Hizen Nagoya Castle

From Jcastle.info



After completing the unification of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi set his sights on the Korean Peninsula. He built Nagoya Castle on one of the nearest possible points to Korea from which to launch troops. Nagoya was a large castle with a five story main keep. Lords from all over Kyushu, including Kato Kiyomasa, were charged with it's construction and amazingly completed most of the major sections in only seven months. Outside the castle were also many bases of other lords from throughout Japan who gathered to participate in these campaigns. After Hideyoshi's death, the castle was dismantled and parts were used to build Karatsu Castle. The Otemon Gate was also moved to Date Masamune's Sendai Castle.

Visit Notes

Thanks to <a href="http://www.japanese-castle-explorer.com/">Japanese Castle Explorer</a> for the pictures. I didn't know much about this site until then but now I'm really interested to go one day. The ruins look amazing and there are some nice ocean views.


Castle Profile
English Name Hizen Nagoya Castle
Japanese Name 肥前名護屋城
Founder Toyotomi Hidyoshi
Year Founded 1592
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Karatsu Sta., Showa Bus 40 mins
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.pref.saga.lg.jp/web/nagoya.html
Location Karatsu, Saga Prefecture
Coordinates 33° 31' 48.79" N, 129° 52' 9.62" E
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Added to Jcastle 2011
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Admin Visits Viewer Donated

(7 votes)
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150 months ago
Score 0++
This was the second biggest castle built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It is only second to the original black Osaka Castle built by Hideyoshi. Unfortunately, this was a fairly short-lived castle, and was demolished by Tokugawa Ieyasu after he came into power. Karatsu Castle, completed in 1608, was built with some of the materials taken from this castle. Hizen Nagoya Castle was massive with six gates, and it covered 170,000 square metres. I spent about 2 hours walking around parts of this castle ruin, and I could not cover all the historical baileys on site in that time (missed the Daidokoro Bailey and the Yamazato Upper and Lower Baileys.) There is plenty of ishigaki left for the castle fans, and the layout of baileys can clearly be seen. Careful restoration work and archaeological surveys are ongoing. The local authorities have restored some of the stone walls, but mainly in a way that prevents further deterioration of the walls without making them look brand new and losing the ruins atmosphere at the site. At the time when Hideyoshi launched his two invasions of Korea (1592 to 1598) from this point, there were over 110 encampments belonging to the various daimyos involved in the invasion dotted around the peninsular where this castle was built. Entry to the castle site is free, and so is the Saga Prefectural Nagoya Castle Museum. The museum has a lot of artifacts and models related to the castle, but it is geared mainly towards Japanese and Korean speakers with bilingual signs in Japanese and Korean. An English brochure of the museum is available. Unfortunately, I really had to rush the museum visit because the last bus back to Karatsu left at 3:48pm. Access by public transport is very limited and inconvenient. There are only several buses that go to the castle site from the Karatsu Bus Centre, costing 840yen one way. Most of the buses tend to run at far as Yobuko(呼子) only, which is about 4-5km short of the castle site. Hizen Nagoya Castle is better visited by using your own transport if you want to have more time and a flexible schedule to do the whole castle site. For Hideyoshi and ishigaki fans, this is likely to be a fun three-star site for you. For castle fans who like to see more structures, then this site would probably not rate any higher than two stars. This is one castle that I will definitely re-visit if I’m back in northern Kyushu.