Nagoya Castle 名古屋城
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year 1612
Type Flatland
Condition Reconstructed
Alternate Name Kinshachi-jo
Reconstructed 1959 (concrete)
Structure 5 levels, 7 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site Special Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Southeast Corner Yagura, Southwest Corner Yagura, Omote Ninomon Gate, Ninomaru Ote Ninomon Gate, Former Ninomaru East Ninomon Gate, Northwest Corner Yagura
Location Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Map Google Map
Access Shiyakusho Station (subway Meijo Line)
Website Nagoya Castle Official Home Page
Visited July 1992, several times in 1995-1996, February 23, 2004
Notes Had it not been destroyed by the bombing of World War 2, Nagoya Castle may have been more splendid than Himeji Castle with its original main keep and lord's palace. They are currently rasining funds to rebuild the palace.

In 1610 Tokugawa Ieyasu ordered the construction of Nagoya-jo to solidify the Tokugawa authority in Owari (Nagoya and vicinity). The castle was completed in 1612 and Tokugawa's ninth son Yoshinao entered the castle in 1616 from which he governed over Owari.

Nagoya-jo is famous for the 2 golden shachihoko that adorn the top of its main keep. That is why it is also known as "Kinshachi-jo." Kin means "gold" and shachi refers to the killer whale type mythical creatures that sit atop the main keep and other castle structures.

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  • johnsonb on My Page    November 13, 2016 at 07:10 AM
    Visited 2007, 2008
  • suupaahiiroo    October 28, 2016 at 03:03 PM
    The wooden reconstruction of the main keep is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Nagoya's mayor said "it must be a wooden reconstruction, but we have to make compromises as well." He seems to be hinting that it might not be entirely fateful.
  • snoworion on My Page    September 20, 2016 at 05:09 PM
    Visited on 8 October 2015. A reconstructed castle that sits on very beautiful grounds. The history exhibited in the castle makes this a worthwhile visit.
  • RaymondW    July 31, 2016 at 03:07 PM
    It’s been five years since I last visited the Honmaru Palace at Nagoya Castle. At that time, only the skeletal wooden framework and parts of the roof for the Genkan (Entrance Hall) and Omote Shoin (Main Hall) were completed, and visitors had to wear a hardhat while viewing the reconstruction. Fast forward to July 2016, and I can see why another castle fan in his / her posting below, has highly re-rated Nagoya Castle. All of the first stage construction and about half of the second stage construction are open to the public. In other words, the Genkan, Omote Shoin and Taimenjo (Reception Hall) can now be seen by visitors. On entering the palace, you have to take off your shoes, and the numerous helpful staff will direct you to little shoe boxes where you can place your shoes as well as lockers for storing your bags / backpacks. All visitors are asked to place their backpacks in the lockers before proceeding into the palace proper. The lockers are free and will refund your 100yen deposit. The rooms and halls of the Honmaru Palace are intricately decorated, and it’s obvious that no expenses were spared in recreating this impressive palace. In the Genkan section of the palace the motif of the paintings on the walls are of tigers in a bamboo forest with a background of glittering gold. Moving onto the Omote Shoin part of the palace, and the walls and sliding doors are decorated with seasonal paintings of native flora and fauna, some panels featuring cherry blossoms, bonsai-like trimmed trees, and many different kinds of indigenous birds. In the Taimenjo part of the palace, stylized landscape and cityscape paintings of Kyoto and Wakayama portray scenes of temples, shrines, urban life, and there is even a painting of two sumo wrestlers in action. The Honmaru Palace uses mostly Japanese Cypress (Hinoki) in its construction. In some sections of the palace, you can definitely notice the distinctive smell of Hinoki. You are allowed to take photos, without using a flash, inside the palace. If you have been to the reconstructed Honmaru Palace at Kumamoto Castle or the extant Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle and were impressed with them, you should definitely go and see what has been done so far at the reconstructed Honmaru Palace at Nagoya Castle. The whole thing is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2018. I will definitely be re-visiting again to see the rest of the palace in its magnificent splendour.
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    July 10, 2016 at 04:27 PM
    Made it to Nagoya in 2007 then again in 2016. The new additions make it all the more impressive , I draw comparisons with Kumamoto now.
  • phibbyfan    June 28, 2016 at 09:10 PM
    Looks like there are now plans to rebuild Nagoya Castle's keep in wood:
  • DiegoDeManila    June 12, 2016 at 07:13 PM
    Visited a second time on 06 Jun 2016 ( Phase 2 of the Honmaru Palace had just opened a few days earlier - quite pleased with the results. Over at the on-site workshop for the rebuilding project, I also got the chance to see two of the intricately carved wooden screens destined for Phase 3, scheduled to open in 2018. Really looking forward to that now.
  • lidiamq on My Page    June 01, 2016 at 07:26 PM
    July 2015 we didn't like it very much.
  • hikarisailorcat    April 05, 2016 at 11:14 AM
    I went to this castle for the second time. They did a lot of construction around the castle rounds (and were still doing construction) since I went in 2012. Now you can go into another building as well as the castle. The entrance to the park is 500yen. I thought that was steep cause all I wanted to do was sit in the garden and watch the cherry blossoms and the castle, but that 500 yen included going inside the castle and other buildings around it, so it was worth it. The best place for the cherry blossoms was around the back of the castle. There was a nice area where you could sit on some rocks and look at the castle. I went in the evening and the castle was lit up. Very beautiful.
  • DiegoDeManila    October 22, 2014 at 09:05 PM
    Visited 13 Feb 2014 ( Work on rebuilding the Honmaru Palace is well into its second phase, with the first phase already open and welcoming visitors. It's quite breathtaking and I can't wait for the third and last phase to be completed (2018?), as it includes what may well be the grandest room in the whole complex ( Still, even what's available now is well worth seeing for any castle enthusiast. The main tower is the usual post-war concrete pile, though in terms of external appearance it looks quite faithful to the original. Quite decent museum inside the modern bowels of the tenshu.
  • furinkazan on My Page    May 02, 2014 at 08:10 PM
    I'm back in Japan for a new castle-tour. I arrived today and visited, for the second time, this castle. I wanted to visit the reconstruction of the goten(=palace) during the process. It is really worth to go. You may also see the construction from above of the 2 not yet completed parts. The second part is scheduled for 2016 and the last one for 2018. There are other parts of the castle being restored, but this shouldn't retain you of going. The Nogi storehouse and the northwest corner tower were open to public. Because it's the Golden Week, i thougt there'll be a lot of people, but nope, the grounds were really enjoyable. A last thing : when you buy a day-ticket for the subway or during the weekend a donichi eco-ticket, and you show it at the entrance, you get 100yen reduction.
  • Diego    July 18, 2013 at 09:53 PM
    Part of the reconstructed palace has now opened to the public:
  • augustus2163    December 31, 2012 at 01:34 PM
    I just returned from Nagoya on 20 DEC. The Hommaru reconstruction program is now in progress. Some structures were erected and there were some working places open to public that visitor can closely watch craftsmen working.
  • furinkazan    December 19, 2012 at 08:12 AM
    See here an article about the reconstruction of the honmaru goten :
  • Usagi    February 05, 2012 at 11:02 PM
    Revisited this castle on the weekend, last time was 7 years ago before I was really interested in the history of castles in Japan. I was impressed with the work that is being undertaken with the restoration of the Hommaru Palace. After viewing so many concrete reconstructions it is encouraging to see a traditional reconstruction. The detail in the workmanship not to mention the smell of the timber was fantastic. I hope I am still around to see the completion.
  • Eric    January 21, 2012 at 09:04 AM
    Hi Thomas. I did read that recently. As you say I can't imagine when it would ever be finished. I assume they'd have to tear down the old main keep for several years to build it too which could be unfortunate.
  • thomasV    January 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM
    Did you know that the mayor of Nagoya, Kawamura Takashi, put forward the plan to actually rebuilt the tenshu in wood? I really hope this will happen, altough the cost and time it would take to do that would be enormous, considering how long it's going to take for them to finish the honmaru palace.
  • Frank T. on My Page    October 16, 2011 at 08:20 PM
    The park is very nice, especially during hanami season, but it's popular and usually has plenty of visitors. Go on a weekday if you can.
  • Eric    April 26, 2011 at 10:58 PM
    Nagoya was initially targeted for its manufacturing facilities. Whether the castle was deliberately targeted for its military use or was a result of a spreading fire, the loss of this National Treasure was a tragedy.
  • John    April 21, 2011 at 03:20 AM
    The keep is rather squat lookibg and has always seemed a little over-gabled to me. Not that it isn't a beutiful castle of course, but the "concrete philosophy" of the 1960s detracts from the value of the castle. And oh yeah, did my countrymen bomb this castle deliberately, or did a firestorm spread from the city of Nagoya to the castle? Anyway because the imperial japanese army was using it as a base/prisoner of war camp, that kind of explains it. Doesn't justify destroying a cultural monument, but people (and castles) die in war.
  • Usagi on My Page    January 08, 2011 at 08:32 PM
    The castle was closed the day we visited, but easy access from Nagoya, a large and impressive structure.
  • RaymondW on My Page    October 09, 2010 at 09:57 AM
    A very impressive reconstructed castle with a great museum inside the keep. However, since the keep is not an original or rebuilt from wood, it gets excluded from getting five star in my book. Lots of ishigaki, moats, and one original corner turret left. When the reconstructed palace is finished in about ten years, then I will probably bump the ratings up to five stars.
  • Admin    April 05, 2010 at 09:19 AM
    Nagoya and Osaka are concrete museums so there is not much to see inside. You probably are not even allowed to take pictures. Most castles & museums in Japan won't let you take pictures. HEre are some interior pics for other castles you mentions. Himeji: Osaka (yagura): Kumamoto:
  • John    April 04, 2010 at 03:09 AM
    if anyone knows of a website that has pictures of the inside of the keep of nagoya castle,hemeiji castle, kumamoto castle or osaka castle, please write them down on this page
  • Julian (from Canada)    October 23, 2009 at 09:43 AM
    There is also a paper-doll museum (so well-done some things don't even look like paper until you get really close) on the grounds and a bug museum on the top floor of the castle. When I was coming out of the castle the first time I went there, I ran into a guy I played hockey with a couple of years earlier in Canada. Small world.
  • furinkazan    August 04, 2009 at 02:03 AM
    I went there in last april. The castle's museum and park is very interesting. I'm always disappointed when the castle is a concrete reconstruction. But this one is certainly worth a visit. There was an enclosure, obstructing a little the view of the tenshu from the honmaru. This enclosure is erected where the goten will be reconstructed.
  • alex    March 05, 2009 at 08:20 PM
    taht castle is the most beatiful other people need to go visit there
  • Anonymous    March 17, 2008 at 03:08 AM
    Nagoyajo is a nice castle to visit. Inside the reconstructed Tenshu is a good museum. It is interesting to note that Nagoyajo does in fact have an original Tenshu- the Northwest Yagura was moved here from Kiyosujo, where it served as that Shiro's tenshu.
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Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture
Nagoya Castle views
main donjon and smaller one main keep and yagura
Southwest Yagura Southeast Yagura
dry moat Ninomaru and East Ninomon gate.
Northwest Yagura Omote Ninomon Gate
outer moat and main keep outer moat and stone walls
walls and moat Ninomon gate
Ninomon gate inside Akazunomon (uzumimon)
uchibori moat Nagoya Castle Map
stone walls