The Central Japan International Airport – also known as Chūbu Centrair International Airport Nagoya – serves the central area of Japan (accounting for the ‘Chūbu’ part of its name, which means central in Japanese) of which the bustling city of Nagoya is part of. Considered the 4th most important international airport in Japan, the Central Japan Airport was constructed on a man-made island in the Bay of Ise and opened in 2005. It currently consists of only one terminal and serves more than 11 million people yearly, but plans are underway for a second terminal (as of July 2014).
Located about 40km south of Nagoya, the Central Japan Airport is connected to the city – as well as various other regions of central Japan – by various types of public transportation. The easiest way of getting out of the airport would be to board a train on the Meitetsu Railways, which would take you from the airport to Nagoya’s train station in about 30 minutes. From there, the whole of Japan is at your feet – you can choose to go anywhere in the country by either bullet or regular train. But do note that there are several types of airport trains on the Meitetsu Railways, some of which only carry reserved seats – make sure you check with the ticket office beforehand.
Otherwise, taking a public bus from the airport to the city of Nagoya is also fast and efficient. The same company that runs the Meitetsu Railways also offers Meitetsu Buses which connect the airport to several destinations around the city of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture and beyond.
What to see and do
For shopaholics, Nagoya may just be your dream come true. Known as a top city in Japan for shopping, it boasts a wonderful shopping district named Osu – said to be one of the most dynamic of Japanese shopping districts – which sports over 1,000 shops and restaurants. Though that may sound like many other shopping districts in the world, how many of them can also boast an ancient temple just around the corner, along with all the modern shops? Part of the beauty of Osu is exactly that – the way it blends both old and new together into a hybrid concoction, mixing the traditional with the urban. If you’re feeling like taking a break and indulging in some spiritual rejuvenation, set down your bags for a minute and pop around the corner for a look at the Osu Kannon, a beautiful old Buddhist temple that has its origins all the way back in the 1300s.
After all that materialistic indulgence, give your wallet a break and visit the imposing Nagoya Castle, which is considered the largest castle in Japan (by area) and has 400 years of history. The first site to be declared a national treasure, Nagoya Castle boasts some beautiful artifacts such as decorated partitions, golden ‘shachihokos’ (creatures with a tiger head and fish body) acting as roof ornaments on the towers, and many more. You can also see depictions of the old town of Nagoya on the upper floors of the castle, and see what an amazing transformation it has undergone since then to become the bustling metropolis it is today.