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Walking guides around Nagoya

By Victoria Marie

As a blogger I am always on the lookout for good places to take photos of. Since I moved to Nagoya about a year and a half ago, I hadn’t really explored the neighborhood. From a friend of mine, I was introduced to a guidebook about walking around different neighborhoods. As a kanji illiterate person, this guidebook was actually really useful and easy to use. Sometimes figuring out what station I needed to go to can be difficult, so I did ask someone who IS kanji literate to help me out a little. Maybe this will help me to remember how to read more kanji characters (probably not, but I can hope).

The guidebook that I used is called Buratto Osanpo Ko-su” (ぶらっとお散歩コース)by Shobunsha Publications. The map clearly shows the route you will take and the different things you can see, for example, shops, restaurants, parks, temples, etc. They give ideas of places even a little outside of the pathway in case you are interested in more than just exercise. The guidebook also lists the number of steps, how many calories you will lose and about how long it will take without stopping or going off course (by choice). It was difficult to decide which course to try first since there are 30 courses.

I decided to start with the course that would lead me to Atsuta Shrine since I hadn’t been there yet. I reached the starting station Jingu Nishi Station at about 11:15 a.m. Once i got my sense of directions to follow the map, it didn’t take long for me to reach the first turning point. From there, I was walking around a wooded area which was a safe walking path. No cars going by and lots of people were playing on the grounds.

I reached the river where I crossed over a new bridge. There was a nice breeze and I saw some people enjoying the breeze over the bridge. I really enjoyed walking by the river and I almost got sidetracked into the Shirotori Gardens, but I decided that I would save that for another day and work on finishing my current project.

I noticed that the railing along the river sometimes had a picture built into the rails. There were quite a few parks along this course that hadn’t been used in a long time (noticeable because of the mass amounts of weeds growing all over the park). By this time I was about half way through the course and I was starving. Luckily, my trusty guidebook has restaurants listed, so I ate at a very popular eel restaurant. There are two in the area, the one I went to which is about 5 minutes from Atsuta Shrine.

Hitsumabushi is famous in Nagoya and very delicious, but there is a lot of food (not complaining just a warning for people who can’t eat a lot). I am one of those people that can’t eat a whole lot of food, so I ordered the regular grilled eel set and it was so delicious. I had to wait about 10-15 minutes to get a table and then about another 10-15 minutes to wait for the eel to be grilled. The wait staff at this restaurant was friendly and it seemed like some of them knew a little English. If they don’t speak English just give them your name, take off your shoes and place a tag on them and then sit in the waiting area. I couldn’t read the regular menu, but they have a English menu; well actually, it said “Engrish”, but it gets the point across and the descriptions of the food were great.

They don’t tell you what is in their secret sauce, but it is delicious. I have been to many eel restaurants and it is amazing how each one tastes a little different. At this restaurant you could taste the smoky flavor from the way they grilled the eel. I’m sorry I have to stop talking about it now, because it is making my mouth water just talking about it.

After lunch, I made it to Atsuta Shrine. It really does have a lot of ground for the Shrine. The Torri gates are enormous. I don’t think I have seen them this big before.

If you live in Nagoya and you are starting to ask yourself what you should do today, I recommend picking up this guidebook and going for a walk. It was an interesting way to check out a neighborhood that I hadn’t been to yet. This is only one of 30 courses, so look out for more. I plan on going on plenty more walks around Nagoya with my handy guidebook ...just in case this ONE article didn’t help to convince you to take a walk around different neighborhoods.

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The guidebook that I used is called Buratto Osanpo Ko-su” (ぶらっとお散歩コース)by Shobunsha Publications.

(Psst! This is the place where the editor places a hyperlink to the book. Your welcome.)

Nice. You're own web page can't handle Japanese characters.

Forget it.

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Nagoya seems to have a bad rep, unfairly so in my opinion. There are indeed a lot of lovely parks and shrines, botanical gardens, and even the castle's not bad for a stroll on a sunny day. The transport system is of course excellent, and can take you to greenery within a very short time. Very good shopping, and it has a pretty good nightlife, no shortage of places to go for drinks, quality dining or local cuisine, and lots of clubs and bars to hang out in till first train.

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