The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 26 June 2014

An educational day in Nagoya (Japan)

When we were in Nagoya not too long ago, we were still figuring out how to travel with two children. Baby girl was only four months old, and though this was our second family trip since she was born (after Melbourne for my younger sister's wedding in February), this was the first one where the itinerary was primarily eating and sight-seeing. Most days we couldn't leave the hotel room until past 10am, by which time we would most invariably decide that any plans for the day had to be pushed back in favour of getting food in our tummies first. Our second morning in Nagoya began like so, everyone (but me whose body seems to have an inbuilt alarm clock for 6am) woke up later than usual due to the previous night's late bedtime, and we started our day out with an early lunch. Then we headed to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology, but only after stopping by a Japanese-style bakery to pick up some baked goods meant for snacking later in the afternoon, however we ended up eating them all when we sat down for some tea and coffee before going on the subway for the museum.

At Sun Levain bakery on the ground floor of the massive Matsuzakaya department store. The bakery's entrance is on Hisaya Odori between the subway entrances to Sakae and Yabacho stations:

Though all the baked goods were so tempting and we wanted to buy everything we saw, we limited ourselves to choosing one item per person. Sakura Anpan (sweet bun with cherry blossom filling, as it was sakura season), Mentaiko Furansu (baguette with salty cod roe - hubby is not a fan of it, but turns out that the 5-year-old is!), and a Pain au Chocolat (the boy's most favourite bread):

The delicious and sweet sakura anpan:

For nostalgia's sake, we made a small detour to the nearest Tully's shop for some Matcha Swirkle indulgence. Hubby got the seasonal Macadamia Latte, which was creamy and quite lovely:

Did you know that Toyota started as a textile firm? Thus began our educational time at the Toyota Commemorative Museum of Industry and Technology. The 5-year-old loved the hands-on activities for the kids in the Automobile Pavilion (where all the cars are).

The first part of the museum contains an exhibition of textile looms ranging from the almost ancient to the modern machinery:

Free guided tours, and the English language tour is only on Sundays. It was fun to tag along with the Japanese group and watch the guide demonstrate how the machinery evolved over the years. This was one of the older (but not the oldest) wooden loom:

And the fully automated and computerised modern loom:

There is a timetable of demonstrations that visitors can watch. We watched a casting demonstration, which was in Japanese, but it was still good to watch:

The boy was given a tiny piston as a keepsake by the lovely gentleman who did the demos:

In the Automobile Pavilion, there was a section devoted to children, where kids can make their very own pull-back cars:

With his dad's help, our boy made his very first toy car. And a mobile phone attachment, too (though he doesn't have a mobile phone to hang it on):

At Nagoya station, we walked past a baumkuchen cake shop with a large window where passersby can watch the chef brushing and baking each layer on. This cake is popular in Japan and coincidentally we had eaten some of these layered cakes the night before, so this made for a good watch for the 5-year-old:

We then headed back to the hotel for the kids' bedtimes and for me to pack up again for the next leg of our trip: Kyoto!

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a great trip so far- i'm loving the matcha. Didn't know about Toyota as textile company!