Virtual Tour: Our new area – Kakuozan, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya

SO, where are we exactly? Nagoya is on the main island of Japan, south west of Tokyo. In the map below the sprawling brown, tree-less area on the right edge is Tokyo (or part thereof) and the compact brown, tree-less area to the South East, surrounding a bay is Nagoya.

Map image


Here it is from just 40 miles.


Map image


And we live east of central Nagoya in an area called Kakuozan which you can see in the green area on this map – it’s not outer east but not inner east either, it takes 12 minutes by train to Nagoya Central station. 

Nagoya areas map


Nagoya is one of those cities which has semi-highrises and huge multi-lane roads and motorways all over it so it can be hard to tell where the ‘city’ as such ends and the suburbs begin – but we are definitely in the suburbs.




Nagoya is a city of contrasts… sigh, did I actually write that? Well, it fits. In Nagoya the old and new stand side by side – though not necessarily happily as much of the old is below code and is gradually being either lovingly brought up to standard (which means won’t collapse in an earthquake of 5.5 Richter) or, unfortunately, knocked down and replaced. This photo below was taken the car park of our local supermarket.







And this is around the corner from the supermarket on my way home, it really is a beautiful thing to see – I hope it doesn’t disappear…






Even the new has its cutenesses though, this is our local florist 🙂 As well as the obviously cute name, if you look carefully on the left of the door (your left, not the door’s) you will see white pointy things hanging down – these are small paper cones about the size and shape of a large waffle cone from a generous ice-cream parlour and they have small posies in them! There is something so delightfully child-like about them they always make me smile when I pass.



ourstreetBringing you closer to our new home now, this is our street – it is off a major road (6 lanes, I think) called Higashiyama-dori (dori being Japanese for road) – our railway line is Higashiyama and apparently it runs under the road for most of the way – I assume the railway line came after the road, though.

So, as I was saying, this is our street which is very green for Nagoya. I have no idea what the street is called – it does have a name but it’s in kanji which I can’t read and the addressing system is not related to your road so I have not yet had a chance or need to find out.

FYI the addressing system is rather confusing, everyone lives in a ‘cho’ which is an area and you live in a block within that cho, needless to say the GPS system in which you can enter phone numbers to find places has taken off here as even the Japanese find it difficult.



Kakuozan is very, very hilly and off our street are roads which are either like this not-so-steep one (seriously there is one near the supermarket which is more than 45degrees – no exaggeration!)







Or pedestrian-only streets like this one.

If you look carefully on the left edge of this shot, you will see Superman standing at the (out-of-shot) gate to our apartments!





And these are they – DEFINITELY a member of the ‘new’ architecture faction! I didn’t take this shot very well it looks like the building could go up and up forever but actually the window on the left (which is our study) has no building above it. The block is really more of a set of two story villa units built up the hill. You can’t see the first floor of our apartment at all because of the wall around the entrance porch but our front door is below the study window, as is the kitchen.


Not hugely interesting pictures I know, there has been little time for sightseeing as yet – there is a temple near by which I will visit soon and a local fire festival soon, too but for now the above is pretty much all of Kakuozan I have seen outside of ward offices and supermarkets/shops that sell things like bathmats and laundry supplies! Touristy pictures will flood in once I am a) driving and b) living in an apartment with furniture… but you’ll see how it is next post in a fascinating tour inside…



7 comments on “Virtual Tour: Our new area – Kakuozan, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya”
  1. says:

    Hey, you’re not going to be that far away.. We’re just north of the high-school up from Issha station.. We’re actually in Yashirodai in Meito-ku.. 🙂 More ICT peoples, cep’t starting out from canada. 🙂


  2. We will be close! At Hoshigaoka there is a lovely shopping centre (I took some pics yesterday I’ll do a post for you hehe) on an actual street instead of inside a mall with a few great cafe/restaurants. Also you will be near the Ozone Mets mall where there is a Nitori (Kind of like Ikea but with more and a little better quality but cheap kitchen/crockery stuff) , a good supermarket, a big “drug store” – no prescriptions though lol, UniQlo for clothes and an Eiden for eletronics AND free parking before 5pm! There may something closer to you that’s better but if not shoot me an email!
    Actually these are the kind of real world details ICTs/ICT wives would love to know – I’m have a flood of post ideas!


  3. says:

    That’s awesome.. I actually took a quick look at the Hashigaoka shopping area when I was scoping out the area, but the other stuff is new to me.. I did find the co-op (and a couple other grocery stores) at Issha station while I was there.
    I think we need to start an english version of where things are on a google map. For example, for my own reference (and the fact that google maps doesn’t plot japanese addresses in english), I put together a location map of all the costcos in japan. 🙂,135.637207&spn=7.229109,14.150391&z=6
    I met a couple who live closer to hongo station, and they have found a meat wholesaler in the area, where local businesses go to get their meat, and it’s supposed to be very reasonable.. I’m definately thinking that an english google map of places in nagoya would be very helpful for everyone. 🙂


  4. Great idea – you should do it! For finding Japanese addresses, though, this webby is a must bookmark You can enter any Japanese address in romaji and it is pretty damn good!
    I’d love to know where that wholesalers is but so far I can live without Costco (as we do in Australia lol) I find that it’s really not necessary to go beyond the Japanese stores for anything other than hair care, deoderant and toothpaste lol and for that we go back to Oz!
    And just a thought sparked from the Costco mention and not directed at you specifically – more a clarification for the post. I know my advice is to “make a home” here and for some that means trying to emulate exactly what they had back home but that is the opposite of what I mean. You need to create a home in Japan so that you feel that while you’re here Japan IS home rather than constantly seeing yourself as “away from home.” That doesn’t mean kidding yourself that you are Japanese and trying to “go native” but it means making the most of what is around you and not constantly comparing everything to what it would be like “back home” and finding it wanting. If you are in a city in Japan, there is very little that you won’t be able to find and there are lots of things that are done slightly differently that you’ll actually find are different in a useful way. I think a lot of people don’t make that psychological jump and that is why they are often frustrated and hate their time here.


  5. says:

    That diddlefinger is an awesome find!
    Heh.. To be honest, my wife is originally from Japan, so I’m going to get more than my fair share of native cuisine, but sometimes one just needs a big thick steak with a baked potato, and costco carries much of that sort of thing. It isn’t just a couple blocks away as it is here, hence figuring out the nearest one is a good thing. 🙂
    My motivations for accepting the ICT is to learn the language – without being immersed in it, and needing to actually use it, it’s damn near impossible to learn.
    Now if only this silly move were over with.. It’s entirely more of a pain in the butt than it should have been..
    Merry xmas, eh?


  6. Great motivations, Kevin – I will say though that unless your work is going to immerse you then I think having your wife to talk to will be the biggest “pressure” to use the language. I had the same thoughts about being immersed but I’m afraid there is just too little need to use it beyond the basics – even my husband who is the one working with Japanese people finds that learning to read kanji is the most useful thing for work and has no real need to communicate verbally because so many people around him speak enough English – and want to practice!


  7. I enjoyed that aspect of Nagoya, possibly the only thing I did enjoy about Nagoya, but the fact there were alot of old-style Japan homes interspersed with the new buildings and shopping centres. I loved the fact that the Japanese homes all had very well cared for, and very traditional style gardens too.
    It gave me a lot of inspiration to bring home for my own Japanese garden that I intend to start in the new year.
    I also found that Nagoya loves Eggs…I saw one shop called “Bicycle Egg” (a bike store) and another called “Hallo Egg” (a cake shop)!! I loved all the “engrish” I found randomly.
    The main thing I don’t like about Nagoya is that every day at least once there is someone burning off, as in burning rubbish or something and it becomes very smoky!


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