This chapter’s course takes us through the origin of the ‘Manufacturing Kingdom Nagoya.’ Nagoya’s manufacturing industry contributes to the core industries that help build the modern Japan. So let’s go for a bit of walk around the manufacturing side of Nagoya.
1. Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. Established in 1994 by the Toyota group utilising the red brick factory building built in 1911 and preserved as an important industrial asset. The importance of manufacturing is shown here as the birthplace of Toyota group.
The museum is quite detailed with both textile machinery and automotive pavilions. These machineries are manned with live demonstrations. Unless you are an automotive buff or have a passion for machineries, this museum was rather too technical for my taste.
2. Noritake Garden. Since 1904 Noritake started as a manufacturer of porcelain tableware for exporting. The garden was established to commemorate Noritake’s 100th anniversary. The garden has various facilities including a museum of porcelain production history, a craft centre, showrooms and lifestyle shops and cafe. The garden itself showcases many historical features such as The Six Chimneys which shows the remains of old chimneys as a testament to Noritake as one of the world’s leading tableware manufacturers. Along the garden walls a retaining wall was made using old bricks from the foundation of the original factory building. Attached to the wall, known as the “Kiln Wall” are plates inscribed with donors to the Noritake Garden Foundation. Around the garden an old single kiln can be seen, an old factory gate, and a relaxing fountain plaza lined with trees and flowers.
This is a beautiful garden covered with seasonal trees – which can be enjoyed at different times of the year. You do not need to be a big fan of fine porcelain tableware to admire the beauty of this museum and garden. Unfortunately, cameras were not allowed within the museum areas. I spent more time just sitting outside admiring the flower beds and trees.
3. Bean’s Confectionary/Mamefuku Main Store. Famous for manufacturing confectionary in Nagoya since 1939. Their main products are traditional soy bean snacks made from large soybeans harvested in Hokkaido. These types of snacks are popular in Japan for their rich nutritional values. The store runs classes as well as tours.
4. Candy and Toy Wholesale Stores Street. The street is lined with wholesalers displaying boxes of traditional sweets since 1923 whilst the Nagoya Castle was being built. The construction people would visit the street to purchase their supply of confection. After WWII air raids the area recovered quickly and became known to supply confection and toys.
This was a nice street to walk through as the colourful display of confection and the collection from simple to the weird-looking toys on sale here are quite enticing.
5. Nagoya Japanese Fan (Suehirodou). Alongside Kyoto, Nagoya is known for producing traditional folding fans. Kyoto’s folding fans are more luxurious used by ladies in their traditional Japanese dance. Nagoya’s folding fans are used more for ceremonial events such as weddings and fans designed for men.
6. Japanese Kite (Takomo Original Store). Nagoya is famous for producing traditional Japanese kites. The original Takomo building and precious materials were burned down during WWII air raids. However, traditional techniques are still used to make these kites until today. Their designs are popular as interior decorations for many homes. The store offers tours and workshops such as taking your own photo or design and making an original kite.
7. Nagoya Black Kimonos with Crests (Yamekatsu Senko). The traditional black kimono with crest are unique to Nagoya. These black-dyed kimonos are worn during formal occasions and for mourning are dyed with family crests using traditional time-consuming process. Since the Edo period in the 17th century the Owari clan designated a dying expert to design flags and banners that later on extended to the dyeing of formal kimonos. The present Yamekatsu Senko offers tours and workshops to experience the black dyeing process.
There was a part (Shoes Design and Craft School) that I skipped and decided to miss out during this walking tour. My overall experience during this chapter’s tour was that it was quite technical, except for Noritake Garden which I thoroughly enjoyed and will visit again. The course distance was quite long but it was interesting to walk through the small streets and discover another side to Nagoya than the ones I am familiar with.
I hope you continue to enjoy exploring the 12 Chapters of Nagoya Tour with me. If you would like to have a peek at the previous chapters they are here:
Chapter 1: Nagoya Castle Course
Chapter 2: Course covering region of the Owari Tokugawa family and the Cultural Path
Chapter 3: Oda Nobunaga “Owari’s Foolhardy Youth” Course
Chapter 4: Course Covering the Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kato Kiyomasa
Enjoy your spring time wherever you are in the world. Until next time.