Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nagoya : Sakae

Sakae, Nagoya's downtown district is the main shopping and entertainment district of Nagoya. 

Sakae is the liveliest place in Nagoya. It is the place to go shopping in Nagoya, the place to meet friends, taste the best of Nagoya cuisine or to spend some leisurely time in one of the parks or coffee shops right in the centre of Nagoya. If there is any place to be in Nagoya, Sakae it is.  
To begin with, Sakae's latest landmark is the Oasis 21.  Opened in October 2002, this unique structure sits amidst a green open space,"Field of Green"  and resembles a space ship identifying with its theme "Spaceship Aqua". 

The oval glass roof has a transparent water tank through which the floor below is visible, giving the feel of an underwater world beneath. 

A bus terminal and shopping cum restaurant plaza are also located below the Oasis. Some events and fairs are also held in the basement below.

The Aichi Arts centre and the NHK building are located beside the Oasis 21.

The Oasis 21 is lit up in the evenings in a myriad of colours making it look spectacular. 
Sakae's oldest landmark, the Nagoya TV tower located close-by is also lit up in the evenings adding to the beauty of the view. 

This replica of the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1954, making it Japan's oldest TV Tower . Even the more popular Tokyo Tower was built later in 1958. The Nagoya tower is 180 meter tall and has two observation decks at 90 meters and 100 meters above ground. The tower also has a restaurant and a gallery. The Nagoya TV Tower has also featured in two Godzilla movies. It has been designated as a "Lovers sanctuary" since 2008. 

The Nagoya TV Tower stands in the centre of the Hisaya Odori Park a park comprising several areas along the Hisaya odori at the centre of Sakae. Some feature gifts and monuments presented by Nagoya's sister cities- Sydney-Australia, Nanjing-China, Mexico city- Mexico and Los Angeles- USA. 
The Los Angeles Plaza 

Mexican Plaza ( Ikoi no Hiroba -Plaza of Relaxation) 

Shanghai Plaza

Some of the other highlights are :
Central Bridge

Tower Hiroba

Kibo no Hiroba- Plaza of Hope

Mochi no Ki Hiroba -

Some of the other plazas are : Chokoku no Niwa- Garden of Sculptures, Ai no Hiroba - Angel Hiroba and Hikari no Hiroba - Plaza of Light.

A mechanical doll, called Karakuri Ningyo is also present on the sidewalk. Performances occur at specific times of the day. 

The Hisaya hiroba is the venue for many live performances, small fairs and events. A Beer festival in the style of Oktoberfest is held in summer.

The most popular meeting place in Sakae is at the underground Crystal Hiroba.
It is located at the centre of the Sakae Subway Shopping Mall.  

As mentioned earlier, Sakae is also a popular shopping and entertainment district. A variety of department stores are located in Sakae. They include Mitsukoshi, Maruei, Matsuzakaya, Meitetsu (collectively known as the 4M), shopping malls like Nadya Park, Parco, La Chic among them to name a few. Sunshine Sakae and its adjacent Ferris Wheel is another landmark of Sakae.
The underground shopping mall, the Central Park is also worth a mention.

Popular international brands have their stores in Sakae, making it the Nagoya counterpart of Tokyo's Ginza district. 
Some of the finest restaurants and food joints are found in Sakae. A variety of stores selling imported food and goods are also found in Sakae. 

It goes without saying that everything and anything can be found in Sakae !

It is advisable to use public transportation to reach Sakae. Driving may not be convenient thanks to  the traffic congestion and parking spots are expensive and difficult to find. Sakae is well connected via Nagoya subway network through the following stations: 
Sakae station on the Higashiyama and Meijo Line
Hisaya-odori station on the Sakura dori and Meijo line
Yabacho station on the Meijo Line 

A tourist information centre is located on the basement of the Oasis 21. 

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