing you to see as far as Ise Bay and the Suzuka Mountains. Other attractions in the park include merry-go-rounds, a maze, and a Western-style haunted house called Zombie Panic, all of which are great fun.
Antarctic Museum and Fuji Antarctic Museum
The Nagoya Maritime Museum and the Fuji Antarctic Museum are two fascinating and informative attractions that showcase the role of Nagoya’s port in the city’s thriving manufacturing and trading traditions. Additionally, both museums provide insights into the surrounding seas and their significance to the area.
One of the most interesting exhibits at the museums is the former research vessel, the Fuji. This icebreaking ship is now permanently moored in the port, and visitors can explore it to better understand what life would have been like for the crew as they ventured into the polar regions.
LaLaport Minato Aquls Shopping
There are approximately 217 shops at LaLaport Minato Aquls, you’ll find a variety of well-known brands across different categories. These include fashion retailers like UNIQLO and ZARA, sports and outdoor brands such as Adidas and Columbia, and popular lifestyle and home goods stores like MUJI and Francfranc. The mall also hosts electronics giants like Bic Camera and a selection of popular dining options.