Nagoya has blown up in recent years. This expansion is no more evident than in the areas around Nagoya Station, where it seems like everywhere you look, a new skyscraper is springing up. There is, however, perhaps no area more improved or better renovated than Sasashima.
Though its name conjures up some idea of an idyllic jungle paradise – it literally means bamboo island – Sasashima is a sprawling shopping and entertainment complex just a fifteen-minute walk from Nagoya Station. It has, in the past three years, undergone a significant renovation, with, in particular, the Global Gate commercial center an exciting addition to the area.
From dining to shopping to live music, there is plenty of entertainment to enjoy around Sasashima.
Standing at approximately 170m, Global Gate is a 37 story skyscraper, most of which comprises of office space and the Nagoya Prince Hotel Sky Tower. However, the bottom five floors are primarily for shopping and dining.
The concept is one of ‘Green Style,’ with open-air courtyards, green spaces, and trees amongst the stores and eateries. Keeping to the relaxed-cum-exclusive feeling to the area, many of the shops are of the upmarket lifestyle variety, with interior designers Osu Deco and Lindra Living Interior, and 10 Mois Maternity typifying the shopping experience. With that said, Book Zakka is a pleasant place to find something to read or to buy great stationery. Additionally, Union Sports has everything soccer, Kamihagi Cycle, the latest road bike models, and at Ongaku Tengoku (music heaven), you will find a studio at which your band can jam!
If shopping’s not your thing, there are so many top restaurants at which to dine. Whether you go for the phenomenal burgers at The Corner, to sample Nagoyan specialty chicken at Nagoya Cochin Yatori, something sweet from Gram Cafe and Pancakes, or wagyu beef and cheese at Hokkaido Cheese Factory, you can’t go wrong. And for those who want to get a bit of a buzz on, Nagoya’s Trunk serves up excellent craft coffee while AOI Brewing Tap and Grill is your stop for a decent beer.
The primary draw to Market Square is the 109 Cinema, with a total of ten theatres, including IMAX. 109 (as the locals call it) shows a wide array of movies, from Hollywood smashes, Japanese films, animation, and even ‘as live’ K-Pop concerts.
Movies are not the only entertainment to be found at Market Square, as it also houses a rooftop futsal pitch, a SEGA game center, and XR Amusement, where you can experience the latest technology, including a walkthrough VR attraction.
If you get peckish, there are many family-based eateries such as Italian restaurant Saizariya, Japanese hamburg steak outlet Bikuri Donki, and the Golden Arches of McDonalds.
If you want to see big-name artists perform live in Nagoya, Zepp is probably the place to go as, aside from Nagoya Dome, it is the largest venue in the city.
When the biggest J-pop and J-rock bands come to town – think B’z, Babymetal, and KANA-BOON – it is at Zepp that they perform. But it’s not just domestic artists that take up residence, with previous overseas acts including Nine Inch Nails, Morrissey, Avril Lavigne, SUM-41 and Noel Gallagher all having graced the stage.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, upcoming performances are still a little unsure – the Bohemian Rhapsody musical was canceled in May – but the likes of Mew, Luna Sea, Squarepusher, and A-Ha amongst others scheduled in the coming year.
The Sasashima area is near Sasashima-Raibu Station, one stop from Nagoya Station on the Aonami line, and there is also a ‘Sasashima Welcome Bus’ that departs from in front of Midland Square. On foot, it is approximately a fifteen-minute walk from Nagoya Station.
Where: 4 Chome Hiraikecho, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 453-0872 (map)