The Port of Nagoya is one of the third busiest in Japan (after Tokyo and Yokohama). It is a popular place to shop and relax, with a fair share of tourist attractions. You can't miss the centre of the action; it is marked by a giant ferris wheel.
Like most big coastal Japanese cities Nagoya has its Public Aquarium (名古屋港水族館). This one specialises in the marine life from the seas close to Japan up to the Antartic, passing by the tropical waters of Austronesia and Australia. A refrigerated tank with artificial snow recreates the polar environment to keep the penguins at ease. Popular animals include the green turtles, dolphins and orca ; but the local stars here are the three beluga whales (also known as white whales). An IMAX theater on the top floor shows a film about marine life (what else could we expect !). Admission to the aquarium cost ￥2000 for people over 15, ￥1000 for children between 5 and 15, and ￥500 for children under 5 years old.
The other big attraction at the port is (or rather was) the Italian Village (Itari mura). This recreation of a life-size Italian city, inspired mostly by Venice, Rome and Florence, had everything to seduce visitors. However this theme park resembling Disney Sea in Tokyo was forced to close in 2008, 3 years after its opening, due to financial difficulties.
The Fuji icebreaker, onboard of which Japanese scientists explored the Antarctic region for nearly 18 years from 1965, is permanently moored at Nagoya Port, opposite the aquarium. It has been converted into an Antarctic Museum. A bit further afield, on the 3rd floor of Nagoya Port Building, is the Nagoya Maritime Museum, which retraces the history of maritime commerce.
Take the waterbus on the waterfront to reach the Wildflower Garden Bluebonnet, a compound of 22 mini gardens featuring a wide variety of flowers. A model garden was designed by the prominent British garden designer Robin Williams.
Access to the port area is through the metro/subway Meikō line to Nagoyakō station.
Located in the Kanayama district, the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts is the sister museum of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (the MFA). Each year, the MFA in Boston sends two five-month loan exhibitions to the Nagoya museum.
The Garden Flarie Nagoya (formerly known as Nagoya Orchid Garden) is one of the most recent attraction. It has 250 different species of orchids from all around the world, arranged in walled gardens or lined in greenhouses. It is situated right in the middle of the city, 2 km east of Osu Kannon Temple, between Yabachō and Kamimaezu stations on the Meijō line.
Map of attractions in Nagoya