Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Nagoya Day 2: Nagoya Castle & Osu at Night

Japanese breakfast closes really early (you need to be at the restaurant by 9am latest) hence we woke up early to get our breakfast and go for our morning onsen.

Traditional Japanese breakfast
More breakfast buffet spread
My choice of breakfast in little plates on a tray

After breakfast, we got ready to head out. Our hotel is conveniently located close to 2 train stations, Fushimi and Sakae Station, but there're about 5-10 minutes walk. Alternatively, the hotel also provides free shuttle bus service from hotel to Nagoya Station.

Taking photos in the beautiful lobby while waiting for the bus to arrive
(Side note: check out the super adorable sheepskin boots my kids are wearing! We got them from the outlet store in Hong Kong and the kids love it so much that they didn't want to take them off!) 

There are limited seats on the bus, hence the hotel requires you to obtain bus passes from the front desk 30 minutes before the bus is due to depart. For a large group like ours, the hubby had to be very punctual in collecting the passes in order to ensure our seats on the bus.

Dormy Inn Shuttle Bus
Our family took up 2/3 of the bus! 😅

We arrived at Nagoya Station and headed to the subway to take a train to Nagoya Castle. It's really easy to get around in Nagoya via the train system (read for more info).

General info on train travel in Nagoya:
  • Children under 12 years old pay the child fare while those under 1 year old is free.
  • Child under 7 years old is free with one accompanying paying adult.
  • Consider getting the IC Card which functions like our Ez-link card. It's more convenient as you can just tap and go. 
  • There are no IC Cards for children, hence we had to buy one-way tickets for my eldest girl (my other 2 children are free). It is worth the trouble though as the child pays half the price of an adult. 
  • You can buy IC Cards and tickets from the ticketing machines at each station. Note that IC cards can only be bought from the yellow ticketing machines (see photo below). 
  • The cost of travelling via subway in Nagoya starts at ¥210 per adult and ¥100 per child. 
  • Most of the time we paid about ¥210-270 per adult and ¥100-150 per child one way. 

Clockwise from left: Yellow Ticket Machines;
The IC Card;
Child ticket is usually half the price of an adult. 

To get to Nagoya Castle, we took the Sakuradori Line (red) from Nagoya station to Hisaya-odori Station and changed to the Meijo Line (violet) to Shiyakusho Station.

You can find these Nagoya signs near major tourist attractions. This one is at the exit of the train station as we made our way to Nagoya Castle.
Passing some restaurants on the way to Nagoya Castle and couldn't resist taking pictures with the beautiful trees
Photos with my baby girl on one of the benches

It was time for lunch so the hubby suggested eating at one of the restaurants along the way.

Left: Lunch at Saien
(Address: 1 Ninomaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0032, Japan);
Right: We ordered the speciality of Nagoya, which was recommended by the restaurant. It was pretty good!
We decided to sit outside to enjoy the nice cold weather while we can
The boy simply loves salmon roe so the hubby ordered this special menu with salmon roe spilling out of the bucket! Boy and I (the only 2 people who love salmon roe) really enjoyed it!! 💖 

After breakfast, we made our way to Nagoya Castle.

Buying our tickets at the entrance of Nagoya Castle
(Address: 1-1 Honmaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0031, Japan)
Beautiful castle grounds
I have no idea what this is but it looks beautiful 😄
The castle gate
Love this cute standee of my kids! 😄
Selfie in front of the palace
This is the Shogun's residence
You need to take off your shoes before entering the Shogun's residence and the palace. You can keep your shoes in lockers at the palace. 
You will basically be led through multiple rooms just like this one with various art work painted on the walls. The more black laquer the room has, the higher the rank of the person living in it.

It's quite a big palace but pretty much all the rooms look similar 😅

We also explored a nearby 3-storey tower with not much to look at except for the view of the castle grounds from the top.

You can see the visitors streaming in from the gate

Of course a visit to Nagoya Castle will not be complete without a photo with the castle itself!

Left: A photo of me with the Nagoya Castle, taken by my girl (she's not naturally good at photography but I'm training her so that she can take nice photos of me 😄);
Right: Beautiful autumn leaves!
A little selfie of me and my girls and the Nagoya Castle.

Sadly the castle was closed for refurbishments. We had to make do with ice cream instead, which the kids very much preferred anyway.

The boy only eats chocolate ice cream while the girl likes green tea. Both were delicious! 😋

My plan was to visit at least two attractions today. However, with a baby and a very active preschooler, we ended up taking longer than usual at Nagoya Castle. By the time we started heading to our next destination, it was already 5.30pm!

Such a beautiful Exit at the subway station
Follow the signboards to Osu Shopping Street

We took the Meijo Line (violet) to Kamimaezu Station to visit the famous Osu Shopping Street. It was dark by the time we arrived.

Entrance to Osu Shopping Street
Add caption

Sadly, many of the shops were closed. Thankfully we stumbled onto Seria, a 100 yen store that was still opened!

Seria store at Osu Shopping Street

You can't visit Japan without visiting a 100 yen store. You can basically buy almost everything at just slightly over a dollar here! 👍🏻

The hubby also found this fried chicken stall located next to the famous Osu Kannon.

Freshly fried chicken!

Since it was already dark, I only managed to get some photos of the Osu Kannon at night.

Osu Kannon

We planned to come back again another day since we have a few extra days in Nagoya (we purposely spread out our itinerary over a longer time so that we don't have to rush like crazy with a baby).

We were planning to have dinner somewhere near our hotel but decided to have dinner at Miyamoto Munashi while walking to Osu Kannon Station.

Miyamoto Munashi
Order via their ordering machine
My set meal with beef

We were the only family at the restaurant! Everyone else were mostly men eating alone. The whole system functions such that you can go a whole meal without even talking to anyone! Very interesting.

After a full meal, we took a lift down to Osu Kannon Station and took the Tsurumai Line (light blue) to Fushimi Station.

Waiting for our train at the station

By the time we arrived back at our hotel, I was so exhausted that I almost couldn't feel my feet! When I synced my tracker at the end of the day, I realised that I had walked 18000 steps! And I was carrying my baby in a carrier for more than 80% of it! No wonder I felt so tired!

Thank God for a good soak in the onsen and a delicious ramen supper to end the day! ❤️


Continue to >> Nagoya Day 3: Takayama & Shirakawa-go Day Tour
<< Back to Nagoya Day 1: Dormy Inn Premium Hotel & Sunshine Sakae

~~~~~~

Download our Nagoya Itinerary 2019 Printable; (pdf to be added when this series has been completed)
OR
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Nagoya, Japan
as well as other travel itineraries!


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Monday, 25 November 2019

Nagoya Day 1: Dormy Inn Premium Hotel & Sunshine Sakae

The most anticipated trip of the year is here! After visiting Tokyo (twice), Osaka, Kyoto and Hokkaido, we thought we would visit a new city in Japan: Nagoya!

We headed to Terminal 3 near midnight to board our red-eye flight to Nagoya.

It's a Frozen Christmas at the airport this year!
Excited to board our plane!
Newly renovated playground at T3!

As fans of Singapore Airlines, we will always choose SQ as our first choice if the price is right. Second choice would be any Star Alliance airline (since we're Krisflyer members) or Emirates. We will only consider any other airline (such as budget) as the last resort because excellent service is very important to us when we are travelling with young children.

Singapore Airlines recently adjusted their prices to become very competitive, hence we managed to fly SQ on all our flights this year! 😄 Our flight from Singapore to Nagoya cost us S$637 per adult, S$620 per child, S$55 per infant (under 2 years old).

Our flight departed Singapore around 1.40am and as it was a night flight, I prayed really hard that baby girl will sleep well and not disturb the other passengers!

Clockwise from left: Just took off from Changi Airport and already super tired! Thankfully she was ok with the air pressure;
This cute bib came in the goodie bag for the baby. It's perks like this that keeps me flying with SQ 😄;
The super cute kids meal. 

The cabin crew on this flight were very attentive to me when they saw that I had to take care of a baby. Thank God all of us survived the 6-hour flight to Nagoya as the baby managed to sleep while being carried by me throughout the flight! She slept really well while I ended up with a backache and almost couldn't stand up by the time we landed! 😕

We arrived at around 8.40am at Chubu Centrair International Airport. Japan is 1 hour ahead of Singapore.

We took the Centrair Limousine Bus to our hotel as there was a direct bus service. We paid ¥1300 per adult and ¥650 per child (children 6 years and below is free).

Left: Bus services from the airport to various locations in Nagoya;
Right: Our bus to Sakae is at Berth number 6. 
Left: Bought our tickets from the ticketing machine with the help of a staff on duty;
Right: Our tickets for our bus.
Our comfortable bus to Sakae

As you know, buses in Japan are very punctual so make sure that you arrive at least 5 minutes before the stipulated time.

The journey to our hotel in Sakae took roughly 45 minutes. We alighted at the bus stop and were delighted to discover that our hotel, Dormy Inn Premium Nagoya Sakae Hotel, was just 5 minutes from the bus stop!

We alighted at this bus stop (left) before walking to Dormy Inn Premium Hotel (right) 

We liked staying at Dormy Inns all over Japan (read our Dormy Inn experience in Osaka here and Tokyo here) and have always had to walk a long distance from the bus stop to the hotel. What a welcomed change!

Left: With the kids outside the hotel;
Right: Free drinks at the lobby. 
Checking in at the counter

As it was still early, our rooms were not ready yet. Hence, we left our luggage at the hotel and explored the neighbourhood in search of good food for lunch.

As we strolled casually down the street, we spotted an Ichiran that had no queue at all! Woohoo!

This Ichiran outlet is located on the 2nd floor of Arc Mall but it cannot be found on Google Maps, hence the lack of a queue.
There's another Ichiran outlet in the area that can be found on Google Maps and had a super long queue! 

If you're not aware, Ichiran is very famous for their ramen and the queue is usually notoriously long. The hubby and I had previously queued for about 1 hour at their Shinjuku outlet in Tokyo.

This Ichiran, however, was empty and therefore had enough room to accommodate all of us.

Left: Everyone has their own individual cubicle;
Right: customising your ramen to your specific taste. 
I love that they provided a seat to belt little ones! My girl can sit in it but I had to hold her arm and eat with one hand
The super cute kids utensils
My bowl of Ichiran ramen! So yummy! 😋

Once our stomachs have been satisfied, we continued down the street to Sakae for shopping.

Don Don Donki and Mitsukoshi
There's a ferris wheel at Sunshine Sakae

We decided to shop at Sunshine Sakae as the kids were intrigued by the big ferris wheel, which they call the Sky-Boat.

Hanging out at one of the resting areas with a great view of Sakae

We soon found out that if you spend at least ¥5000 at the tax free store at Level 3, you could get a Buy-1-Get-1-Free coupon for the Sky-Boat ride!

An adult ticket is ¥500 and since there are 4 of us that need to pay (my boy and baby were free), we ended up paying only ¥1000 due to the 1-for-1 deal!

Before boarding the Sky-Boat

The cabin can only accommodate 4 persons hence we had to split into 2 groups: guys and gals.

Top view of the cabin with the guys
The girls
You can see Nagoya TV tower (closed for renovations) and other landmarks from the top of the ferris wheel.
Beautiful photo of my boys with such a clear blue skies in the background! 💖

The kids and I loved the Sky-Boat ride! I'd recommend it for some cheap thrills for the kids 😄

We walked around the area and stumbled upon a shopping building called Melsa. It's small but has most of what we want such as Daiso and Uniqlo.

Various stores found in this building

We decided to find a nice dessert place to chill at since we still had some time and were too exhausted to shop. We decided on Kokonchaya Meibutsu, located on Level 4.

We were more interested in the ice-kachang-ish dessert but were forced to get a drink because they said we were 3 adults and therefore needed to order at least 3 items. The tea was very underwhelming and overpriced! 😕
Love this chocolate dessert! So yummy! 😋
This matcha dessert was also really good and value for money

We were glad to have a nice place to hang out before heading back to the hotel to check in. I also breastfed the baby at the nursing room at Level 6.

Big nursing room with kid toilets and hot water dispenser
Interior of nursing room

We couldn't wait to get to our hotel room as we were all so exhausted after a long flight with very little sleep.

We booked the Double Non-smoking Room with breakfast (accommodates 2 adults) for S$208 per room per night.

We booked two rooms: one for the mum and our eldest girl, and one for the hubby, boy, baby and I.

Smaller than a typical Queen size bed
Left: Tiny TV console;
Right: Baby loves to look at herself in the mirror! 😍
Sink and toiletries
Tiny bathroom
Towels in baskets

Japan is very strict regarding occupancy and will charge you for every additional member of your family. We had to top up ¥2000 per night for one child (my boy), which included a set of yukata and toiletries.

Kid yukata and toiletries for my boy

The ¥2000 used to include breakfast but now the hotel added an additional charge of ¥900 for breakfast, which we felt was too expensive as my boy does not eat a lot for breakfast (had to take turns to go for breakfast since someone had to stay back and take care of him).

In any case, the room/bed is too small for more than 2 adults and 1 child! Hence, if you have 3 adults, you may want to consider another hotel or apartment.

For us, the room was definitely not the reason why we love Dormy Inn. We love Dormy Inn for their amenities, such as their onsen, washing machine, ice machine and microwave!

Going to the onsen! 
You are not allowed to use your phone in the onsen but there was no one in the onsen so I sneaked a quick picture 🤫
Left: Drink vending machines readily available in case you're thirsty;
Right: use of washing machines is FREE! We wash our clothes almost everyday 😁 Dryer is charged though but the air is so dry that our clothes dry really quickly without needing to use the dryer. 
Ice machine and microwave
(used the microwave to heat up my baby's food)

Dormy Inn also offered their very own ramen every night for all their guests for FREE!

Going to Hatago for our ramen
Left: Some drinks provided;
Right: There are high chairs available but these chairs do not have safety belts hence they were not suitable for babies under 1 years who still need support.
Dormy Inn's very own ramen

My kids love the ramen so much they can finish one bowl each! It's so good that everyone usually finishes everything! 😋

Dormy Inn is also conveniently located 5-10 minutes from two train stations: Fushimi Station and Sakae Station. Definitely recommend it as a good accommodation 😊

We went to bed really early that night as we were so exhausted at the end of a very long day! Can't wait to explore the rest of Nagoya tomorrow!


Continue to >> Nagoya Day 2: Nagoya Castle & Osu at Night

~~~~~~

Download our Nagoya Itinerary 2019 Printable (pdf to be added when this series has been completed) 
OR
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Nagoya, Japan as well as other travel itineraries!


You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...