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View from the JR station towers over Nagoya, another 2 million+ and...

JR towers (largest station building in the world, Guinness Book of Records)...

Your guess: Which firm started here and with what product

OK, good. But now for the difficult one

That's right. Toyota started out as a textile factory in 1926

From their first family saloon, the 1936 AA

To the latest gadgets

On show here, where they also recreate an assembly line. Lacks the...

Long lines patiently waiting for entry into Nagoya Castle and gardens for...

Entertaining the crowd with period gear

Or modern exploits; almost there

Those knives are real

Castle tower

The impressive donjon itself

Kinshachi, signature golden dolphins of Owari clan of Tokugawa family, shining in...

View from the donjon to the city, 2 JR towers on the...

Hideyoshi Toyotomi; ended the Sengoku (Warring States period) and united Japan after...

Ieyasu Togukawa grabbed power and founded the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled Japan...

Owari clan helmet

If this did not inspire Darth Vader's outfit I wonder what did

Scroll paintings in delicate colours

Depicting court games

Japan's favourite blossom

Or sacred animal

Part of Atsuta-jingu shrine which houses the kusanagi-no-tsurugi (grass cutting sword) given...

Last preparations...

For the wedding picture

Small but nice display in the Nagoya International Design Centre

With many illustrious names

And, in appropriate design mode, 5 theme based collection towers with rotating...

Classics from the stream line era that did not make it

And others that did and are still very much around

Can you imagine these date as far back as 1941 when plastics...

Equally still very modern today

Years, what decades, ago when I still smoked, we used to have...

So many icons

Toba on the coast (twinned with Santa Barbara CA)

Centre for pearl cultivation

Ama, women pearl divers (on the poster only unfortunately)

It was Golden Week that forced me to change plans. Takayama where I wanted to stay in the mountains for a few days was completely booked and I ended up in Nagoya. Goes to show how these things can work out very well because I spent a few nice days there before making it to Takayama after all.

Nagoya is one of those cities that probably is not on many people’s screen, it certainly was not on mine, but if a smaller city next to it didn’t already have that name it could very well be called Toyota city, since the Toyota factories are in Aichi Prefecture next door and the very reason for the prosperity that Nagoya exudes. Broad avenues, grand department stores, a New York-on-a-Sunday-afternoon atmosphere in the centre of the city make it very pleasant and it has some nice sights to boot.

Built in 1612 by Ieyasu Tokugawa in order to control middle Japan and rebuff attacks from the Osaka area, Nagoya Castle flourished during the Edo period as residence of the Owari clan of the Tokugawa family until the Meiji restoration of the political power of the Emperor in 1868, the Meiji restoration, ended the reign of the Tokugawa shogunate. Like most of the city also Nagoya Castle burnt down in May 1945 and the original keep was replaced by a concrete one in 1959 when also the signature Kinshachi (golden dolphins) reappeared on the rooftop, covered in 0.15 mm 18K gold. The keep still looks very impressive and the dolphins glitter in the warm Sunday afternoon sun as the crowds are out in force when I visit the place, which, apart from the museum that tells the Tokugawa story, also has nice views over the city and the surrounding park.

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