Nagoya Castle is one of the city’s most remarkable and historically important buildings. The impressive structure attracts visitors from around the globe, who come to wander through the castle’s spectacular grounds, to learn about its history, but most of all, to admire its amazing architecture.
The Owaris, a branch of the powerful Tokugawa family, constructed Nagoya Castle in the early 17th century. The palace's strategic location within central Japan made it one of the most important castles in the country. As the castle's importance increased, so too did the size of the surrounding town, which became one of the largest in central Japan. The castle was badly damaged during World War II, but extensive restoration has returned it to its former glory.
In late March and early April, the castle’s grounds are awash with pink and white from the flowering cherry trees. Japan’s cherry blossom season is stunning and Nagoya Castle is one of the best places to admire the blossoms. Eat a picnic beneath the boughs of the vibrant trees and join locals in a hanami celebration. Take a tour of the castle grounds to see the historic walls, the moat and the turrets, which were used to defend the castle from assault.
Before entering the castle, stop and admire the architecture of the seven-storey structure. Notice the giant golden tiger-headed dolphins, which are known as kinsachi, that sit atop the highest roof. These unique creatures were a symbol of the feudal lord’s authority.
Visit the castle museum to discover Nagoya Castle’s rich past. Learn about the castle’s role in Japanese history and the families that lived in the castle. Look at photographs of the castle taken prior to the 1945 damage, and see the plans for further reconstruction.
Nagoya Castle is open daily but is closed between December 29 and January 1. The castle, which is situated in the downtown area, is only a 20-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. For drivers, parking is available for a fee at the main gate. There is an entrance fee for the castle.