A visit to Nagoya for the cherry blossom festival
Whilst I was working in Hong Kong in 2010, I decided I needed to travel on some of the weekends, out of HK, and in particular to Cambodia, Singapore and Japan. I wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Japan but did not really know where to go having not been to Japan before. I did a search of the internet and found that the cherry blossoms were in blossom in Nagoya at the time I wanted to visit.
So I booked my ticket and off I went one Friday afternoon. I caught the train into HK Airport from the city and hopped on my plane. I had pre-arranged a driver at Nagoya to pick me up front the airport to take me to my hotel. The taxis in Nagoya (and other cities in Japan now that I have also been to Kyoto and Tokyo) are the most delightful I have ever seen as are the drivers. The black taxi cabs are incredibly clean, all with lovely seat covers and white doilies on the head rests and the drivers are in black suits with ties and white gloves. I loved it. No-body out of the hotel in Nagoya spoke English but I seemed to manage as the Japanese were so helpful and friendly.
The hotel was lovely and also clean but very small. It did however have a wonderful restaurant overlooking a small waterfall so I spent some of the afternoon there reading a book and just enjoying the ambience. But in the main I had a day and a half to do some sightseeing so on Saturday morning I took a taxi to Nagoya Castle where I had read had the most cherry blossom trees. It was spectacular! I could not believe how gorgeous the blossoms were and how fortunate I was that all the blossoms were in flower. Having since been to Kyoto and thought I had arranged my timing well to see the blossoms, that year they were delayed so I only got to see buds about to bloom on most of the trees.
Nagoya Castle, I must say remains as one of the most special places I have been to in the world…a big call perhaps but the cherry blossoms were magnificent; I went just at the right time of the year for the blossoms; people were incredibly friendly and I just had a wonderful time.
During my walk of the grounds of the Castle I saw hundreds of Japanese enjoying their Saturday; picnicking, walking around; spending time with family or their pets. It was lovely to see.
My next stop was to the Noritake Factory/Museum where Noritake china is made. I had a tour of the factory and of course bought a couple of items in the shop. The grounds were beautiful with cherry blossom trees all around and gorgeous gardens.
My last stop in Nagoya during my stay, was on Sunday morning when I went to the Atsuta Jingu Shrine which like other places in Nagoya had beautiful gardens with gorgeous blossoming cherry blossom trees.