KAI FACT magazine
The economy and culture of Nagoya is cautious, steady and filled with craftsmen.
FACT  No.11

The economy and culture of Nagoya is cautious,
steady and filled with craftsmen.

The price of shipping goods from Aichi Prefecture is higher than that of both Tokyo and Osaka, and the trade surplus value of Nagoya’s port has been Japan's largest for nearly 20 straight years. Nagoya is in an industrial area at the center of the Chubu region. This area has long supported the Japanese manufacturing industry. Nagoya’s food culture is unique and innovative. Many creators and companies care about manufacturing and many companies are inward focused, forming a culture for Nagoya.
  • In the ‘JR Central Towers’ which are connected directly to Nagoya Station and the adjacent ‘JR Gate Tower’, there are a number of offices in the higher floors, becoming Nagoya’s center of business. You can not take your eyes off the ‘Nagoya Station area’ a place where further big developments are on the way.

  • The Osu area is filled with young people, as well as small, unique stores that include fashion shops, music stores, and restaurants. Records and cassette tapes that have recently been revived as indispensable, unique parts of the culture.

  • The Sakae area, which includes department stores and large shopping facilities, is always crowded with shoppers. There are also scattered spots such as the ‘Nagoya TV Tower’ and ‘Oasis 21’, which is the center of culture in Nagoya.

‘Nagoya City Science Museum’s’ planetarium appears as a huge sphere in the city center. Since it is attached to ‘Shirakawa Park,’ which is a relaxing place for the average person, you can see children playing there on any given holiday.

According to one theory, since Nagoya developed with a healthy food supply and economic stability, their food culture evolved distinctively. Nagoya offers very unique food items, such as strawberry kneaded pasta topped with whip cream, among others.

There are many authentic coffee shops in Nagoya, and the central area is forming a deep coffee culture. In particular, ‘Morning sets’ are famous. Many people eat it for brunch on holidays since it comes with a fine meal at a price that is almost the same as a regular cup of coffee.

There are many coffee shops on the street corner, so people do not have to worry about finding one. Each coffee fan has a favorite stop. From young to old, the best place for communication has always been humble coffee shop.

  • Purchasing coffee tickets in advance guarantees drinks for regular customers. Each ticket booklet has a name of the customer. Some trusting businesses allow you to drink coffee without brining any money.

  • This arcade game at a coffee shop is the symbol of 80’s. ‘Space Invaders’ was the most popular game and somehow, it’s famous shooting style is called the ‘Nagoya shooting.’ Of course, you can still play it.

In Nagoya, you can still find big clubs that have become less common in Tokyo, and they are still popular. There are also many arcade shopping streets in the city center, which are great when there is a bit of rain. Young people can enjoy the city in any weather condition.

Miso Katsu, Ankake Spa, Ogura Toast, Taiwan Ramen, Hitsumabushi, etc. These ‘Nagoya dishes’ are not standardized nationwide. Since you cannot eat them unless you come to Nagoya, it makes the food scene even more unique. It may be the result of Nagoya's conservative culture.

The creators in Nagoya’s culture
Strive to show their uniqueness

Being located in the cultural spheres of both Tokyo and Osaka, what kind of culture is rooted in Nagoya?

Yoshiyuki Hibino is an interior designer.
‘I want to make something that will remain for a long time, unaffected by fashion. The material I use is naturally organic - things like mortar and solid woods. I am pursuing ‘unconscious details’. Users do not consciously notice these things, such as the height of the lighting etc. Yet, somehow you can feel the comfort’.

Takatoshi Takebe is the editor of ‘LIVERARY’.
‘There are many craftsmen in Nagoya. Although they are doing interesting things, they are not good at advertising their work and communicating with each other. I started making this website since I wanted to support Nagoya's cutting- edge artists and creators’.

Shinya Tanaka is the owner of ‘Circles’.
‘While primarily a bicycle shop, we manage a breakfast café and regularly organize bicycle events to attract interesting characters from around town. All these things will make it easier to present things from the viewpoint of the bicycle industry, such as how bicycles are to be used effectively in and around Nagoya’.

DJ MURAKAMIGO has been a DJing, for over 20 years.
‘I want to express myself through my DJing and the best way to do that is to bring up my own true feelings on the stage. I am aiming for the home runs. Even if I make stunning strikeouts, it’s way better than making defensive plays as a DJ. Nowadays you can find quite a few unique artists in Nagoya’.

  • A 20-year, independent interior designer for houses, shops and exhibitions. Takes care of 10 to 20 projects a year. His creed is based on clean designs.

    Matsuura Bldg. 1st Floor 18-13
    Daikancho Higashi-ku Nagoya City

  • After being an editing assistant in Tokyo, he returned to Nagoya for editorial work. In 2013, they launched web media ‘LIVERARY’ with Yoshitaka Kuroda of the bookstore ‘ON READING’.


  • Owner of ‘Circles.’ sells parts and apparel for bicycles, including their own original products. Runs an ‘Early Bird breakfast café’ next to their shop.

    4-14-20 Chiyoda Naka-ku
    Nagoya City

  • While serving as an apparel, club manager, second-hand record shop buyer, etc., he has been DJing for about 30 years. During his busiest time, he was handling 300 DJ gigs a year.


The manufacturing industry has supported Nagoya, as well as entire Japanese economy during Japan’s high growth period.
Still now, even as times are changing, factories in the Chubu area are the leading manufacturing base of Japan.

Nagoya | Article List

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