Buffet, Global and Meibutsu: Dining Around Kanayama Station
Kanayama station (金山駅), the major public transport junction in southern Nagoya, is where the JR and Meitetsu lines converge with the Meijō and Meikō subway lines. Compared to what they were a decade ago, the dining options around this station have increased remarkably. Because of its ease of accessibility and the variety of food on offer, Kanayama is definitely a worthwhile destination for someone who wishes to spend a decent evening out.
It would be remiss to not start by mentioning the most notable cultural attraction in Kanayama: the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the sister museum of its U.S.-based counterpart, which is located immediately outside the southern edge of the station, in the same building as the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel Grand Court. More information about what to do in and around Nagoya can be had at the station’s tourism office. But the biggest and most obvious change to the area over the past decade was the construction of the Asunal Kanayama shopping center which is located immediately outside the northern edge of the station.
If you’re only in town for a quick visit, the good news is that getting to Kanayama is a snap. After arriving at Nagoya station off the Shinkansen, it takes about 3 or 4 minutes on either the JR or Meitetsu lines. From Sakae, the beating heart of downtown Nagoya, it’s about six minutes due south on the Meijō subway line.
If you look-around the Asunal Shopping Center, you can find plenty of shops ranging from major chains (Starbucks and Krispy Kreme) to typical Japanese restaurants (including an Okinawan restaurant) in addition to Korean and western cuisine.
One of these is Kakiyasu Sanjyaku Sanzunbashi (柿安 三尺三寸箸) up on the third floor. Don’t let the establishment’s long name scare you. It’s a nationwide chain; this buffet-style eatery is not inexpensive, but the beautifully-displayed food is of good quality and the restaurant is a great choice for families. At least, the kids there seemed to like it.
Asunal is, by no means, the only collection of eateries around Kanayama station. The entire neighborhood has, for decades, been a hive of activity and it is possible to find any number of places featuring real Nagoya meibutsu (名物): local specialties.
For instance, a few minutes’ walk to the southeast of the station, down Otsu Dori street, you can find several outlets of the nation-wide izakaya chain Yamachan, (山ちゃん), the quintessential place for tebasaki (手羽先): deep-fried chicken wingtips. (It’s rather hard to miss the distinctive bird-man logo on the restaurant’s signs.) Miso-katsu (味噌カツ), that other local specialty, is also on the menu: breaded pork cutlet with a tangy dark miso sauce. You can’t get more meibutsu than that.
For a more idiosyncratic departure from the norm, Jinger can make for a fun evening out among grown-ups. As you can guess, the theme of this place is ginger: ginger-ale cocktails, pork ginger, salad dressing with ginger dressing and so on. The interior of the venue is dark and the emphasis is definitely on the drinks.
Finally, if you’d like something other than Japanese food, there are certainly plenty of other options in the neighborhood. For instance, in the judgment of the authors, the Kashmir (カシミール) restaurant offers the best Pakistani cuisine in Nagoya (plus, it’s halal). It’s a bit of a walk north of the station, up Otsu Dori, a little bit farther down than the NTK Hall () around a corner on the opposite side the street and down a flight of steps into a basement. It is worth the effort to find.
In our view, the very best thing about Kanayama is that you can keep coming-back to explore, often discovering something new and different each time!
Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Address: 1-1-1 Kanayama-cho, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Address: 1 Chome-17-1 Kanayama, Naka-ku, Nagoya,
Address: Hasegawa Building B2, 1 Chome 14-9, Kanayama, Naka-ku, Nagoya
Address: Confort Kanayama B1F, 2 Chome−1−1, Kanayama, Naka-ku, Nagoya