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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Nagoya

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nagoya, Japan - 2015

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 23/04/2015 20:20:23
Updated by Joel Dixon at 20/01/2016 03:14:36

Now, I'm the first to admit that sometimes my destination choices are made for silly reasons. I did re-arrange a bunch of train trips at the last minute to ensure I could still have one hour in Hamburg (so I could eat a hamburger). Nagoya was Pao's time to have a dubious reason for including a city on our itinerary - she wanted a chance to be in Toyota. Not that she has a Toyota (nor a particular love for the car manufacturer, or even cars in general) - but just because going to Toyota seemed like a particularly Japanesey thing to do. Pao is very accommodating of my numerous peculiarities and character flaws, so how could I say no? To be fair however, I'm glad we ended up adding Nagoya to our timetable, we both really enjoyed it.

Oh He Blew It
The Spiral Tower of Nagoya, and what I presume is a giant tuba in the foreground

Our first stop in Toyota was to learn more about the company at the Toyota Technology Museum (or the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology) which brings up an interesting (to me anyway) point. Unlike in Yamazaki, the car manufacturer is not named for its area of origin, but the town was renamed Toyota after the success of the car company (which is even more strange when you consider that the company was originally named Toyoda for its founder - speaking of toy yodas). Also, the company found initial success for the automatic cotton spindles and loom machines in the 30s. The museum we visited was on the original site of a textile factory, and it's clear that they wanted to properly utilise all of the machinery on hand.

An "eternal loom" at the start of the tour. The whole museum conjured memories of Wanted (and got this song stuck in my head)

When I've been to museums or places like Scienceworks before - the exhibits are kind of lame. The difference at the Toyota museums was the demonstrations were pretty hardcore. Most places would show how die casting works with a lump of play-doh being pressed into shape - at the Toyota museum an actual lump of metal was super heated then pressed into the shape of a small engine part. It was really cool to watch. On the whole the museum was a lot of fun, and certainly worthwhile a visit (if you ever head to Nagoya).

All of the original machinery was able to be operated, by a simple "start" button or a member of staff if it was more complicated

Assembly Line
Showing how the car parts are put together

Inner Space
These robot arms remind me of Inner Space and the cowboy

After the Toyota museum we went to the Tokugawa Art Museum (which didn't allow photography so you'll just have to believe me) and then a local ex-pat pub for the experience (not much different to back home). After lunch we took a train an hour or so away so we could go to the Toyota district and take a photo of one of the signs (to show we'd been there). While on the train Pao spotted an interesting bridge so we walked that way until we found a soccer match in progress at Toyota stadium. Unfortunately the game had just finished so we headed back to the hotel.

Toyoda Hotel
The photo I took to show I'd been in Toyota...

Bowser Stadium
... which was no longer needed once we visited the stadium (which looked a bit like Bowser's shell to me)

After relenting to Pao's desire to visit Nagoya I discovered that it is also home to the Nagoya Noh Theatre. I was saddened to discover that the Noh theatre in Tokyo had no performances while we were there, but the Nagoya theatre may have had an amateur show playing on one of our mornings - and if not we could at least tour the building. When we got there we discovered that there wasn't going to be a show, but at least we were able to try on some of the masks and check out the theatre.

Masking Table
Two sample Noh masks - feel free to take photos you say?

Sad Demon
Even just with our basic photos you can see the mask making me look sad here...

Hopeful Demon
... maybe hopeful or confused here...

... or hideous

Just Horrible
This expression doesn't really help to be honest

Evil Girlfriend
Pao looking positively evil here

After the Noh theatre we headed over to yet another castle - the Nagoya castle this time. But unlike the others, this castle had a huge advantage that we were able to keep our shoes on! Like most, the Nagoya castle was rebuilt - but in Nagoya they re-built it with normal floors and an elevator for a more enjoyable castle experience. After a quick tour of the Castle we continued on to Takayama, hoping desperately that the weather would improve (hint: it didn't).

Nagoya Castle
The castle does look great, but the main thing I was interested in...

Fish Race
... (other than the golden "dolphin" that adorn the ceiling)...

Dango Stone
... is the stone requested from the 20 feudal lords that were marked to provide who provided which rock. This one looks like dango

Fish Head
The castle's mascot (presumably named Fish Head) is half creepy - half even creepier

This is the 19th in the Super Fun Chronological Japan Travel Catalogue series
GET 1 - Nikko, Japan - 2015GET 2 - Ueno (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 3 - Akihabara (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 4 - Ginza (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 5 - Asakusa (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 6 - Shinjuku (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 7 - Harajuku (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 8 - Shibuya (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 9 - Odaiba (Tokyo), Japan - 2015GET 10 - Kawaguchiko (Five Lakes), Japan - 2015GET 11 - Yokohama, Japan - 2015GET 12 - Kamakura, Japan - 2015GET 13 - Osaka, Japan - 2015GET 14 - Kobe, Japan - 2015GET 15 - Hiroshima, Japan - 2015GET 16 - Himeji & Nara, Japan - 2015GET 17 - Kyoto, Japan - 2015GET 18 - Iga, Japan - 2015GET 19 - Nagoya, Japan - 2015GET 20 - Takayama & Gero, Japan - 2015GET 21 - Sakura & Bonus Wrap-up, Japan - 2015

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