The Nagoyan urban landscape consists of gray oceans of boring punctuated by interesting islands of activity.
You don’t think so? Well, our expert opinion is that you should think more. Walk between the Sunshine Building in Sakae and the Nagoya TV Tower along Hisaya-odori during the daytime.
Fun, right? Right? Ahem.
Now try the same thing again, between the TV Tower and Nagoya Castle. In fact, don’t. Because Nagoya City has already come up to a solution to the problem faced by potential NAG-sightseers.
And it’s better than the subway, where you have to spend ¥200 each time, and might get lost, and have to figure out what’s where in the spaghetti-like subway network.
The solution is the Meguru Bus!
Meguru, which is Japanese for “going around” also happens to be the kind of Japanese-language pun only a municipal organization could dream up – the “me” is the same Japanese character as the “na” in Nagoya.
And it’s a very appropriate name, because if you’re old enough to read NAGMAG you can get a pass for only ¥500 (¥250 for kids) and you can ride around pretty much every tourist-friendly spot in the city for a day in a gold-colored bus that would make Xzibit proud.
On weekends, the bus leaves from Nagoya Station every 20-30 minutes from Nagoya Station from 9:30 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening.
It then proceeds to stop at a whole list of places (which are announced to riders in the voices of the historical Japanese warlords), where you are free to get off and take a Pisa-style photo with the Nagoya TV Tower, or anything you like, then get back on one of the following buses when it comes. It’s an easy, no-stress system.
NAGMAG’s favorite stop is probably Nagoya Castle. Not just for the 16th century-vintage elevator ride, but also the newest addition to the castle grounds: the Omotenashi Bushotai, or a welcoming committee consisting of warriors in full armor.
This group of actors representing six military commanders, including Japan’s most famous – Tokugawa Ieyasu – as well as four jingasa or foot soldiers, are extremely enthusiastic about their job; who wouldn’t enjoy walking aroud in authentic armor and waving a katana around while speaking 16th century-style (read: COOL) Japanese?
On weekdays there are two “warriors” to guide you around the extensive castle grounds, while on weekends they put on a show with the entire Omotenashi Bushotai group which has proven to be so popular that it has become something of a cultural export; they have performed in various countries through Asia, Europe and the Americas, and have a goal of visiting every continent.
So, what are you waiting for? Get on the bus, and take a spin around Nagoya. For ¥500 the Meguru bus offers a service that is very useful as a base to begin exploring all the sights and sounds NAG has to offer.
The Meguru Bus operates every Tuesday to Sunday.
Weekends and Holidays :
Buses depart from Nagoya Station every 20-30 minutes
Weekdays: Buses depart every 30 ~ 60 minutes
All Day Pass: Adults ¥500 / Kids ¥250
Single Ride: Adults ¥200 / Kids ¥100