Do You Know Nags? – Uncovering Nagoya’s Hidden Gems – Part 7

ByBert Wishart
Jun 28, 2024

Do You Know Nags? – Uncovering Nagoya’s Hidden Gems – Part 7

Whether you’re new in the city or are a Showa Gaijin, Nagoya is a city that always surprises. New restaurants, shops, and drinking establishments spring up all the time, and you can be wandering down an oft-trodden street and come across an ancient temple that you’ve never seen before.

We all have our favorites, our refuges, our places that we like to call our own. In this More Than Relo series, Nagoya residents share their recommendations so you can get to know this evolving city as well as they do.

Who: Steve Smith
Where: Tony Tony Pizza

Steve, a contract engineer, is currently experiencing his dream by living and working in Japan. Since he was a little kid, inspired by anime, he has been obsessed with Japanese culture, and now that he has been in Nagoya for around 18 months, he couldn’t be happier. However, that doesnt mean that he doesn’t still get a hankering for some comforts from his American home. When that happens, he heads to Tony Tony Pizza in Nakamura Ward.

I think you can probably guess which side of the ‘pineapple on pizza’ divide Tony stands

Tony was born and raised in Japan; however, the blood of his great-grandfather, who set sail from Italy on a course for America and set up a pizza restaurant during the Great Depression, courses through his veins. That said, Tony eschews the rigidity of traditional Italian pizza, and he likes to experiment with his Pennsylvanian-style pies (square and pan-baked). This is perhaps best typified by the Beasting Pizza, where spicy peperoni (the ‘sting’) and parmesean meet sweet honey (the ‘bee’), which shouldn’t work, but really does. In addition, every month there is a ‘Tony’s Special’, straight from the mind of this pizza master. “Tony serves the best pizza in Japan, and he is such a lovely guy”, according to Steve. “The love for what he does is infectious, and he is always so welcoming. It’s like being back home!”

Where: Nagoya, Nakamura Ward, Nishikomenocho, 1 Chome−80 Taiko Corpo (map)

Who: Lynette Shibata
Where: Suemori Castle Ruins

Lynette moved to her husband’s hometown just over two years ago, and though it took her a little time to get used to the food – she’s not a huge fan of red miso – she has well and truly settled in to her Nagoya home. Perhaps the thing she loves most is the fact that Nagoya is so steeped in history, and that every where you turn there is something that is historically relevant.

“I had probably ridden up and down the main road between Kakuozan and Motoyama a thousand times,” Lynette explains. “But one day I cought out of the corner of my eye, something that looked lke the enterance to a shrine. I decided to make my way up the path, and I eventually came across the ruins of Suemori Castle, which was built by Oda Nobuhide, the chief of the clan that ruled over the Owari Region. Of course, there is nothing much left now, just the Shiroyama Hachimangu shrine, but it is so cool that something so important to the region’s history is just sitting here, barely even recognized. I love to just hang out here in the tranquility, thinking about the people who must have been here almost 500 years ago.”

Where: Nagoya, Chikusa Ward, Shiroyamacho, 2 Chome−88−88 (map)

Who: Si Brown
Where: Kakigori Bon to Mon

After a brief stay in Tokyo, Si is happy to be back in Nagoya, the city to which he originally moved six years ago. He sees that quite a lot has changed since he has been away, but not all for the bad, because he has discovered Kakigori Bon to Mon.

Inventive and delicious

“I don’t know what it is about Japanese shaved ice, Si explains, “but I just love it. Of course there are loads of places in the summer, but Bon to Mon is open all year round and it’s just the best.” The cafe is named after the owners’ beloved cats, but the felines are not the only things that are super sweet. “There is a huge range of kakigōri, and there is always something different. I think my favorite was the passion fruit, carrot and rare cheese, but the red kiwi was right up there. Definitely worth just going along to see what’s on the menu!”

Where: 2 Chome-5-5 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya (map)

Image: via
Image: by via [CC BY 2.0] – modified
Image: via
Image: by MIKI Yoshihito via [CC BY 2.0] – modified

About the author

Bert Wishart editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Bert whiles away his precious time on this Earth by writing about popular culture, travel, food and pretty much anything else that is likely to win him the Pulitzer he desperately craves.

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