Nagoya Castle is one of the city’s most spectacular buildings and has played an important role in Japan’s history. Today, Nagoya Castle attracts visitors from around the world who come to admire its architecture, learn about its history and wander through the sprawling castle grounds.
Constructed in the early 17th century, Nagoya Castle was the home to the Owari branch of one of the most powerful families in Japan, the Tokugawas. The castle’s position in central Japan was pivotal and, as the castle became one of the most important in Japan, the surrounding town grew to become one of the biggest in the country. While much of the castle was damaged during World War II, most of it has been rebuilt.
Visit Nagoya Castle in late March or early April and you’ll see an explosion of pink and purple taking place in the castle grounds. The cherry blossom season is one of the most exciting times to visit Japan, and Nagoya Castle is a popular viewing spot. Join the locals in a hanami party as you picnic beneath the blossoms. Tour the grounds and discover the deep moat, historic walls and turrets used to defend the castle.
From the grounds, admire the architecture of the seven-story castle before you make your way inside. Look for the giant golden dolphins, known as kinshachi, which adorn the corners of the roof and serve as a symbol of the castle.
Learn about the castle’s rich history in the castle museum. Find out about the role of the castle during its heyday, the families that lived there and the damage suffered in 1945. See photographs of the castle before it was bombed and learn about plans for further reconstruction.
Nagoya Castle is located in the downtown area, a 20-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. There is parking available for a fee in the lot at the main gate. The castle is open daily but closes between December 29 and January 1. There is an admission fee.