Nagoya Castle [名古屋城]

Nagoya Castle
Nagoya Castle

Castle tower of Nagoya Castle
Castle tower of Nagoya Castle

Nagoya Castle is located about 2.5 km northeast of Nagoya station.
It is one of the famous castles in Japan, along with Osaka, Himeji and Kumamoto Castles.

In the early 16th century, a small castle was built around here.

Oda Nobunaga, one of the famous warlords, was born around Nagoya in 1534.
He became a lord of this castle, but he had moved to Kiyosu Castle located about 6 km northwest of this castle in 1555.

So this castle was abandoned, and Kiyosu Castle became the main castle in this area since that.

Nobunaga died and Tokugawa Ieyasu founded Edo Government in 1603.
After that, Ieyasu was built a new castle on this site, because Kiyosu Castle was on flood-prone place.

The great castle was completed in 1612.
It had been the main castle of Tokugawa family in this area for about 260 years.

After the beginning of new Meiji Government, many feudal castles in Japan was demolished, but Nagoya Castle was preserved.
And it had been designated a national treasure.

But in 1945, the historic castle was destroyed by US air raid in World War II.
US forces say that the bombing was a mistake.

After the war, in 1959, the castle tower was rebuilt through the effort of the citizens and the donation from around the country.

The new castle was constructing with reinforced concrete.
There is the museum in the castle, and we can tour around the castle tower.

The height of the foundation is about 20 meters and the castle tower is about 36 meters, so the total height is about 56 meters.

Moat of Nagoya Castle
Moat of Nagoya Castle
Photo by Nagoya Convention & Visitors Bureau

Golden Shachihoko of Nagoya Castle
Golden Shachihoko of Nagoya Castle
Photo by Nagoya Castle

The famous point of this castle tower is a pair of Golden Shachihoko on the roof.
It is the symbol of Nagoya.

Shachihoko is an imaginary being that it is like a fish with a tiger face and many prickles on its back and its tail points always to the heaven.

They were created by coating gold leaves on the wooden sculptures of Shachihoko.
It is said that the amount of gold using on the early Shachihoko was over 215 kg.

After the air raid, the wreckage of original Shachihoko had been condemned by the Occupation Forces.
It was returned to the Finance Ministry, then it was returned to Nagoya city in 1967.

Nagoya city made a golden pot for tea ceremony using remaining gold on the wreckage, and has kept it.

Current Shachihoko was re-created when this castle was rebuilt.

The guides of samurai and ninja are always in the site since 2010.
They guide the visitors and perform the samurai drama sometimes.
They are the Japan's first samurai guide team.

This concrete castle is over 60 years old.
The problem of its earthquake resistance became serious.

So, Nagoya city is considering rebuilding the wooden castle within 2027.
Fortunately, many original design drawings remain and there are many photoes before the air raid.

Nagoya Castle

Honmaru Goten (本丸御殿)

Entrance of Honmaru Goten
Entrance of Honmaru Goten
Photo by Nagoya Castle

First room in Honmaru Goten
First room in Honmaru Goten
Photo by Nagoya Castle

Honmaru Goten is a palace to the south of the castle tower.
"Honmaru" means "center of the castle" and "goten" means "palace".

This palace was used for only the Shogun and even the lord of Nagoya Castle could not use the palace.
It is said that only three Shoguns stayed in this palace during about 260 years when they traveled around this region.

Therefore, the palace was extremely gorgeous.

The palace was also destroyed by US air raid in 1945.
Fortunately, before the air raid, many sliding doors with valuable Japanese paintings had been moved to the other place.

Rooms in Honmaru Goten
Rooms in Honmaru Goten
Photo by Nagoya Castle

Shogun's room in Honmaru Goten
Shogun's room in Honmaru Goten
Photo by Nagoya Castle

The accurate reconstruction started from 2009, then it was completed in 2017.
Many of the original sliding doors are set up in the palace.

You can visit the inside of the magnificent for free when you enter Nagoya Castle.

Kinshachi Yokocho (金シャチ横丁)

Nagoya Castle has two gates.
Out of both gates, there are the streets with the restaurants of "Nagoya-meshi" (Nagoya cuisine) and souvenir shops.

These were opened in 2018, and you can visit the major restautants of Nagoya-meshi.

Kinshachi Yokocho

How to get here

By sightseeing route bus "Me-guru", about 22 minutes from Nagoya station.

Or, the nearest station of subway is Shiyakusho (M07 Meijo Line).
About 300 meters from the station.

Hotels around Nagoya Castle

Hotels around Nagoya Castle

Other Tourist Attractions in Nagoya

Return to Nagoya Return to Aichi Prefecture Return to Tokai Region

Other prefectures in Tokai Region