Under the Bridge; Enjoy Nagoya’s Nayabashi Night Market

ByBert Wishart
Sep 27, 2023

Under the Bridge; Enjoy Nagoya’s Nayabashi Night Market

While I absolutely love living in Nagoya, one thing frustrates me about this fair city. No, it’s not that it has a reputation for being boring, and it’s not that the subway stops at about midnight (this isn’t Antarctica, you know!) My Nagoya bugbear is the Nayabashi area. Here, a river gently bisects the city, with bars and restaurants running alongside it. But rather than having many al fresco waterfront dining spots, most of the bars – Midtown BBQ aside – face the other way, onto the road. If this a European city, the Nayabashi area would be a thriving, bustling nightspot, a natural draw to the city center. As it is, it is little more than a wasted opportunity.

Except for, that is, the monthly-held Nayabashi Night Market, also known as Nayabashi Yoichi

What’s on at Nayabashi Night Market?

Usually held on the fourth Friday of every month, the riverbank of the Horikawa River area between the Nayabashi and Nishikibashi Bridges, Nayabashi Yoichi is an outdoor festival of fun, food, and local stores and handicrafts that comes to life as the sun begins to set.

With dusk falling, those much-ignored streets come to life with a buzz of people and sizzling grills, filling the area with a vibrant street market ambiance. The food stalls that line the river proffer a wide array of culinary delights, from standard Japanese street fare such as aromatic yakitori and sizzling takoyaki to the more unusual wild boar skewers and international steaks and wraps, and it makes for a pleasant evening wandering through the thronging crowds, sampling the dishes as you go.

This fusion of local and international is what sets Nayabashi Night Market apart, as do the differing events. One month, there may be a craft beer festival, the following international cuisine, and the next a sake festival (like the guys in the video above discovered). The bigger events are often held every three months, when the market is extended into Saturday, meaning there is more time to sample the fantastic food and drink on supply.

As well as culinary culture, you can also find some cool handicrafts and clothing stores. Perhaps the best of these in my mind is the jewelry maker whose work my wife (then fiance) loved so much that we commissioned him to make our wedding rings. On top of all that, the market is a social hub where locals and visitors come together to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, kick back by the river, and make the most of this area packed full of potential.

Nayabashi Night Market is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic and delicious taste of Nagoya’s culinary scene under the stars, offering locals and tourists a unique and unforgettable dining experience.

Nayabashi Night Market Details

Where: 5 Chome-24-24 Meieki, Nakamura Ward, Nagoya (map)
When: Monthly, every 4th Friday of the month, 16:00-21:00; March, June, September, December, 4th Saturday of the month, 13:00-21:00.
Website: natsu1yoichi.blog133.fc2.com

Image: By via flickr.com [CC BY-NC-ND]
Image: By via flickr.com [CC BY-NC-ND]

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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