Now that the weather has warmed up and a cool breeze is blowing through lunch dates, it’s a perfect time to visit Noritake Garden in Nagoya.
Noritake Garden is a breathtakingly beautiful wide open green space with a sprinkling of perfectly placed flowers. If you visit the garden late Saturday morning, you’ll find families and couples enjoying a nice brunch on the meticulously manicured lawns.
Not only is this a gorgeous green space, but it is also a cultural exhibition for the history of Western style tableware in Japan. On the grounds is a craft center, museum and gallery. Any interest in fine China, pottery or tableware? This is a must see destination that also offers a hands on experience painting your own tableware.
To arrive at Noritake Garden, take the train to Nagoya Station. Exit the station from the Sakura-Dori side, make a left and then walk along the street path 15 minutes. Taxis are also available to the left of your exit for quick ride that may cost between ¥1000 - ¥2000. If you are walking, take care. Signs appear closer to the garden, but maps don’t indicate the bends and forks in the road so commonly found in Japan. Try to stay on the main path and if you feel a bit off, ask a local. Noritake Garden is such a big attraction that just saying the name of the garden will prompt people to point you in the right direction.
Once you pass the large traffic sign above head, the garden is just around the corner. You will come upon a gorgeous art deco front with the lettering Noritake above the entrance. Shrouded in trees, the main entrance is just to the left of the sign. There is also a bike entrance a few steps down the street where you can park your bike.
The entrance prepares you for your experience with a large map about detailing what is on the grounds and hours of operation for various parts. Map guides are available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.
Inside of the park is a peaceful seating area around a water fountain. It is one of the most lovely places to read a book or have a conversation. Unfortunately, pets on a leash are not permitted; neither is smoking or alcohol consumption.
You are surrounded by beauty in every part of the garden. There is a semi-formal full service restaurant, Kiln with a seasonal menu. It’s easy to see why they also offer wedding packages. Please call ahead if you wish to dine (+81-52-561-7304) the restaurant may be reserved for a reception. Inside of the gift shop there is a less formal cafe with indoor and outdoor seating.
There are two convenience stores (konbini) within view of the entrance; picking up a few items for an impromptu lunch on the grass is effortless. In Japan it is also likely that the convenience stores will sell Leisure Sheets (woven plastic mats) for you to sit on.
Overall, this is a relaxing destination. Noritake Garden is an outing that can be enjoyed on a whim without much planning or thought. The garden opens at 10 am. General admission is free. Fees for adults is ¥500 for the craft center and Noritake Museum. Parking is ¥100 for 30 minutes and free with purchases over ¥5,000.
There is free WiFi access available in Nagoya, but not at this location. You can visit here, for more information.