Nagoya - Humble but enjoyable

Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Mar 28, 2010

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Flag of Japan  , Chubu,
Monday, February 8, 2010

With the magic of the Japan Rail Pass, I took the Shinkansen over to Nagoya.  Despite a reputation to be a working city, it has an alter ego.  It is listed as a UNESO City of Design.  I didn't even know there was such a classification previously.  So naturally, that intrigued me.

I visited the International Design Centre Nagoya which a building which acts as place for design firms, a hall for special exhibits, workshops and for me, committees / organizations and of course, a museum.  The museum, however, was quite small and I went through it within 2 hours.  On display were items throughout Japanese design history as well as graphics (ex. ads).  The most prominent display was chair design.  Luckily I at least knew one designer featured, Isamu Noguchi, primarily famous for his interior and furniture design.  There was even temporary displays on American Art Deco and Streamlining.  Additionally, it showed the evolution of phones which was also interesting.  I enjoyed the presentations of the exhibits too as they were done in this rotating cabinet after pressing a button to begin.  The only thing I wish it would have had is more English translation.

Following that, I visited a somewhat of a wonderful design-based department store called Loft conveniently right next door.  It had great gift items and a modern take on any such household good one can think of as well as the common cute/animated products, which can only be found in Japan.  At least I had the self-discipline not to spend too much yen there. =)

Lastly, I met with a friend and local to the city.  She told me that the train station was the largest in all of Japan having two 50+ story towers.  So although it was not a typical tourist city, this was one of my favorite parts of my trip. 
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