Nagoya attracts a big number of tourists all year round. Apart from being famous among tourist, it is also a major business destination. The most visited part of the city is Nagoya castle. The paintings on the interior walls and decoration on the roof usually amaze visitors touring the castle. Another major attraction of the castle is a golden dolphin. Moreover, the fact that Nagoya castle survived Second World War attracts a big number of tourist to the place. However, following the damages sustained from earthquake and bombing, Nagoya castle restoration had to be done.
History of Nagoya Castle
Nagoya castle lies between Osaka and Tokyo. It was first built in the 16th century and was designed to be the political center of Owari; one of the branches of the Tokugawa ruling family. The castle is one of Osaka’s famous tourist attraction. Moreover, it serves as a reminder of the significance of Nagoya throughout Japanese history.
The castle was rebuilt in the 17th century and became the capital of Owari province. Nagoya stayed without a proper castle till 1610, when Owari was given the aptly named Owari province with its capital being Nagoya. The appointment came with orders to construct modern, large fortress worthy of the Tokugawa name at its center.
During the Second World War most the castle’s original buildings got destroyed. However, artifacts illustrating its history were kept and are being displayed in the castle today. The castle has endured the test of time with over 400 years of survival through both world war and natural calamities. Sustaining injuries from earthquake and air raids of Second World War, the castle, and its main Hommaru residential palace was reconstructed in 2009 and underwent nine years of restoration that ended in 2018. A meticulous Nagoya castle restoration was undertaken, and original material and technique used to restore this wonderful castle.
The Nagoya castle is filled with history, from extensive historical decoration to remarkable buildings and artistry. One must-attend event is Nagoya castle summer night festival.
Entrance charges for the castle are as follows: Adults pay about $5, whereas a group of 30 adults are charged $1 each. Senior citizens and children are never charged.
Hommaru palace, the seat and residence of the lord and his administration is an important place in Japanese history. In fact, the palace was recognized as a national treasure in 1930. Its interior and architecture are simply gorgeous. The structure is made of fragrant cypress, much-priced hinoki, and decorated with colorful painting done on pure gold leaf, depicting leopards, tigers among others.
The palace has a ceremonial hall, centrally located reception and a dignified room for the exclusive use by the lord. It also has a decorated alcove section displaying hanging scrolls and imported Chinese ceramics. The secondary display area feature split-level shelves for a recessed writing wall for the record keepers and ornamental items.
Inside the 7 floor tower
Nagoya Castle has seven floors with exhibit rooms from first to the fifth floor where you can see numerous display on the history of the castle. You don’t have to worry if you don’t understand Japanese as there are signs with English translations of the display explanation. The sixth-floor houses machines and is off-limit for the visitors. However, you can move up from the first floor to the observation room on the seventh floor by the elevator or the spiral staircase. Nearly everywhere you look, from fusuma to the walls is decorated with gold leaf, making it an impressive sight.
If you are interested in understanding the culture of city residents, then you should visit one of the museums within the city. You can visit the Nagoya museum, Nagoya station to Nagoya castle will take you less than 10 minutes. A trip to the museum can assist you to know more about the art forms of Nagoya. The city is famous for its cultural ways of entertaining locals as well as the tourist. There are a number of theatres all around the Nagoya. If possible, you should tour all of them as they are unique from one another when it comes to entertainment. Residents of Nagoya love their entertainment.
Nagoya is one of the largest cities in Japan. It is a well-developed and well-planned city. The Nagoya palace together with other significant structures of the city depicts the architectural advancement of Nagoya.
Nagoya castle museum-learn the history of the castle
Cultural assets-some constructions survived earthquakes, fire and air raids like the Ninomaru Ote Ninomon Gate, Omote Ninomon Gate, Southwest, Northwest and Southeast Tower, Ninomaru East Ninomon Gate, sliding doors of Honmaru Palace and paintings on the walls
East Ninomaru Garden-The garden measures 14000 meters square, a perfect spot for relaxation.
Ninomaru Tea House-materials used in construction is hinoki cypress from a place called Kiso, the house is used for Japanese traditional tea ceremonies
Ninomaru Garden – explore this dry landscape garden.
Events and festivals
Nagoya castle summer festival
Apart from ancient structures, regular festivals in Nagoya also attract a big number of tourist. The most popular is the Nagoya castle summer night festival which is celebrated by many all around the city. It is the largest festival in the city when it comes to excitement and fun among the city residents.
The festival is usually held between 3rd and 15th of August, from 5 pm to 9 pm. The admission fee is $8 for adults and $2 for children. The entertainment available includes classical performers, enka and local idol groups. Enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and a huge variety of food available.
The event is commonly held between 28th March to 10th April when there is special lighting in the evening and over 1000 sukura trees are in full bloom. Several events usually take place during this time including tea ceremonies and Japanese drum.
Getting to Nagoya castle
Nagoya castle is situated at the heart of Nagoya city. Trip from Tokyo to Nagoya is easy, as the two cities are connected by Shinkansen. You could take Hikari train which takes about 110 minutes to Nagoya from Tokyo.
One way trip to Nagoya from Tokyo by bus will take you approximately five to six hours. There are overnight and daytime buses. One way fare by highway bus is about $50.
You could also fly from Tokyo to Nagoya, commonly between Haneda and Chubu centrair airports. Subject to when you book your plane ticket, expect prices between $70 and $200 for a regular one-way ticket. The journey will take about 70 minutes. Since you need to get to Haneda from Tokyo, then take a flight from Chubu to Nagoya, plus the time you will spend in the airport before boarding the flight, it seems this option is time-consuming and expensive. Flying to Nagoya could be the best option if you are traveling from Okinawa or Sapporo.
Upon arriving at Nagoya city, you can reach Nagoya Castle from Nagoya station, Nagoya station to Nagoya castle will take you about 10 minutes. You will require to take subway to the Sakae station thereafter transfer to the Meijo subway line. Shiyakusho Station is your final destination.
Before entering the Nagoya castle premises, you should go straight to the ticketing booth or admissions where you will buy your tickets to the castle. From here, you are at liberty to request for a tour guide who will walk you patiently through the splendid castle grounds, filled with narrow streets and spots that bloom with beautiful colors from the line of maple trees. Moreover, guides will willingly explain you the rich history of the castle with a smile ever at a ready. They will tell you about Tokugawa Ieyasu, an important Japanese Shogun who led the country along with Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Oda Nobunaga.
Upon entering Japan, you will be required to declare your planned period of stay on the disembarkation card. Furthermore, you will need to write down a telephone number as well as one address in Japan.
In addition, the immigration officials might also request you to show proof of intended departure. For instance, a return air ticket. In short, have all these particulars with you before taking your flight.
Initially constructed in 1610, Nagoya castle is one of the biggest and popular castles in Japan. Known for its golden dolphins standing majestically on its gable, the castle is impressive and although it was largely destroyed by bombings during the Second World War, multiple original items were kept safe and are now housed inside the newly rebuilt structure. You can also get a clear view of the Nagoya city on its topmost floor.
In addition, the recently reconstructed Honmaru Palace is historically the residents of the ruling lord and his administration. The reconstruction was completed in 2018. Everything from the woodwork to artwork has been meticulously reproduced using original techniques and materials, even the gold foil that covers trimmings. The palace is a must-visit for any fan of traditional architecture or castle.
Visit Nagoya castle today, free guided tours are offered on Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Monday at 1 pm and commences at the East Gate of the Nagoya castle.