By Chris Glenn
Nagoya is the historical and industrial powerhouse of Japan. From Oda Nobunaga to Toyota Motor Company, the disciplined and meticulous work ethic of central Japan can be seen. What better place to experience the gleaming machinery of this elegant and hardworking city then from your hotel window high above the Nagoya station.
The best views are from the rooms with City and Nagoya Castle to the east, especially on the executive concierge floors. If you are an avid train spotter, try a west facing room with a view of the Shinkansen bullet trains right below you. From your hotel room you can experience all this and more with no disruption from the city sounds below or the neighbors next door. At an average room size of 38 square meters, it is bigger than most business hotels, allowing you a whisper quiet experience, one that you will encounter from the moment you step into the Sky Street lobby 15 floors above street level, with the highest rooms being 50 floors above the station. The rooms are decorated in a light French American style, with a small number of Japanese style tatami rooms as well.
While it is short subway ride from the Sakae entertainment and shopping district, there is more than enough activity in the railway station district to keep you occupied, from a full sized department store to a spa and fitness center inside the hotel. As it is on top of the bullet train station, you are just 103 minutes from Tokyo or 37 minutes from Kyoto Station by Nozumi Shinkansen bullet train, departing every 10 minutes during the day. Bad weather is not a concern as there is direct internal access from the station to the hotel.
Being a luxury hotel there in house restaurants are top notch. Mikuni is probably the best French restaurant in this city, and well-heeled locals make reservations here months in advance. The Japanese restaurant Ka-un serves local delicacies such as kishimen wheat noodles, grilled unagi freshwater eels in a sweet soy sauce, and thinly sliced pork shabu-shabu. While prices are sky high to match the altitude, set menus are a good choice to sample the local flavor without ruining your budget too much. Alternatively, the dozen or so cafes and bistros around the department store below also serve a fantastic selection of meals from various cuisines.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.