Nagoya Castle

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in Nagoya
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Nagoya Castle was built in the beginning of the Edo Period as the seat of one of the three branches of the ruling Tokugawa family, the Owari branch. As such, it was one of the largest castles in the country, and the castle town around it ultimately grew to become Japan's fourth largest city.

Most castle buildings were destroyed in the air raids of 1945, including the castle keep and the palace buildings. The current ferro-concrete reconstruction of the castle keep dates from 1959 and contains a modern museum with exhibits about the castle's history. The park surrounding the castle keep features two circles of moats and impressive walls with corner turrets. It becomes an attractive hanami spot during the cherry blossom season which usually peaks in late March or early April.

A room in the reconstructed castle palace

In 2009, works began on the ambitious project to rebuilt the castle's palace (Honmaru Goten) using traditional construction materials and techniques. A first part of the reconstructed palace, including the entrance and main audience hall with beautiful replicated paintings on the sliding doors (fusuma) were completed and opened to the public in May 2013. The rest of the palace will be opened in two stages, the next one on June 1, 2016 and the full opening scheduled for spring 2018.

During the second stage of reconstruction, visitors to the castle were allowed to enter the scaffolding structure and observe the works from an elevated corridor. This observation gallery has since been closed in preparation for the second stage opening.

Visitors may continue to observe the action in the carpentry workshop where many of the timber elements are prepared before being installed on the palace itself. This provides a unique opportunity to observe traditional construction techniques that are rarely seen these days. The workshop lies on the northwest corner of the castle grounds and is open daily from 9:00 to 16:00 except on Sundays.

Construction Notice: The castle's former palace buildings are currently being reconstructed next to the main keep until spring 2018. It does not greatly impact a visit to the castle. On the contrary, some of the restoration works can be observed, which can enrich a visit.

Palace buildings under construction - the viewing walkway has been closed in preparation for the June 2016 opening

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Get There and Around

From Nagoya Station, take the Higashiyama Subway Line to Sakae Station (5 minutes) and change to the Meijo Subway Line to Shiyakusho Station (2 minutes). The total one way journey takes about ten minutes and costs 240 yen. From the nearest exit, it is a three minute walk to the castle's east gate.

Alternatively, the castle's main gate can be reached from Nagoya Station by the Meguru tourist loop bus in about 25 minutes. The fare is 210 yen per ride or 500 yen for a day pass.

How to get to and around Nagoya

Hours and Fees

Hours

9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)

Closed

December 29 to January 1

Fees

500 yen

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Japan Guide Recommends:

Hotel Route Inn Nagoya Sakae

Reliable business hotel in the central Sakae district.

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Nagoya Marriott Associa

Excellent hotel in one of the two towers that rise above JR Nagoya Station.

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Nagoya Tokyu Hotel

Good value hotel in the central Sakae district.

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Page last updated: April 25, 2016