Nagoya Slideshow part 4 – Nagoya Castle

This was our one really touristy outing – we really only had one day to ourselves. I have had various pictures of Nagoya Castle as my desktop for months so it was magical to be able to be there in person and take my own!

The original castle was a small castle built in 1525 but was only occupied briefly. In 1610 Tokogawa Ieyasu (the first Shogun of the Tokogawa shogunate) had a larger castle built on the site. Tragically, the old castle was destroyed by American bombs and the resulting fire on May 14, 1945 (it was targeted as a district army headquarters and POW camp.) The building we see now is a replica of the donjon (the keep) only which was built in the 1950s – the palace itself has not been rebuilt though there are plans for it.


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The Entrance proper, to the right of the ticket booth (above)

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As you enter, the castle peeks at you over the trees, ah wonderful, blessed, green trees …

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As I mentioned in an earlier post, the castle is surrounded by an impressive moat which is actually what cuts through the city looking like a river from Google Maps …
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But right up at the base of the castle the moat is currently dry and a haven for other inhabitants…

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The path around the castle takes you around the moat and gives some magnificent views…

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(BTW above on the right is Superman and in the middle is his colleague, Duc, who is also transferring with the project. )

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At last we come to a small entrance across the moat of this fort…

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The forecourt is now rather like a school quadrangle with a few ranger cars and some benches and tables in front of a cafe – I’d love to know what this area would have been filled with when this castle was the hub of life in the early Edo period. This is the ramp up into the castle.

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No photography is allowed inside but there wasn’t much I’d have taken anyway. There is no sense of what it would have been like to live in the castle, the first 6 floors have simply been made into museum rooms – the displays are lovely but, again because of destruction, many of the displays are "examples" either from other areas or complete reconstructions from modern times.

The 7th story of the castle has been turned into a viewing room with windows all round (and a shop full of touristy bits and pieces including Disney in Nagoya things – very odd.) From this vantage point you can see how vast and sprawling is the city we will soon be calling home and why the lush and beautiful gardens are a haven from the concrete city surrounding it.

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All over the gardens and castle there were signs first in Japanese then with white English translations beneath – except for this ancient little hut opposite the castle, just over the internal moat. The sign you see is Japanese only and I so wish I could find out what this little thing is but I could find noone to ask. If anyone knows an answer to my little mystery, please email me and I will post when I find out.

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