Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Japan Day 1: Nagoya

Yes, we were one of the many Filipino families who were also in Japan for the Holy Week. We took the flight from Manila to Nagoya via Delta Airlines early sunday morning. Thanks to my father's Platinum membership, we were able to enjoy the lounge (FREE FOOD) and the Economy comfort seating (yay more leg room for the long-legged!). From the Centrair Airport, we took the train via Meitetsu Line to Nagoya Station where our hotel is located. 

*I also took photos of kawaii children and babies (naturally) for you the entire trip. Enjoy! 

We stayed at the beautiful Nagoya Marriott Associa Hotel. The hotel is very convenient because it is directly connected to the Nagoya station, Takashimaya and several other commercial establishments. 

Check out the awesome view of the Nagoya skyline from our hotel room! It was very cloudy when we arrived so the sky was grey. 

After checking in (thank you Marriott for the early check in!), freshening up, updating ourselves with the Pacquiao fight and settling down, we proceeded to take a late lunch in one of the many restaurants found within the Nagoya Station. Going down on that side of the station was a shock to me because of the volume of people going in and out of it. It is probably one if not the busiest train station in the city.

Below are the first bowls of ramen we had during the trip. I forgot how legit Japanese ramens are so much better than the ones found here in Manila. 

After eating we went to the Toyota Commemorative Museum. It was a short walk from the station and I enjoyed every bit of cold breeze that hit me. The area is very quiet and simple. It was very charming and as you can tell, the neighborhood is very photogenic. From what we observed, the main modes of transportation in the area were cars and bicycles. 

The entrance to the museum is only ¥500. To be honest, I really thought that upon going into the museum I would see nothing but cars. I couldn't be more wrong. What the majority didn't know was that Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder, first ventured into the textile making industry.  

In the Textile Machinery Pavillion were rows upon rows of various machines designed by Toyoda, progressing from the oldest mechanical machines(wooden) to the most modern ones that could stitch up photos using colored cotton strings with the help of a computer.

And because the founder of Toyota is an incredibly smart and curious guy, he went from designing textile machinery to automobiles. 

Below are the photos of the very first Toyoda truck and the first Toyoda car ever made. And hey that's me looking very tired and sleepy.

I find this photo funny because of these five guys in suits -- who were very silent by the way -- staring curiously at the machine demonstrating how the Toyota cars are painted in mass production. All of the displays in the entire museum are interactive so it was very fun save for the fact that most of the things in videos and labels are only in japanese. The inner engineering student in me was also fascinated at how he came up with all the designs from the break systems to the machines used in producing the famous Toyota cars. 

Ah the Japanese and their kawaii food. At the souvenir shop my dad and I were tempted to buy a mini solar car we could assemble but the instructions were in japanese. We just then went to the garden within the museum to enjoy the tulips, the cold weather and the cute kids playing.

The Toyota Museum is a couple of minutes walk to the Noritake Garden so we decided to check that out too before it got too dark. It's a very simple garden, nothing special but the sakuras were in full bloom and it was such a pretty sight.

See those dirty columns behind the koi fishies? Those are chimneys of a factory from a long time ago. We had a chat with one of the guards of the garden and he said that those chimneys and the Nagoya castle used to be the same height. Thanks to earthquakes and such, the factory was covered up and a garden was built on it. 

Because we were tired, we walked back to our hotel to rest. Once we were somehow recharged, we ate dinner at one of the restaurants downstairs in the Nagoya station. First legit tempura and tonkatsu and it was soooooooo good. I am salivating and craving for Japanese food as I am writing this post. 

And that's it for Day 1 of my Japan trip! I hope you enjoyed it.
Make sure to follow me on VSCO grid and Flickr for more photos :)

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