Do You Know Nags? Nagoya’s Hidden Gems

ByMark Guthrie
Aug 28, 2018

Do You Know Nags? Nagoya’s Hidden Gems

Whether you have been here for a few weeks or know the city like the back of your hand, Nagoya is a city that is full of surprises. New restaurants and bars pop up all the time, and you can be strolling down a familiar street and suddenly notice a temple you’ve never seen before.

We all have our favorites, our haunts, our places of sanctuary. In this new JIS series, Nagoya residents share their recommendations, so that you can get to know this amazing, beautiful, eclectic city as well as they do.

Who? Kosuke Watanabe

Recommendation? Shirotori Garden

Despite having returned to his native California last year, Kousuke recalls his four and a half years in Nagoya fondly. One place, in particular, is Shirotori Garden.

“I discovered it the first summer I lived in Nagoya,” Kosuke says. “It’s just a nice somewhat-hidden gem where you can peacefully enjoy a walk around the garden, feed the koi carp, and have some green tea or shaved ice in the tea house. It’s also pretty good for any Pokemon Go! people out there.”

Where: 2-5 Atsuta Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward (map)

Who? Edy Furutani

Recommendation? Barbecue at Shonai Park

Edy has lived in Japan for almost two decades and in Nagoya since 2007. There’s a good chance that you know Edy. Everyone knows Edy! He’s spent a lot of time working in almost every bar in Nagoya, was a promoter/barman at Red Rock and is now the proud owner of Mybar in Sakae.

Edy is also one of the guys responsible for the Brazilian BBQs that pop up every summer, and for him, there is only one destination. “It’s got to be Shonai. Not only is it a big and beautiful park, but there’s a really fun, family vibe going on.”

Where: Shikichi- 3 5 2 7 Yamadacho Oaza Kamiotai, Nishi-ku (map)

Who? Terry Taudigani

Recommendation? Slow Camp Hair

Terry lived in Nagoya for three years, and as a man known for his style, finding the right barber was important. Fortunately, he found it in Slow Camp Hair.

“Slow Camp in Fujigaoka is owned and operated by a bloke named Yogo. He’s incredibly meticulous and passionate about what he does,” Terry explains. “He’s friendly, full of information in regards to what’s happening in and around town, speaks English and is always up for a good yarn. To give you an idea of how good this guy is, I lived in Nagoya for three years but he’s been my hairdresser for five.”

Where: 8-4 Takaragaoka, Meito Ward (map)


Who? Rangi Thompson McColl

Recommendation? Nittaiji Temple

Being one of the main guys behind NAGMAG, Rangi should know a thing or two about this city. He has been here since he was a teenager and says that there are many great spots in Nagoya, but one of his favorites is Nittaiji Temple, built to commemorate friendship between Japan (Ni) and Thailand (Tai).

“Built in 1904, I think it’s better than Kyoto because it’s a real functioning temple, there are way fewer tourists, and there is an actual bit of the Buddha enshrined there. Also just down the road is Yokiso Park with a Meiji-era house in which you can look around. But the real attraction is the grounds – a traditional and relaxing Japanese garden.”

Where: 1-1, Hoo-cho, Chikusa-ward (map)

Mark Guthrie

Photo: “Sakae, Nagoya” by yeowatzup (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Image by: Kousuke Watanabe (own work)

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Photo: by yeowatzup (CC BY-SA 2.0) via 

About the author

Mark Guthrie editor

Novelist, copywriter and graduate from the most prestigious university in Sunderland, Mark 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. Find some more of his musings at and on instagram @markguthriewrites