Rising Like a Phoenix From the Ashes
Until World War 2, Nagoya Castle, its palace and remaining structures were the best preserved of all the castles in Japan, and had been designated a National Treasure. On May 14, 1945, just months before Japan surrendered, American aerial fire bombing reduced the castle, it’s turrets, gates, walls and fabulous palaces to ashes. Only three watchtowers and two gates survived the inferno.
The castle keeps were reconstructed in 1959. Special exhibitions are regularly staged in the second floor Exhibit Hall, while the third floor features a reproduced castle town environment. Samurai armor and weapons are displayed on the fourth floor, and the fifth provides a fascinating history of Nagoya Castle. The top floor is an observation deck and souvenir stand. English explanations will make your visit more enjoyable.
*: The main tower keep is currently closed.
A traditionally authentic reconstruction of the Hommaru Palace the lavish palace below the castle keep commenced in 2009.
There’s more than just the big castle. Stroll the beautiful gardens and enjoy the seasonal flowers and blossom, try a traditional beverage in the tea -rooms, hunt for crests engraved on the stone walls or just lap up the history at Japan’s biggest castle, Nagoya Castle.
Japan’s Finest Castle Palace, Nagoya Castle Hommaru Palace
In the very center of the militarily strong and imposing Nagoya Castle, surrounded by the two keeps and various watchtowers, was the Hommaru Palace, a superb palace designed as the living quarters of the castle’s lord, and later for the shogun. Its architecture, and its interior were simply gorgeous. The entire building was made of high quality, much prized hinoki, a fragrant cypress, and richly decorated with colorful paintings done on pure gold leaf, portraying tigers, leopards, auspicious birds and animals, and of plants and flowers.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was so impressed, he ordered a similar palace be constructed in Kyoto. (That palace remains as a National Treasure, but was always inferior to the Nagoya palace.) A year after its completion, Ieyasu’s son, Lord Tokugawa Yoshinao, the first lord of Nagoya, moved himself out of the main palace, into the equally sumptuous palace in the adjoining second Citadel, and decreed that the Hommaru Palace would henceforth only be used for visits by the shogun himself. It was only used about 5 times in the following 250 years, and so was maintained in pristine condition. So much so that following the end of Japan’s feudal period, three Emperors regularly used the palace as a summer residence between 1893 and 1930.
Unfortunately the palace was destroyed during the air raids of 1945. Many of the important art works had been removed and put into storage beforehand, saving them from destruction. The Hommaru Palace is being traditionally and authentically reconstructed in three segments. The first part opened to the public in 2013, the second in June 2016, and was completed in 2018.
Nagoya Castle VT (Virtual Tour) Hommaru Palace
"VT (Virtual Tour) Hommaru Palace," which allows you to view Hommaru Palace in 3D, has been released on the official Nagoya Castle web site!
Filmed using cutting-edge VR (Virtual Reality) camera Matterport in high-quality 4K, the ornamentation is reproduced vividly down to the finest detail. The rooms can be enjoyed from every angle in 360 degrees just as if you were really there.
Meet Ninjas at Nagoya Castle!
Hattori Hanzo and the Ninjas perform impressive ninja shows on the grounds of Nagoya Castle on weekends and public holidays. In between shows, there are military parades with members of Nagoya Omotenashi Busho-Tai dressed in samurai armor. These ninjas and samurai warriors also make daily meet and greet appearances at Nagoya Castle. Based on real ninjas and historical figures in Aichi, see these famous legends come to life at Nagoya Castle.