Thursday, September 20, 2018

Japan Travel: Nagoya - What to Do and Eat

Known as manufacturing and shipping hub in Japan, I used to think that there is nothing much to do in Nagoya, now then I realise that Nagoya can be so fun to travel with children! Let us share with you what to do in Nagoya with children, and what to eat in Nagoya!


Our children (and myself) are great fans of LEGO, so LEGOLAND Japan is the place that we must visit!

Read our experience at LEGOLAND Japan and SEA LIFE Nagoya in this post!

SCMaglev and Railway Park 

It is located near LEGOLAND Japan. However, it was impossible for us to visit both LEGOLAND Japan as well as SCMaglev and Railway Park on the same day, because LEGOLAND Japan alone would require a whole day! We learnt about the history and future development of railway through hands-on activities.

Read our experience at SCMaglev and Railway Park in this post!

Sample Kobo

Located at Maker's Pier near LEGOLAND Japan, Sample Kobo offers a range of food samples - food replica that are displayed outside some Japanese restaurants. The food sample look so real!

There are also lovely merchandises like key chains and hair bands.

Sample Kobo is not just a retail shop, it also offers food replica workshops! After we visited LEGOLAND Japan, we walked in and asked for a food replica workshop. Initially we wanted to learn how to make tempura and lettuce, however, this requires reservation in advance. So in the end, the children learnt how to make cup ice-cream, which cost 900 yen.


Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology

In addition to learn about the history of Toyota, Technoland at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology offers hands-on activities that are educational and fun!

Read our experience at Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology in this post!


Sakae is a shopping area in Nagoya. It is very convenient to get there from Nagoya Station via the subway. Other than shopping and dining in the area, taking photo with the old landmark Nagoya TV Tower together with the futuristic-looking Oasis 21 is quite an experience.

Komeda Coffee

Many Nagoya cafes offer special "morning service" - free breakfast when you order beverage in the morning! It is usually a complementary set of toast with boiled egg. One of the popular cafes in Nagoya is Komeda Coffee. We didn't have a chance to enjoy the free breakfast since we had free breakfast at our hotel Toyoko Inn. But we visited Komeda Coffee for its dessert Shiro-Noir, Danish pastry with soft serve ice-cream and syrup. The pastry is soft, fluffy and warm, it goes well with the vanilla soft serve.

We also ordered ham sandwiches, the sauce seemed to contain wasabi which we did not really like.

Sekai no Yamachan

Tebasaki (chicken wing) is a specialty in Nagoya. We bought a box of 5 (about 400+ yen) from a chain of izakaya (Japanese style pub) called Sekai no Yamachan. Since smoking is allowed in this eatery, I decided to get the take-away instead of dining in with our children.

Even though I don't like spicy food, I can still accept this chicken wing which is seasoned heavily with pepper.

If I have a chance to visit Nagoya again, I would consider trying chicken wings from another izakaya called Furaibou, as I read some where that their chicken wings are not so spicy.


Having a sweet tooth, I have been looking forward to try the cakes from Harbs, there are many branches in Japan, but it is originated from Nagoya. However, this eatery requires minimum order of one beverage per person for dining in, so I decided to take-away a slice of Mille Crepes (about 900 yen). The fruits were fresh and sweet!

Other Interesting Places in Nagoya

There are some more interesting places in Nagoya that we would like to visit, but did not have time to explore during this trip.

How to Get from Chubu Centrair International Airport to Nagoya Station (and vice versa)

The airport at Nagoya is called Chubu Centrair International Airport. To get from the airport to Nagoya and vice versa is quite straight forward, you can either take Meitetsu train 名鉄 or bus.

We took Meitetsu train which would take 28 to 48 minutes depending on which type of train that you are taking. The basic fare is 870 yen for adult and 440 yen for child. A First Class Car Ticket "μTicket" at 360 yen per person is required to board the first class car of a μ-SKY Limited Express, as well as reserved seats on Rapid Limited Express or Limited Express train. Since we were not in a hurry and wanted to save some money, we took non-reserved seat.

Our Central Japan Travelogue June 2018

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Japan Travel: Nagoya: SCMaglev and Railway Park

Being a fan of railway, I usually planned places of interest related to railway in our overseas trip itinerary. We had visited Kyushu Railway History Museum in Japan and Changhua Roundhouse in Taiwan. To add on to the list, during our trip to Central Japan, we visited SCMaglev and Railway Park in Nagoya. It showcases not just the history of railway, but also presents the dream of future development - the Superconducting Magnetically Levitated Vehicle (Maglev). 

Upon entering SCMaglev and Railway Park, the children were given a mission - to complete the activity sheet by answering the questions and getting the stamps. Initially we were confused about where to find the activity stations, we were thankful that a visitor shared with us that the locations are found on the other side of the activity sheet! With my half-past-six command of Japanese language, we managed to answer the questions, though not all were correct.

It was an eye-opener to see different models of trains.

Series 700 Shinkansen (left) and Series 300 Shinkansen (right)

Class Kuro 381 Electric Railcar (left) and Class Kumoha 165 Electric Car (right)

Dr. Yellow

How nostalgic to see the interior of the old trains.

Other than rolling stocks, there were also many hands-on activities for the visitors to learn about the trains. We could use this machine to print the train ticket with our name, at no additional cost!

At the Superconducting Maglev Room, we learnt about superconductivity through hands-on activities.

The simulator of Series N700 Shinkansen looked so interesting. I read from the official website that a lottery system is used to select users, however, when we visited on the weekend, it was based on first-come-first-serve basis at a cost of 500 yen. By the time we reached there in the afternoon, the tickets were sold out! What a pity!

The railway model at the Greatest Railway Diorama Room was so amazing! The lighting in the room changed to simulate daytime and night time, and the model looked so real!

Before we left SCMaglev and Railway Park, the children showed their completed activity sheet and redeemed a small handkerchief. If you are a fan of railway, do visit SCMaglev and Railway Park when you are in Nagoya!

SCMaglev and Railway Park
Opening hours: 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. (last admission at 5 p.m.), close on Tuesdays
Admission fee: 1000 yen for adult, 500 yen for elementary and high school child, 200 yen for pre-school child aged above 3
How to Get There:
From Nagoya Station, take  the Aonami Line to Kinjofuto Station (the last stop). The train ride is about 24 minutes. 

Our Central Japan Travelogue June 2018

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Gardens by the Bay: Sunflower Surprise Floral Display

[Media Invite]

As a lover of sunflowers, I have been thinking of visiting sunflower fields, however, I haven't had the opportunity due to various reasons. So when I heard about the "Sunflower Surprise" floral display at Gardens by the Bay, I was very happy that I didn't have to travel out of Singapore to see a sea of sunflowers! So here we were, at the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay, on the first day of "Sunflower Surprise" floral display!

"Let's look for Dorothy's friends!" The children exclaimed.

Having read the classic tale "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", the children were thrilled when they saw the main character of the story, Dorothy, upon entering Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay. So we embarked our journey to the Wizard's Castle that was surrounded by lovely sunflowers!

We spotted Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Wizard!

Even though I love sunflowers, I didn't know that there is a large variety of sunflowers! Do you know that some sunflowers have interesting names like Teddy Bear sunflower and Russian Mammoth sunflower?

Through this floral display, we learnt more about sunflowers by reading the fun facts on the lovely signboards.

We enjoyed the floral display as it was not only beautiful, but also educational!

Sunflower Surprise Floral Display at Gardens By the Bay
Date: 31 August - 21 October 2018

Opening Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily
Local Resident Rate (One Conservatory) - Adult SGD12, Senior Citizen (>60 years old) SGD8, Child (3-12 years old) SGD8 
Local Resident Rate (Two Conservatories) - Adult SGD20, Senior Citizen (>60 years old) SGD15, Child (3-12 years old) SGD12
Standard Rate (Two Conservatories) - Adult SGD28, Child (3-12 years old) SGD15

Disclaimer: We were invited to Flower Dome at Gardens By the Bay. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are mine.

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