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Why INAX Museum In Nagoya, Japan Should Be In Your Next Travel Itinerary

Travelling to Nagoya is literally heading to the heart of Japan, as this third largest metropolitan area of the country is, geographically, right in the middle of the stretched j-Shape of the nation. The capital of the Aichi Prefecture, and one of Japan’s major ports, Nagoya is also an industrial center, home to such established global brands as Toyota, Mitsubishi Aircraft, and my host, LIXIL, the giant in the housing and building industry. JR’s Nagoya Station is the world’s largest train station in the world in terms of floor area. And the Nagoya Castle dates back to the Tokugawa period, when warlords based in the area succeeded in unifying Japan. The first LEGOland in Japan is located here in Nagoya.


The INAX Museum grounds at Nagoya

There, for the LIXIL Iconic SPALET Tour, our group was treated to a tour of the architectural marvels that dot the Nagoya cityscape, and I’ll be writing about that in a succeeding feature. For today, I’d like to highlight the INAX Museum, found on the outskirts of Nagoya; which, for anyone interested in the history of crafts, ceramics, tiles, and modern living, would be a great visit. It’s all part of the mission vision of living culture that LIXIL takes very seriously as a corporate motto. Proud to refer to the company as "the link to good living," the museum showcases the global development of several housing and building products that LIXIL and its subsidiaries are also involved in.

One section of the INAX Museum grounds is devoted to the INAX Tile Museum. Painstakingly compiled over half a century, the exhibit is a wonderful testament to the artistic ingenuity of man, as from all over the globe, and throughout recorded history, we witness how architecture and interiors have been enhanced by the use of tiles and ceramics. From Dutch Delftware, to Chinese tiles, the Moorish influences of Spain’s Alhambra Palace, to the Middle East, the Museum is an enjoyable eye-opener. 


The unique staircase at the INAX Tile Museum, note the detailing


An example of Delftware


Tiles as used in the Middle East


Tiles from China


From Japan, a wall of tiles celebrating Spring (cherry blossoms) and Summer (sunflower)


A gallery of Rogues at the INAX Museum


Famous for the local clay sourced from the area, the visit to the museum includes a clay-making class, where one has the opportunity to gain rudimentary knowledge of the craft. And to see where that knowledge can lead to, we were brought to the Manikeneko Lucky Cat Street, where right by the side of the highway, artists had created tributes to cats in a very unique and entertaining manner. This was evidently Instagram-heaven!


At the Lucky Cat Street


More from the Lucky Cat Street (photo by Alen Alban)


At the INAX Tile Museum, Alen Alban of LIXIL, Cherryl Uy and Leslie Pardo of Ayala Land Premier, and the failure at clay-making, me!

The very first Shower Toilet by INAX, created unbelievably in 1967, is also housed at the INAX Museum; and it still works! Of course, technology has made so many strides since then—but to see this 1967 creation right beside the latest reincarnation, the INAX Satis, is a lesson in the obsession the Japanese have for hygiene and cleanliness, coupled with comfort and convenience. How they have merged spa-like bliss and comfort, with the functionalities of the Western toilet.


A toilet from yesteryears

And when nestled back in Nagoya; everything you look for and enjoy in Tokyo or Osaka is readily available. Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya Department stores are present in Nagoya, and one food specialty of the city is the deep-fried pork cutlet in ramen combination. Their chicken wings are also of special note. One small, highly recommended family restaurant from Alen Alban of LIXIL Philippines served a special version of eel; instead of the regular unagi, it was Pike Conger or Hamo! Really delicious!

Nagoya beckons, and thank you LIXIL for letting me discover a new city in Japan!