Monthly Archive May 2014

ByMark Guthrie
May 29, 2014

Where to watch the FIFA World Cup in Nagoya

World Cup copyWhat do you think of when you hear the word ‘football’? Do you think of a sport where the ball is played predominantly in the hand and rarely ever comes in contact with the foot? If so, you are probably in the wrong place and are welcome to move along. Still here? Good.

If you are reading on, you are probably pretty excited about the fast approaching FIFA World Cup that will be getting underway in Sao Paolo, Brazil from June 12. What you are probably not so excited about is the times that the games are being played at and the fact that most pubs and bars – the traditional places to watch the games outside of the stadia themselves – will have their doors closed until regular opening hours. Well, Japan Info Swap has put together a few places where you can catch some of the games.

The Red Rock – Sakae

Despite being more used to the Aussie Rules code of football, The Red Rock have firmly embraced the World Cup. They will be showing all of Japan’s games live, as well as the semis and the final. They will also be playing selected replayed matches in the evenings. Making reservations is highly recommended.

Hub Pub – Meieki

As a British Pub, it is only natural that The Hub will be showing the football. The advertisements for the three Japanese group games have been up for weeks. The Semi-finals and final will be shown, and they are considering possibilities for other games. For the recent 1-0 friendly game against Cyprus, fans spilled into the street outside, so a raucous time is to be expected.

Shooters Bar and Grill – Fushimi

As a dedicated sports bar, Shooters is perhaps an obvious choice for viewing the World Cup, and have so far guaranteed to show all of Japan’s games plus the latter two stages. For the first game against Ivory Coast on June 14 all tables are already fully reserved and only standing room remains available. The fact that they have already taken mass bookings for the 7am kick off on June 19 shows how popular a place it will be.

OXO – Kanayama

Another British Pub, flying huge Sakura Blue flags, OXO in Kanayama has the advantage of high, cavernous ceilings. This means that, when things get wild sports-wise, the atmosphere really fills the room, as close as you can get to a stadium atmosphere without actually being at the ground. They will be showing Japan’s group games and following their progress keenly. It is still under consideration as to whether they will be showing the latter stages of the tournament.


All fixtures shown in Japan Standard Time:

Ivory Coast vs Japan – June 14 10:00

Japan vs Greece – June 19 07:00

Japan vs Columbia – June 24 0:500

Semi Final 1 – July 8 05:00

Semi Final 2 – July 9 05:00

Final – July 13 04:00


For further fixture details see


The above listings are for information purposes only and are not to be considered as endorsements.

By Mark Guthrie


Image from – Modified

ByRay Proper
May 25, 2014

Oasis 21- A Spaceship in Sakae

800px-Oasis_21_-_Spaceship_Aqua_-_01Most people who visit Sakae have been to Oasis 21 (Sakae Station, head towards the bus terminal!), but you may know it by some other name. I personally referred to this structure as “that UFO looking thing in Sakae” for quite some time- I am not renowned for my ability to remember things.

Other names: “the Sakae Spaceship,” and of course “that white and glass thing with water on the top near the TV tower.”


“Spaceship Aqua” at Oasis 21

Oasis 21 opened October 11th 2002, and the design was intended to resemble a spaceship, specifically, a spaceship covered in water. Why? I am not really sure, but there must be a reason, right? If you have not already guessed, the top of Oasis 21 is covered in water, and is a great place to take a date for an early evening stroll. There is a great view of “Central Park,” all the way down almost to Osu, and the Nagoya Television Tower, and you can look down on the cleverly named “Field of Green” between the Oasis 21 structure and the Aichi Arts Museum. The Field of Green is a great spot to chill on the grass, yes real grass in Nagoya (!), and people watch or read a book.

Shopping at Oasis 21

In the complex below the spaceship covered in water, you will find shopping. Very little of this shopping will interest most of us, but currently there is a: Starbucks, McDonald’s, sushi bar (pretty good and easy to order in), Chinese restaurant (hard to order in, but good), Baskin & Robbins Ice Cream, clothes store or two, shoe shop, an NHK character shop (interesting way to spend a bit of time), and a selection of other shops that change on the occasion.

You can find more information about which shops are in the facility on their website. 

Event Space at Oasis 21

The open space in the middle of the complex is designated as multipurpose, and has been the site World Cosplay Summits, dozens of  hip-hop dance competitions, untold concerts by the Nagoya City Fire Brigade Band,and a wide variety of other events and exhibitions.  This is a popular spot for various exhibitions, festivals, concerts, and my favorite is the yearly haunted house-which I have never entered, but plan to someday when I can screw up the courage…. I have heard those teen girls screaming, and it must look like chainsaw massacre in there!

 Morning Farmers Market at Oasis 21

If you are looking for a recurring excuse to check out the spaceship in Sakae, why not head down on a Saturday morning and do some shopping at the Morning Farmers Market. This market features locally grown foods sold by the people who grow it, and you can get some pretty good deals there. The market runs every Saturday, from 8:30 to 11:00.

Imagine the morning. You get up, trudge down to the market and do some shopping, and then you follow it up with a cup at Starbucks, conveniently located within sight of the market, while you watch the people wander around Oasis 21. Sounds good, right?



ByRay Proper
May 15, 2014

Pet Boarding and Pet Sitters in Nagoya

June, If you are heading out on vacation you will need someone to watch over your “other kids;” the dog and cat.  There are a few options for boarding your dog or cat, or obtaining the services of a pet sitter in Nagoya.

Pooches Doggy Day Care (Boarding)

“Pooches offers Doggy Daycare and Boarding services in Nagoya, Japan, where the dogs are permitted to play together off-leash. It’s a fun and safe place for your dogs to spend their day or vacation while you’re worry-free during yours!”  Pooches has been recommended by a few xpats I know in Nagoya.  The owner speaks English, and the website has some info in English as well.

Doggy Day Car Pooches

Nagoya-shi Midori-ku
Okehazama Uenoyama 903
052-621-6631 (Japanese Site)
English Page

 Pet Sitter Gently (Pet Sitter Service)

Gently offers pet sitters who are fully certified for the task of watching over your little ones in your own home.  The service is well recommended, but you are not going to get any English support from this service.   You will get a professional pet sitter, which is apparently “a thing!”  Services are available in Chikusa-ku, Higashi-ku, Naka-ku, Mizuho-ku, Showa-ku, Tenpa-ku, and Meito-ku.

Pet Sitter Gently (Japanese Pages) (company page) (Nagoya branch)