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Atsuta and Kanayama

Kanayama station is one of the most important railway stations of the city of Nagoya, an interchange station between the JR, Meitetsu Railways and subway lines. A few kilometers south of Kanayama is also the area of Atsuta, site of an important Shinto shrine.

The neighborhood

The area around the station Kanayama is very busy because of the importance of the station, and there are several hotels, karaoke, izakaya and restaurants, but nothing special for which it is worth a visit.

In front of the north exit of the station there is the Asunal Center, a strange building with shops and restaurants, placed in a circle around an outdoor plaza where often perform for free some music bands. This place is very popular as a meeting place for the city's youth.

In front of the southern exit of the station there is a 31-storey skyscraper (Kanayama-Minami Building), inside which there is a hotel (ANA Crowne Plaza Grand Court), the Nagoya Boston Museum and the Nagoya Urban Institute.

Nagoya Boston Museum

(admission 1300 yen, opening hours 10-19, 10-17 on weekends, closed on mondays)
This museum is a kind of minor branch of the famous MFA of Boston, in the United States. The museum covers the first three floors at the base of the skyscraper that houses the hotel ANA Crowne Plaza.
Its permanent collection consists mainly of Japanese works, and of Europeans Impressionist as regarding the non-Japanese art. There are also temporary exhibitions of major works that come from the main museum in Boston.

Nagoya Urban Institute

(free admission, opening hours 10-18, 10-20 on fridays, 10-17 on weekends, closed on mondays)
Located between the 11th and 14th floors of the skyscraper. The 11th floor is open to the public and exhibits a number of plans, projects and photographs of the urban development of Nagoya and its history, thus ranging from the past to the ideas for the future of the city.
skyscraper kanayama-minami the skyscraper in front of Kanayama station
Walking for about 2 km to the south (or taking the Tokaido Main Line from Kanayama station to Atsuta station, 2 minutes) you can get to the most important Shinto shrine in the city, known as Atsuta Jingu.
Along the way, more or less half way in front of the railroad tracks (1 km south of Kanayama station, 1 km north of Atsuta station), there is also a big shopping center called AEON Mall Atsuta.

Atsuta Jingu

(free admission)
This shrine, as all major Shinto shrines, is located within a large park, a few meters west of the Atsuta station. It is assumed to have been founded around the year 100, and is therefore considered one of the oldest still existing Shinto shrines, although most of its buildings were destroyed during the last war and later rebuilt.
Another reason that has made this shrine famous is the fact that inside is kept a sword (not exposed to the public) known in Japanese as Kusanagi (Kusanagi no Tsurugi), one of the three legendary Imperial Regalia of Japan.
Inside the park there is also a large camphor tree (goshimboku) which is said to have been planted around 1000 years ago by Kūkai himself, and a small museum (Houmotsu-kan, 9-16:30, 300 yen) with various objects belonging to various shogun and members of the imperial families.
The most popular and most touristy attraction of the shrine is a restaurant among the most famous in the city for kishimen style udon (a typical dish of Nagoya), the name of the restaurant is Miya Kishimen.
shrine atsuta jingu in nagoya Atsuta Jingu
udon kishimen kishimen udon

Sleeping, recommended hotels in Kanayama, Nagoya

As mentioned in the guide, just in front of Kanayama station there is a skyscraper with a hotel, the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya, upscale hotel and one of the alternatives with the best value for money if you are looking for a room on the upper floors with city views.

North of Kanayama station there are two accommodations particularly recommended for those on a budget: the Capsule Inn Nagoya, a capsule hotel from 2980 yen per night, and the Kanayama Plaza Hotel, a business hotel with single rooms from 4500 yen per night.

Practical guide, how to get to Kanayama and Atsuta

As already mentioned, Kanayama station is one of the most important railway stations of the city, of JR, of Meitetsu Railways and the municipal subway.

Nagoya station can be reached in just 3/4 minutes with one of the two JR lines serving the station (Tōkaidō Main Line and Chūō Main Line).

For other areas of the city you can use the subway lines instead, the Meijo line (without changes to Sakae, Meijo Koen) and the Meiko line (without changes to the harbour area).

The lines of Meitetsu Railways serve various locations in the surrounding region, including Nagoya Airport (Centrair) which can be reached in just 24 minutes.

The Atsuta Shrine is located 2.5 km south of Kanayama station, and is surrounded by three different stations:

Jingumae station, served by the Meitetsu Tokoname Line and the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line (without changes to Kanayama, Nagoya station), and situated 600 meters walk from the main buildings of the shrine;

Atsuta station, served by the JR Tōkaidō Main Line (without changes to Kanayama, Nagoya station, it's cheaper than the Meitetsu lines), and situated 1 km walk from the main buildings of the shrine;

Jingumae station, served by the Meijo Line of the subway (without changes to Kanayama, Sakae, Meijo Koen), and situated 700 meters walk from the main buildings of the shrine;

Map of Kanayama and Atsuta, Nagoya

Guided tours, activities and other things to do

If you are planning a trip to Japan and you want to add something special besides the visit of the different monuments and famous places, we suggest you to use the site Govoyagin. This is a very useful site to enrich your travel experience, especially if you are going solo or it's your first time in Japan and, for language barriers and more, and you will not have many opportunities to interact with the locals and to enjoy something different from the famous places marked in the tourist guides.

What Govoyagin is

Govoyagin is a website where you can find many particular activities all over Japan (and not only in Japan).
You can buy tickets online for some famous attractions, but also book tours and really special experiences with locals ready to guide you and take you to places outside the tourist circuits that you would hardly ever find by yourself. Last but not least, you can reserve a table in hundreds of restaurants.

Some examples

On Govoyagin you can buy tickets in advance to visit the Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo Sky Tree, but also book guided tours of Kyoto temples accompanied by a samurai, or to go around the streets of Osaka on a go-kart dressed as Super Mario, or even play videogames against an unbeatable Japanese otaku at his place.
Last but not least, if you need to reserve your table in some restaurants, such as the legendary 3-star Michelin, also in this case you can find this kind of service for sale on Govoyagin. Take a look at Govoyagin

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Do you need a Pocket WiFi Router for your trip to Japan? →

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Author: Davide Lee