【Aichi】Nagoya Castle : A large scale castle which Golden Dolphins stand on the top

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There are many castles in Japan, but if we are talking about its luxury, Nagoya Castle in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, is undoubtedly on the top of them.

Japan’s largest castle tower with a height of 55.6 meters and a total floor area of about 4,500 square meters. Honmaru Goten stands with over 1,000 Shoheki-ga(paintings on paper sliding doors and screens) and elaborate decorations. The ultimate highlight is the golden dolphins that shine on the castle tower. Located amid Edo and Osaka, this castle has the dignity to protect an important base and attracts the viewer.

【Why it was established in Nagoya?】

Ieyasu Tokugawa, who won the Battle of Sekigahara in 1609, was forced to strengthen the defense of the road connecting Edo and Osaka to guard against Hideyori, the son of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, who was still strong in Osaka. For this reason, Nagoya Castle was built. As many as 20 daimyo from all over the country were mobilized to build the castle, and the castle was completed in 1615.

The restoration of the Honmaru palace was completed in 2018. It’s got a gorgeous appearance, as it is the place where Shogun stayed.

Nagoya Castle was the first Japanese castle to be recognized as a national treasure in 1930, as its gorgeousness was literally recognized. Majority of the buildings were destroyed by air strikes during World War II, but fortunately many of old records were saved. That enabled us to restore the castle tower and Honmaru Palace very in detail, as you can see them today. As of 2020, the castle tower is closed for safety reasons, but the Honmaru Palace, which has 13 buildings and more than 30 rooms, is open to the public and you can look around the luxuriously decorated interior.

【Walk through the Honmaru Palace】

The Honmaru Palace was originally constructed for the residence of the feudal lords of this area and the government office. However, later on, the shogun started using this as a lodging facility when going from Edo to Kyoto. Then rooms for the shogun, such as Kamirakuden and Yuden Shoin, were additionally constructed thereby. The palace, which boasts one of the most gorgeous palace in Nagoya Castle, used abundant cutting-edge technology in the Edo period and was said to be the masterpiece of the modern castle palace.

Gorgeous Joraku-den. Luxurious decorations are everywhere, like on Fusuma(sliding partition), Ceiling, Ranma(Traditional wooden grill for the ventilation)

In the Honmaru palace, the one with the most luxurious decoration is Joraku-den. The interior is filled with Fusuma paintings and ceiling paintings by the Kano-ha group, the painters of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Also the colorful openwork that decorates the columns above the sliding doors is truly amazing. The decorative metal fittings installed throughout the room are the gem that represent the top quality craftsmanship. The design of the Honmaru Palace changes depending on the style of the room, so please enjoy finding the differences in the decoration of the Joraku-den and other rooms.

【What’s more : Nagoya Castle】

Nagoya Castle has another name “Kinko(golden dolphin) Castle”. As the name suggests, it is famous for its golden dolphins on the castle tower. We can see the shiny dolphins from a distance, and it is said to have used 1,590 pieces of Keicho-Oban(Golden plate) for its construction. Unfortunately, this dolphins were destroyed by air strikes, so the gold dolphin on the current castle tower of Nagoya Castle is the one that was restored in 1959.

In the Honmaru Palace, A replica of golden dolphins, the symbol of Nagoya Castle, is exhibited.

Also, when you go to Nagoya Castle, you should definitely stop by Kinshachi Yokocho, which lies in front of the castle entrance. In the Yoshika zone in front of the main gate, there are many shops that represent the castle town of the Edo period, and you can enjoy yourself just by walking. You can eat Nagoya’s famous “Kishinev” and “Hitsumabushi”, so it is a perfect place to take a break after strolling around the castle.

If you walk in the Yoshinao zone of Kinshachi Yokocho, you will feel like being in the old castle town. Perfect for a break after castle.


Access[Train]Nagoya Station →(Nagoya Shiei Higashiyama Line)→ Sakae Station →(Nagoza Shiei Meijo line clockwise・direction to Nagoya-dome)→City hall Station →(walk)→Nagoya Castle
[Car] Nagoya Motorway Nr.1 Kusunokiline “Kurokawa” ramp, heading to South for 8mins.or, Ring Route (Nagoya Expressway), “Marunouci” Station, then “Marunouchi” Station for 5 mins to north.
Business hours●Open:9:00~17:30
*last entry for Honmaru Palace 16:30 is 16:30. (21/Jul - 31/Aug it is up to 17:30)

Adult・500 JPY、Junior High or smaller・Free
Group(More than 30 people) Adult・450 JPY、Junior High or smaller / Free
Group(More than 100 people) Adult・400 JPY、Junior High or smaller / Free ●Close:29/Dec~31/De, and 1st of January