Hello, Readers. I’m sorry again about the last post, but this time will be better. I realized that I hadn’t yet described the most important part of my study abroad experience: the city itself. Nagoya, a city of about 2.3 million people, sits in between Kyoto and Tokyo. It’s actually a pretty old city, despite the abundance of department stores, skyscrapers and multi-level clubs. It traces its roots back to the 1600’s, however World War II destroyed virtually everything from the old times. Even the “historical” spots in this city are recreations built in the 1950’s through the 1990’s. In terms of relating this city to a US one, I found out that Nagoya is a “sister city” with Los Angeles. I assumed that Nagoya’s port location and population related it to Boston, but I feel that the Los Angeles relation makes more sense. For one, if you happen to be traveling to Japan, Nagoya wouldn’t really be a place you would know about unless you planned some event there. The same can be said for LA as well. Most people want to see NYC or Orlando. Nagoya doesn’t seem to have the established “International” city title that Tokyo and Kyoto carry. Also, I’m sure many people have heard that English is widely spoken in Japanese cities. While that certainly seemed true in Tokyo, I have found that only a handful of people in Nagoya know basic English. Also, like Los Angeles (perk up shopaholics), Nagoya is known for having one of the more famous shopping areas in the country. Sakae has lots of designer brands, multi-level Coach and Gucci stores and restaurants, as well as museums, nightclubs and landmarks, like Nagoya Tower and Oasis 21 (a strangely-designed bus terminal). If shopping and nightlife isn’t your thing, you can visit Kakuozan, a district known for historic temples and sights. Here, you can see the Nittaiji (Japanese-Thai temple). I have a picture attached above of this temple. It really is like nothing you will see in this city. Also, you might never have expected such a quiet, serene place in the middle of hectic Nagoya city. If you ever get the chance to visit Nagoya, visit this temple. It really is remarkable. “But I like museums! What about museums?” you might ask. I personally don’t care for museums, but if you so desperately want to spend hours inside, the Toyota plant and museum are very close to the city and easily accessed by train. Here, you can see older Toyota models and even some models yet-to-come. But hold the brakes! (or in Toyota’s case, don’t. Bad joke), there’s more. Near the city center, Ossu-kannon has a temple/museum that originated in the 14th century! Needless to say, this city has lots to do for people with various interests and backgrounds. I hope you liked this week’s blog and next week, I intend to blog about school food… I know that doesn’t sound too exiting, but I’m going to relate it to UVM. Don’t miss it and Jaa, ne!
TRAVEL BLOG: Nagoya
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