35 Best Sights in Nagoya, Ise-Shima, and the Kii Peninsula, Japan

Shirara-yu Hot Spring

At the north end of the beach, locals come and go all day to bathe and chat. The baths overlook the beach and ocean from the second floor of this old wooden building, and on the first floor is an open lounge area. You can rent towels, but bring your own toiletries.

Shirahama, Japan
Sight Details
Rate Includes: ¥420, ¥200 towel rental, Closed Thurs.

Shoho-ji Temple

This small temple is rather run-down, but it houses Japan's third-largest Buddha, which you can often view with no other visitors in sight. This imposing incarnation of Shaka Nyorai (Great Buddha) is 45 feet tall and constructed of pasted-together paper sutra (prayers) coated with clay and stucco and then lacquered and gilded; it took 38 years to complete. From Gifu Park, walk two blocks south.

Toba Tourist Information Center

Outside Exit 1 of Kintetsu Toba Station, you'll find an English map of the main attractions.

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Tokugawa Art Museum


The seldom-displayed 12th-century hand scrolls of The Tale of Genji, widely recognized as the world's first novel, are housed here. Even when the scrolls are not available, beautiful relics of the lifestyle of the aristocratic samurai class—including swords and armor, tea-ceremony artifacts, Noh masks, clothing, and furnishings—fascinate visitors. If you're visiting specifically to see the scrolls, check out the Hosa Library rooms, which house an incredible collection of other ancient scrolls and texts (some 110,000 in all), some dating to the 8th century. If you've got time, it's worth paying an additional ¥150 for entry to the adjacent Tokugawaen 徳川園, an attractive Japanese garden modeled in the Edo style. Tokugawa Art Museum is a 10-minute walk south of exit 3 of Ozone Station, which is on the Meijo subway line and the JR Chuo Line. It's also served by the Me-guru bus, which gives a ¥200 discount on admission for bus pass holders.

Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology


Housed in the distinctive brick buildings of the company's original factory, this museum is dedicated to the rise of Nagoya's most famous company. Toyota's textile-industry origins are explored in the first of two immense halls, with an amazing selection of looms illustrating the evolution of spinning and weaving technologies over the last 200 years. The second, even larger hall focuses on the company's move into auto manufacturing, with exhibits including the Model AA, Toyota's first mass-production automobile. In the Technoland zone, kids can try out a wind tunnel, play with water and air jets, operate a virtual weaving machine, and test out mini electric cars. The museum is a 20-minute walk north of JR Nagoya Station or three minutes from JR Sako Station.

4--1--35 Noritake-Shinmachi, Nagoya, 451-0051, Japan
Sight Details
Rate Includes: ¥500; ¥800 includes Noritake Garden, Closed Mon.