Nagoya Nightlife – Top 10 Nighttime Activities in Nagoya
As the sun sets, what is there to do in Nagoya? With our guide to the city's nightlife, finding things to do in Nagoya at night has never been easier.
What’s a traveller to do in Nagoya once the sun goes down you ask? Well, you’ve asked the right people.
We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to Nagoya nightlife, bursting with nocturnal activities to satisfy every whim, fancy and budget. Kaleidoscopic illuminations, spectacular night views, bustling parks and, of course, the best drinking holes – we’ve got all bases covered. Put your pyjamas away and come with us.
1. Nagoya TV Tower
One hundred and eighty meters tall, Nagoya TV Tower looms over Nagoya. Built in 1954, the tower’s original purpose as a TV tower is all but redundant, leaving it today as a symbol of Japanese modernisation and importantly for us, a must-see tourist spot, especially at night. Located in Hisaya Odori Park, a relaxing spot in the heart of the bustling downtown, there are two observation decks, the Sky Balcony at 100 meters and the Skydeck at 90 meters – ascend to either after nightfall and you’re in for a treat. As the lights glitter, you’ll find yourself thankful for the digital age.
Address: 3-6-15 Nishiki, Naka-Ku, Nagoya
Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm (April to December), 10:00 am – 9:00 pm (January to March)
Price: 700 yen for Adults, 600 yen for 65 years old and above and 300 yen for elementary school students
2. Oasis 21
Nagoya is proud of its position as one of the most modern, forward-looking cities in Japan. Oasis 21 is a perfect example of this approach to city planning – a multi-functional, eco-friendly and contemporary complex housing shops, restaurants, a bus terminal and tourist information centre. At night, the whole space is beautifully lit up in neon, transforming it into a pleasantly calming place to spend time. What’s more, head up a few floors and you can also check out the night views from here as well.
Hours: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm
3. Nagoya Castle Summer Night Festival
Witnessing Nagoya Castle by night is one of cities finest nighttime activities at any time of the year. If you’re passing through Nagoya around August, however, this is especially so. In this month, the oldest of all Japan’s summer festivals takes place: the Nagoya Castle Summer Night Festival. Featuring Bon Odori dance performances, a beer garden, games and food stalls, it is not to be missed. With the illuminated castle in the background, it’s hard to imagine a better location to spend a summer’s eve.
Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka-Ku, Nagoya
Hours: August 7th – 18th, from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
Price: 500 yen for adults, 200 yen for students
4. Hisaya-Odori Park
Hisaya-Odori, one of the cities main arteries as well as one of its premier attractions, is another great spot to head for some nightlife. Its park, the aptly named Hisaya-Odori Park, consists of several small areas and plazas, each with its own theme and characteristics. Hanging out in the park and strolling through its various sections is a thrill at night when it buzzes with activity and people. The park is also the venue for regular small and large festivals and events throughout the year.
Address: 3-15, Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya
5. Sunshine Sakae
Sunshine Sakae is one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in Nagoya and the perfect place to head in the evening. Inside, find a great selection of shops, restaurants, cafes and entertainment options and, best of all, attached to the buildings side is a full working Ferris Wheel. Illuminated by thousands of LED lights at night, it really is a sight to behold.
Address: 3-24-4 Nishiki, Naka-Ku, Nagoya
Hours: 10:00 am – 09:00 pm
6. Brother Earth Planetarium
Nagoya City Sciences Museum’s planetarium, Brother Earth, is one of the largest of its kind in the world. Fully decked out in LCD screens, the planetarium gives visitors a perspective on the night sky like never seen before. The accompanying audio is in Japanese but not to worry, the visuals are more than enough to keep you engaged. Shows are held on the last Saturday of every month from 6:30 to 07:30 and last roughly one hour.
Address: 2-17-1, Sakae, Naka-Ku, Nagoya
Price: 700 yen
7. Night Cruises
The Kaizoku Cruise is a twice-monthly Nagoya boat tour, showcasing the city from afar and entertaining guests with an array of shows and performances. The highlight of the cruise is the samurai show, an exhilarating showcase of samurai skills and dramatics. As a memento, make sure you get a photo with one of the authentically dressed samurai. Due to the weather, cruises are only available from April to September.
Address: Nagoya-Koh Port Building
Hours: 07:00 pm and 08:15 pm departures (must be at the port 20 minutes prior to departure)
Price: Adult: 4,300 yen and Child: 4,000 yen
Nagoya Port Night Factory Cruise
This cruise is a little more out of the ordinary. The Kohjo Yakei Cruise is a nighttime factory cruise, taking in the vast industrial zone surrounding the port of Nagoya, Japan’s biggest trading port. If mercantile sightseeing is your thing or you’re simply intrigued, you’re sure to not be disappointed. Perhaps surprisingly, the beauty of this area is undeniable and rarely seen.
Address: Nagoya Koh Port
Hours: 1st and 3rd Saturday and 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month between April and September.
Price: Adult: 3,000 yen and Child: 2,500 yen
8. Bars, Clubs and Live Music
Nagoya’s nightlife is diverse. Whether you’re after a quiet bar, a hip club or some live music, you’re sure to find it in Nagoya. Find some of our top picks below:
Elephant Nest Bar
Elephant’s Nest is a classic British pub located in the heart of Nagoya. It’s one of the most popular bars with locals, expats and tourists alike, mostly for its friendly atmosphere. With Guinness, as well as a range of British ales and lagers on tap, plus live sports on the big screens, you’d never know you were in Japan. Whether this is a good or bad thing, we’ll leave you to decide.
Address: 2F 1-4-3 Sakae, Naka-Ku, Nagoya
Hours: Sun-Thu: 05:30 pm- 1:00 am, Fri-Sat: 05:30 pm- 2:00 am
Price: 800 – 3000 yen
Blue Note Nagoya
The Blue Note is a jazz and folk bar, popular for its regular showcasing of local and international musical talent. Whether you’re a jazz aficionado or not, this little Nagoya gem guarantees a relaxed night of live music and fun. Away from the music, The Blue Note’s food also has a healthy reputation.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm, Weekends and Holidays 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Price: ¥ 500 – ¥ 10,000
This five-floor nightclub is the largest in Nagoya and the focal point of Nagoya’s clubbing scene. iD Cafe attracts big crowds every weekend, as well as some of the biggest DJs and producers from Japan and elsewhere. Clubbing can be pricey in Japan, but iD Cafe is fairly reasonable, prices varying from night to night but generally including at least one free drink.
Hours: 07:00 pm – 01:00 am
Price: 2,000 yen
Aichi Arts Center
Nagoya’s Aichi Arts Center is the heart of the city’s cultural milieu, its concert hall playing host to regular orchestral performances, dance shows and traditional Japanese arts showcases. The classics are well catered for here, but the Aichi Arts Center also prides itself on championing emerging talent. Check the schedule and you may find some experimental theatre or modern dance to check out while you’re in town.
Located in the Sakae district of Nagoya, SKE48 Theatre was the birthplace of the now mega-famous Japanese idol group AKB48. Although Tokyo’s Akihabara is now the place most associated with the group, it was here that the group took their first steps. On the second floor of the Sunshine Sakae shopping mall, visit today for an intimate show from the group, perfect for the super fan or those simply intrigued. On the fifth floor also find a gift shop and AKB48 themed cafe.
Hours: Weekdays: 4:30 pm- 8:30 pm, Weekends and Holidays: 11:00 am 7:00 pm
Price: Team performance: Adults – 3,100 (men) 2,100 yen (women), Students – 2,100 yen. Kenkyuusei (trainee) performance: Adults – 2,100 yen (men) 1,100 yen (women) Students – 1,100 yen.
9. Night Market
Every fourth Saturday of the month, Nayabashi Yoichi night market takes place along the banks of the Horikawa River. Nayabashi Yoichi is reminiscent of a Japanese night market of old, or a night market you might find in South-East Asian countries like Laos or Vietnam. That’s to say it’s not as orderly as normal Japanese life. It bustles with stalls of all kinds, from food to trinkets and even hosts live musical performances.
Address: AHorikawa River
Hours: 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec: 11:00 am -09:00 pm
Price: 200 – 800 yen
Illuminations events mostly take place in the winter in Japan and are not to be missed. Towns and cities across the county go all out to impress with their unique displays of lights and none more so than Nagoya.
Star Light Revue
Star Light Revue is one of Nagoya’s premier illuminations events. Garden Futou at the Port of Nagoya is illuminated from late November until after Christmas, bathing the already delightful garden in beautiful light. The highlight is the lavishly decorated 15 meter tall illuminated Christmas tree and the fireworks event that takes place on Christmas Eve. If you’re in Nagoya over the festive period, there’s only one place to be.
Address: PNagoya Port
Hours: From Late November to Late December: 05:00 pm ~
Nagoya Akari Night and Hisaya-Odori Garden Flarie
Located in Hisagoya Odori Park, these two winter illumination displays utilise more than one-hundred-thousand LED lights, bathing the whole area from Nagoya TV Tower to Mochinoki Square in fabulous light. Taking a stroll among the lights is a great way to spend a winter’s evening.
Address: Hisaya Odori Park
Hours: November 14th – February 1st (Nagoya Akari Night), December 1st – March 15th (Hisagoya garden Flarie)
Shirotori Garden Illumination
Shirotori Koen or Shirotori Garden literally means “Swan Garden” in Japanese and this traditional garden is just as elegant as its namesake. Famous for its autumn leaves, its tea ceremony events and importantly for us, its winter illuminations, Shirotori Garden is a welcome break from the break-neck speed of city life.
Address: 2-5 Nishimachi, Atsuta Ward, Nagoya
Hours: 09:00 am- 09:00 pm (During the illumination event)
Tokugawa Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. It’s one of the most popular places in Nagoya for autumn leaves, especially at night, when the garden is lit up to enhance the spectacle.
Address: 100 Tokugawacho,Higashi-Ku, Nagoya
Hours: 09:00 am- 09:00 pm
Yamazaki River illumination
The banks of the Yamazaki River is one of the best cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, let alone Nagoya. There are over one thousand cherry trees to gaze at or sit under, all of which are beautifully lit up as the sun sets.
Address: 4-1 Otodomachi, Mizuho-Ku, Nagoya