The major port city of Nagoya tends to get less attention compared to the larger cities when choosing the best travel destinations in Japan. This is a shame, as the city has lots to offer curious travellers.
As the centre of the Japanese automotive industry, Nagoya is known for innovation.
You can find at least a dozen different automobile museums and science centres. It’s also got a strong history, which still celebrates both ninja and samurai traditions.
While the city has an extensive public train network, finding where to stay in Nagoya makes it easier to plan the rest of your trip.
The sprawling metropolis includes 16 wards, each with their own selection of attractions and cool places to visit. Whether you enjoy shopping, sightseeing, or fine dining, Nagoya has something for everyone.
Don’t know where to look? Start searching for accommodations with this guide to the best places to stay in Nagoya.
Where to stay in Nagoya, Japan: A complete guide to the best neighbourhoods and areas for travellers
Any extended trip to Japan should always include a stop in Nagoya. While it’s quite a bit smaller than Osaka or Tokyo, this city is still a major metropolis with millions of citizens and dozens of attractions.
It’s also divided into 16 wards, making it a challenge for you to choose where to stay.
The city truly offers a mixture of historical and modern attractions, thanks to the preserved ancient sites that exist alongside modern Toyota museums.
In the centre, you’ll find Naka Ward, known for its traditional sites, such as Nagoya Castle. Nearby, you’ll find the department stores and shopping streets of Sakae Town.
These places are also easy to move between. The public train and rail systems connect each ward at major stations found right near the top attractions.
So, where should you sleep? Some of the best areas to stay in Nagoya for travellers include:
- Naka Ward
- Sakae Town
- Nishi Ward
✔ Best area to stay for history lovers and car buffs
Most first-time tourists settle on Naka Ward. It’s the centre of the city and it is also where you’ll find the top things to see & do in Nagoya, including the iconic Nagoya Castle.
If you want to learn more about the history of Nagoya, Naka Ward provides the most resources. You can visit various historical sites and some of the museums dedicated to the automobile legacy of the city.
No trip to a Japanese city is complete without visiting at least a few shrines. Naka Ward includes several important shrines and temples, some of which date back hundreds of years.
Of course, the central ward offers something for everyone. Besides museums and historical sites, the city has a vibrant nightlife and an enviable food scene. When you reach the outskirts of the historic district, you’ll also find major commercial development, with modern buildings with a variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
As with most of the wards, Naka has its own public parks. Meijo Park is just a short walk from Shiyakusho Station, providing you with a chance to spend more time outdoors.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Naka Ward
This central ward offers a mixture of upscale accommodations and budget hotels. If you want a great view of the downtown area, book your room early. Some of the hotels near the city centre fill up quickly.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Naka Ward:
- APA Hotel Nagoya Sakae Kita: Just a 16-minute walk from Nagoya Castle, this hotel gives you a central spot for taking a walking tour of the city. It’s also just around the corner from one of the main subway stations. Besides convenient access to the city, the hotel has comfortable rooms and its own hot springs.
- Sanco Inn Nagoya Fushimi: With its own massage services, laundry facilities, and luxury rooms, this hotel provides plenty of reasons to stay inside. It’s also near the main sites if you decide to venture outdoors. You can get to the castle in about 17 minutes via the subway.
- Daiwa Royal Hotel D-CITY Nagoya Nayabashi: As a three-star hotel with a great location, this spot tends to get booked early. It’s about a five-minute walk from Fushimi Station and the Nagoya City Science Museum. While the hotel offers free breakfast, the surrounding area has some of the best restaurants.
✔ Best area to stay for shopaholics and art connoisseurs
As the commercial hub of Nagoya, Sakae Town offers shopping. Almost every main street is packed with shops, ranging from small corner stores to major department stores.
The variety of shopping venues also caters to every budget. You can shop for designer brands or find local fashion finds.
Besides shopping, the area has several notable museums, providing a chance for art lovers to check out impressionist pieces from 20th-century artists.
If you’re interested in Nagoya nightlife, Sakae Town makes a good starting point. At night, the area lights up with neon displays while the streets fill up with youthful revellers. Visit a karaoke club or get drinks at one of the many cocktail bars.
As with other parts of the city, you can still reach other spots with a quick trip on the train. The Nagoya TV Tower and Nagoya Castle are both just one station away.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Sakae Town
If you want five-star accommodations, you’ll find them in Sakae Town. This neighbourhood offers some of the best hotels in Nagoya. You can stay close to shopping or find a spot with a view of Oasis 21 or the TV tower.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Sakae Town:
- Red Planet Nishiki Nagoya: This stylish hotel has a unique atmosphere. The vibrant furnishings and décor, combined with the friendly staff, should surely help keep you in a good mood throughout your stay. When you’re ready to explore the city, it only takes about four minutes to walk to Marunouchi Subway Station.
- BEST WESTERN Hotel Nagoya: You don’t need to travel far to enjoy great food. This hotel has its own Japanese restaurant, serving daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel even has its own Starbucks Coffee Shop. Grab a hot coffee before walking to the subway to explore Nagoya.
- Hotel Trusty Nagoya Sakae: In the heart of the lively Sakae neighbourhood, this hotel is just a one-minute walk from Sakae Subway Station. Here’s another reason to book a stay: it’s within minutes of leaving your hotel you can be standing outside the historic Nagoya Castle.
- Smile Hotel Nagoya Sakae: While this is one of the most affordable hotels in the Sakae Town neighbourhood, it offers well-furnished rooms with clean bedding. It’s also a short stroll from the subway station and TV tower.
✔ Best area to stay for access to other parts of the city
Kanayama is a little further from the shopping and historic areas in Naka Ward. You may also run out of things to keep you busy in this neighbourhood.
So, why should you stay in Kanayama if there isn’t much to do? The best reason to stay here is to avoid the tourist traps. You can find more peace and quiet in Kanayama and more affordable accommodations.
Most of the neighbourhood has modern development, especially near the centre. The skyline is filled with towering buildings, including the 31-story Kanayama-Minami Building.
The commercial tower houses the Nagoya Boston Museum and the Nagoya Urban Institute. The museum includes some of the best work from Japanese artists while the Urban Institute offers exhibits detailing the development and history of the city.
Kanayama also provides a convenient spot for exploring more of Nagoya. This neighbourhood includes the main interchange station between the various subway and rail lines that run through the city, giving you a simple method for getting around.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Kanayama
The most accessible hotel is directly across from the station, located inside the Kanayama-Minami Building. There are also a couple of mid-range options within walking distance of the station. Overall, you get a variety of options to suit any budget.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Kanayama:
- ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court Nagoya: Boasting the best views of the city, it’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular hotels in the city. You can dine on gourmet food on this 30th-floor restaurant before taking a short walk to Kanayama Station.
- Nagoya Kanayama Hotel: A couple of minutes away from Kanayama Station, you’ll find this business-class hotel. The rooms are small, but they’re available at decent rates. You can also fill up on the breakfast buffet before venturing out into the city.
- Business Hotel Nakayama: As another business hotel, this location doesn’t offer very large rooms. Luckily, it makes up for the compact accommodations with close access to Oasis 21. From the hotel, Sakae Station and Nagoya Station are both within walking distance.
- Meitetsu Inn Nagoya Kanayama Annex: With free WIFI, spacious rooms, and a 24-hour front desk, you’ll feel right at home at this three-star hotel. Many of the top sights are within walking distance, including Oasis 21 and Nagoya Castle, but if you don’t feel like walking, the subways are also nearby.
✔ Best area to stay to experience history and explore public parks
Located in the northwestern corner of the city, Nishi Ward doesn’t get as packed with tourists compared to some of the other areas. If you want to catch a break and spend time away from the crowds, Nishi has a few activities to keep you entertained.
The area is known for its historical street. Merchants have lined the street since the Edo period and many of the structures date from that time. It’s an interesting place to spend an afternoon, immersing yourself in the history of the city.
Besides historic buildings, there is a neighbourhood museum, one of the tallest buildings in Japan, and a large public park. Shonai Greens provides a tranquil atmosphere with green fields and many walking paths.
Nishi Ward gives you a chance to relax, but it’s still easy to get to the centre of the city. As with all the wards in Nagoya, Nishi connects with the rest of the area via the rail and bus networks.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Nishi Ward
As one of the less travelled wards, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a vacancy in Nishi. If you plan to see more of the city during your Nagoya itinerary, try to stay near the main bus station.
Here are a few of the best hotels and places to stay in Nishi Ward:
- Hotel Nagoya Castle: As the name suggests, this hotel places you near Nagoya Castle. In fact, you can view the castle from some of the rooms. The hotel has its own swimming pool, sauna, and restaurant, allowing you to live in comfort during your stay.
- Just Inn Premium Nagoya Station: Seven minutes from Kokusai Centre Station, this hotel has a great location for those that want to see as much of the city as they can. The hotel has its own buffet, but if that doesn’t fill you up, there are several other restaurants within a three-minute walk.
- Hotel Resol Nagoya: This recently renovated hotel provides stylish modern accommodations and two different dining options. The prices are a bit steeper compared to the other hotels in the area, but you get nice furnishings and you can walk to Nagoya Castle from the hotel.