TOKYO TO NAGOYA, JAPAN
Depending on traffic, the journey from Tokyo to Nagoya takes almost 10 hours, via Osaka. But the country’s beautiful scenery more than makes up for any hassles you may experience along the way. The mountains, farms and fields all give the drive that much-needed “wow” factor.
Once you arrive in Osaka, you’ll find plenty of things to do and places to visit, including Universal Studios Japan (www.usj.co.jp), with its newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, and the massive Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan (www.kaiyukan.com), which has exhibits from the Pacific Ocean, Antarctica, the South American rainforests and the Tasman Sea.
Next to the aquarium is the Tempozan Ferris Wheel, which gives you spectacular views of Osaka Bay, Mount Ikoma and Mount Rokko during the 17-minute ride. And don’t forget Osaka Castle (www.osakacastle.net), one of Japan’s most famous and historic structures.
In Nagoya, visit the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens, which also boasts an amusement park, and the Nagoya City Science Museum (www. ncsm.city.nagoya.jp), which houses one of the world’s largest planetariums. Older children may like Nagashima Spaland, a large amusement park located just outside Nagoya. It’s in a resort which has an outlet shopping mall, hot spring complex and botanical garden that the rest of the family will enjoy.