You pass by Nagoya on the Shinkansen many, many times. Maybe you are going to the cultural capital of Kyoto or Nara. Maybe it's a trip to whacky Osaka. Maybe you are heading all the way down to Hiroshima. But you never spend more than the time it takes for the doors to open and close on the train in Nagoya.
Maybe it's because Nagoya just looks like any other city in Japan. A concrete jungle stretching into the distance. Guys in black suits going about their lives. Dudes with poofy hair selling sex just outside the station gates.
Or maybe it's because no one you've met from Nagoya has anything good to say about their city. I remember a young Nagoyan girl, with limited English ability, who somehow managed to tell me "Nagoya sucks."
Sure, any foreigner who lives in Nagoya will tell you how rad it is. But this is mostly in the context of Tokyo bashing. Foreigners in any city in Japan will bash the fuck out of Tokyo. Bash away though, it's all good.
So I finally ended up checking out Nagoya for a couple days. Right off the train...
Yep, some of that.
Some more of that.
Some big shiny buildings.
Some more of that.
Pachinko with mysterious messages. "We shall overcome"?!?
But then I realized, I love this shit! I mean, check this out:
Some cool modern sculpture, hidden under the freeway, in a construction area. I'm sure it will look like this for the next 20 years.
You want TATTOO?
Boobies! Chopper Spirit Fucking Company.
A robot made my ramen for lunch. More over at www.ramenadventures.com.
I've got no clue here.
Amid this huge shopping street are some temples. I know temples can get repetitive, so you gotta have a gimmick.
Sometimes, though, that's all it takes.
So, in the end, Nagoya wasn't so bad. I went to a nifty little bar that made cocktails with Dad's Rootbeer. I saw robot ramen chefs battle each other with their whits and silverware. I touched a pigeon.
Thanks Nagoya! You're only like 20% as lame as everyone says so!