Things to do in Nagoya
Enjoy a knees-up in a brewery
If anyone can organise a knees-up in a brewery, it's Japan's most famous beer company, Asahi (tel: +81 52 792 8966; www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/nagoya). Located on the banks of the Shonai River, this free tour shows visitors the brewing process before concluding with beer tasting and some snacks to soak it up. English audio guides are available.
Hit the beach and watch the sun set
Beach fans who fancy a frolic in the water should drive 30 minutes south to the Shinmaiko Marine Park, which boasts the 400m-long (1,312ft), man-made Blue Sun beach. Natural shorelines can be found on the Chita Peninsula, where Chidorigahama and the sandy beaches on Himakajima island offer delightful sunsets.
Join the ski fanatics on the slopes
Nagoya's situation, a short drive from the mountains, means that several ski resorts are accessible as day trips. Experienced skiers wanting a challenge should drive two hours east to Chausuyama Kogen, whilst beginners and families will be better served on the slopes of Hirugano Kogen, who also offer equipment rental.
Tread the Tokaido highway trail
Hikers will find Nagoya a great base for day walks in the surrounding countryside. Explore the trails that run between the post towns of the ancient Tokaido highway, which links east and west Japan, or tackle Sanage Mountain; the moderate walk is excellent in spring with views over the Japanese Alps.
Unwind with a night-time onsen
Hot springs are one of the most popular ways to unwind in Japan and the minerals in the waters are purported to bring health benefits. Nagoya’s Ryusenji (tel: +81 52 793 2601; www.ryusenjinoyu.com) has 14 hot springs. The outdoor onsen (hot spring) is the pick of the bunch, and best enjoyed at night with the city shimmering below.