We woke up early and started planning our day in Nagoya over a nice cup of tea.
Nagoya Castle was our first stop, as soon as we entered the grounds we spotted some ninjas sneaking around. We stopped to chat with them (nice chaps!) and had our photos taken, bloody tourists! One of them we recognised from a BBC program we had seen about Nagoya Castle a few weeks before.
Inside there were about five floors of exhibits including this one. You could stand behind the far wall and pull the rope making it look like the chaps were pulling the stone along. I didn't feel the need to have a go but other visitors were clearly enjoying it.
On the top floor there were good views across Nagoya.
Beside the castle was Nonmaru Goten Palace, the painted walls and doors of the reception rooms are really stunning.
After leaving Nagoya Castle we went in search of some food, 7 Eleven was there to rescue us. We shared an egg sarnie and a half banana wrapped in cake and cream.
I'd remembered these from my previous visit to Japan, seriously delicious.
Shortly after having a conversation with my wife about how there was little street art in Japan we spotted this.
This is Nagoya City Science Museum, we didn't bother going inside but were impressed by the museum's exterior. The large spherical shape houses the worlds largest planetarium with a diametre of 35 meters.
Roadwork barriers in Japan are much more fun!
More street art could be found beside the entrance to our next stop in Nagoya, the Osu shopping district.
The Osu shopping district is a huge and popular shopping area containing over 1,200 shops and restaurants.
My wife was keen to track down this giant Maneki Neko and also somewhere to eat some vegetarian food. We searched high and low but nearly everywhere was serving meat or fish and trying to communicate was often quite tricky.
After walking round for nearly an hour we ended up going for an Indian, it was reasonably priced and they had vegetable curry on the menu. This small salad arrived first, it was gone in about 20 seconds.
The curry was pretty good here but the nan bread really stole the show, it was huge and tasted superb!
We noticed these tiny 135ml cans of Kirin beer in a supermarket, very cute!
Just look at those frilly handlebar covers, we figured they must be used to block the sun from your hands.
From the supermarket we'd bought some plum wine, even when warm it still tastes great. We decided to go searching for a Atsuta Jinga, a large shrine on the outskirts of the city that we had read about.
It was incredibly tricky to find and in very peaceful woodland area.
As we left the shrine I noticed this stunning brutalist conference building built in 1966.
We got lost trying to find our way back to Atsuta station, sometimes getting lost is good though as you discover great places. These tiny bars and restaraunts were well hidden away, many were closed but we loved walking through these streets.
Back in Nagoya we walked to the Oasis 21 building, it's a bus terminal and a shopping complex and has won multiple awards, including IESNA Award of Distinction. The roof area (Spaceship Aqua) has a thin veil of water flowing on the glass surface that draws a pattern of uncountable ripples of light. A walking path surrounds the glass roof, allowing people to enjoy a stroll in the air 14 meters above ground. The axis of Spaceship-Aqua points toward the Nagoya Castle.
On our way back to the hotel I dedided to try some Sake from Family Mart. Strong stuff for sure, I loved it but my wife didn't share my enthusiasm.
Crossing roads in Japan has to be mentioned, you will spend a long time waiting for the green man to appear and nobody ever crosses until then. Sometimes we went into a trance like state waiting for so long, the trick is to run like hell if you see the green man, fail to do this and you will be in for a long and tedious wait.
Before returning to the hotel we went for something to eat, this place looked nice enough and had tables outside.
My wife ordered a vegetarian tapas selection.
I chose chicken and vegetables that arrived in hot bubbling oil, blisters on the roof of my mouth seemed unavoidable.
I dipped the bread into the hot oil trying not to think of the calories.
Our hotel had free coffee at reception, I used the machine many times but it only ever gave you half a cup, the trick was to pour two everytime.
I must confess to being slightly obsessed with the steps app on my iphone for the past few months. I'd been meaning to beat my previous record of 26,108 steps and today I did it!!
Click here for Day 6
Satsuki and Mei's House, arriving in Nagasaki and the incredible Hanbey