Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Nagoya (名古屋市, Nagoya-shi?) is the fourth-largest city in Japan. Located on the Pacific coast in the Chūbu region on central Honshū, it is the capital of Aichi Prefecture and is one of Japan's major ports along with those of Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Yokohama, Chiba, and Hakata. It is also the center of Japan's third largest metropolitan region, known as the Chūkyō Metropolitan Area. As of 2000, Chūkyō Metropolitan Area has 8.74 million people, of which 2.17 million live in the city of Nagoya.


In 1610, Tokugawa Ieyasu moved the capital of Owari province from Kiyosu around seven kilometers to a more strategic location in present-day Nagoya.

A new large castle, Nagoya Castle, was constructed partly from materials sourced from Kiyosu Castle. Along with the construction, the entire town of around 60,000 people, including the temples and shrines, moved from Kiyosu to the new planned town around Nagoya Castle. Around the same time not far away, the ancient Atsuta Shrine was designated as a way station called Miya (the Shrine) on the important Tōkaidō that linked the two capitals of Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). The town thus developed around the temple to support travelers. The combination of these two castle and shrine towns forms what we now call Nagoya.

Through the following years Nagoya became an industrial hub for the surrounding region. Its economic sphere included the famous pottery towns Tokoname, Tajimi and Seto, as well as Okazaki, one of the only places where gunpowder was produced under the shogunate. Other industries in the area included cotton and complex mechanical dolls called karakuri ningyo.

Part of the modernization efforts of the Meiji Restoration saw a restructuring of Japan's provinces into prefectures and the government changed from family rule to that by government officials. Nagoya was proclaimed a city on October 1, 1889, and designated a city on September 1, 1956 by government ordinance.

The city's name was historically written as the older Emperor of that time (also read as Nagoya), and as the city is located between Kyoto, Shikoku and Tokyo, it was also historically known as "central capital" (中京, Chūkyō).


Nagoya's two most famous sightseeing spots are Nagoya Castle and Atsuta Shrine.

Nagoya Castle was built in 1612. Although a large part of it burned down in the fires of World War II, the castle was restored in 1959, adding some modern amenities such as elevators. The castle is very famous for two magnificent Golden Orca (金の鯱, Kin no Shachihoko) on the roof, often used as the symbol of Nagoya.

Atsuta Shrine is known as the second-most venerable shrine in Japan, after Ise Shrine. It is said to enshrine the Kusanagi sword, one of the three imperial regalia of Japan. It holds around 70 festivals in a year, and many people visit the shrine year-round. Also, the shrine has over 4,400 national treasures representing its 2,000 year history.

Other Nagoya attractions include:

* The Nagoya TV Tower
* JR Central Towers of Nagoya Station
* Midland Square, the new international sales headquarters for the Toyota Motor Corporation and features Japan's highest open-air observation deck.
* The Nagoya Port area (The Nagoya port area includes a themed shopping mall called Italia Mura as well as the popular Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.)
* Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
* The Toyota museums, 1. The Toyota Automobile Museum in Nagakute and 2. the Toyota Museum of Industry and Technology near Nagoya station.
* The Noritake factory (the home of Noritake fine chinaware) is also open to visitors and allows people to browse through the history of the establishment. Complete with cafe and information/technology displays, as well as shopping facilities, visitors can spend a whole day wandering through the displays and grounds. It also holds a few sad reminders of devastation during the final stages of WWII.
* The Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts (N/BMFA)

Nagoya was also home to a Pokémon-based theme park and a robot museum, but both are now closed.


One of the earliest censuses, carried out in 1889, gave Nagoya's population as 157,496. It reached the 1 million mark in 1934 and, as of 2004, the city had an estimated population of 2,202,111 with a density of 6,745 persons per km². There are estimated to be 945,328 households in the city — a significant increase from 153,370 at the end of World War II, in 1945.

The total area is 326.45 km². Its metropolitan area extends into Mie and Gifu prefectures, with a total population of about 9 million people, with only Osaka and Tokyo being larger.


Nagoya is served by Chūbu Centrair International Airport (NGO) in the city of Tokoname and by Nagoya Airfield (Komaki Airport, NKM) near the city boundary with Komaki and Kasugai. On February 17, 2005, all of Nagoya Airport's commercial international flights moved to Centrair. Nagoya Airfield is now used for general aviation and airbase facility as well as the main J-Air airline hub.

Nagoya Station, the world's largest train station by floor area[citation needed], is on the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, Tōkaidō Main Line, and Chūō Main Line, among others. The Nagoya Railroad and Kintetsu provide regional rail service to points in the Tōkai and Kansai regions. The city is also serviced by the Nagoya Subway.

Nagoya Port is the largest port by international trade value in Japan. Toyota Motor Corporation uses Nagoya Port for export of their products.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagoya

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