- January 18 2016
5 ways to enjoy the symbol of Nagoya, the Nagoya Castle, more
The Nagoya Castle is one of the three major castles in Japan, and has been loved by people as the symbol of Nagoya for a very long time. It is a very popular tourist site that many tourists include in their trip to stop by in Nagoya, so it’s likely that people are wondering what it’s like.
### How to get to Nagoya Castle
You can get to Nagoya Castle by a bus called Me~guru within twenty minutes from Nagoya station.
It is a three-minute walk from the Shiyakusho station too, so you can get on the Sakura-dori Line from Nagoya station, change lines at Hisayaodori to the Meijo Line, and head to Shiyakusho station.
You’ll find the ticket booths if you follow the crowd.
The entrance fee is only 500 yen for adults. Not expensive at all!
What is Nagoya Castle?
During the age of the cival wars (16-17th century, when there were many wars between regional forces in order to obtain the land and regime), many castles were built. But after Ieyasu Tokugawa subjugated the country and started ruling the regional feudal lords, the number of castles were reduced at once, and the castles were made for lords to live in instead of using them as forts.
The Nagoya Castle is said to have been built for Yoshinao (Ieyasu Tokugawa’s son) to live in, where the original castle was during the age of the civil wars. After that, the Owari family who had a strong relationship with the Tokugawa family lived in this castle.
It is said that the feudal lords have been looking down at the large city of Nagoya from the from the castle tower for generations.
Sadly, most of the Nagoya Castle was burned down by the Nagoya bombings during the Pacific War. The castle tower that is existent now was rebuilt in 1958, reviving the outer appearance. You might want to know beforehand that you should see the Nagoya Castle in rememberance of the former castle.
But there are many things you can enjoy just at Nagoya Castle! Today we will talk about those points!
Point(1) Imagine life as a lord back then, inside the new Honmarugoten.
Currently the Honmarugoten, where the lords lived, is under reconstruction. Parts of it has been open to the public from 2013, and you get to see the beautiful wall paintings.
The Nagoya Castle’s Honmarugoten was a place where the Tokugawa Generals stayed at when they came to Nagoya, so the luxuriousness cannot be compared to other Honmarugotens.
You can see the wall paintings from up close because it is a restored replica.
The original paintings were stored inside a warehouse during the air raids, so they were kept safe from getting burnt. Right now, they are desginated as important cultural properties, and are preserved very carefully.
Point(2) You can see the city of Nagoya from the Tenshukaku (Castle Tower)!
The highlight of the castle of course, is the castle tower (tenshukaku).
Here at Nagoya Castle, there are elevators that take you two stories below the very top. Then there will be stairs to go to the top, so even children and elderly people can enjoy the view. This is all because it has been reconstructed.
The tenshukaku is made of wood, and you can see the view 360 degrees from there.
Beyond the green that surrounds the castle, you will see many high buildings, so much like an industrial city.
Point(3) There are many exhibits inside the tenshukaku
Below the tenshukaku, it’s all like a museum.
There are documents about the Nagoya castle, the age of the civil wars, etc. It’s fun to see them!
Point(4) You can meet the Golden Shachihoko, the Nagoya Castle symbol
Nagoya Castle is famous for this Golden Shachihoko placed on the tenshukaku.
When is was first made, it is said that they used 215.3 kilograms of gold, and used to be about 2.74 meters high.
After that, the purity of the gold was reduced everytime they had financial difficulties, and it was often stolen in the past. This picture is a newspaper that writes about the robbery.
We most likely take a picture with this Golden Shachihoko that is right beside the entrance of the tenshukaku, during the tour inside Nagoya Castle.
Point(5) Enjoy eating at the beautiful park
The beautiful green that is around the castle is one of the amazing things about this place. It is even more luxuriant during the cherry blossom season.
It’s where you would want to go on sunny day!
There are many food stalls around the castle. They are often closed early in the morning, but during lunchtime, many stalls with drink dervers and food are opened. It’s almost like a festival!
After touring Nagoya Castle, you can have beer and relax as well. Imagine the proseperity of the Nagoya Castle back then, take the time to walk around and eat!
How was it? Please use this as reference when going to see the Nagoya Castle!