If you like Japanese history, Nagoya Castle is a place you should not miss! I didn't expect much but ended up quite liking it. (If it weren't for Tokugawa Ieyasu, I probably would have skipped it just like I skipped the Osaka Castle... Sorry Toyotomi Hideyoshi... -.-|||) The castle itself has been remodeled into a museum. Each level has a different theme and all are interesting to me.
|This tower is also called Tatsumi Tower (tatusmi refers to the south-east). |
This tower survived the original castle.
The symbol of a hollyhock (crest of the Tokugawa family) can be seen on the ridge-end tiles.
|Random cat spotted at the souvenir shop.|
He is a cat of character.
The Hommaru Palace was regarded as the finest masterpiece of modern castle architecture in Japan and along with the Ninomaru Palace at Nijo Castle in Kyoto , which is designated as a National Treasure, was considered to be the preeminent example of samurai style Shoin palace architecture. Regrettably, the Hommaru Palace was destroyed by fire during the Second Word War. The City of Nagoya is currently promoting the restoration of the Hommaru Palace and aims to open a section of the entrance to the palace for public viewing in 2010, the 400th anniversary year of the founding of Nagoya , and to complete the reconstruction by 2018 (approx.). You can find out more about the restoration project on their official website.
At first, I thought all the Japanese castles look more or less the same. (From a glance, the Nagoya Castle looks very similar to the Osaka Castle to me...) The exhibit on the ground floor showed me how wrong I was. For instance, the Himeji castle and the Matsumoto castle. The distinguishing feature of the Nagoya Castle is the Kinshachi (金鯱), or the Golden Dolphins.
"Shachi are imaginary animals that are said to be able to summon water and have come to be used as charms for preventing fire. The Kinsahachi on top of Nagoya Castle show the power and money the Tokugawa family had. The gold on the statues is said to be the same as 1,940 Keicho-era gold oban (large coins)." --- from the Nagoya Castle pamphlet.
I have always loved models (lego > barbie)! The attention to detail of this model of the old Nagoya city is beyond words to me! I loved all the little details and applaud the person or team who made this!
I love the murals displayed here! (Not sure if this was a special exhibit...) Even though I can't understand the Japanese explanation, I can see how much attention to detail they paid to restore these murals.
|This one is by far my favorite!|
You can also get a glimpse of how the castle lord and his town people spends a typical day in the old days.
|It will be really cool if there were staff pretending to be town folks doing role playing with the tourists :P|
On the 5th floor, you can try pulling a rope tied to a stone for the Stone Wall and have your picture taken with a full-scale replica of the Golden Dolphin.
|The signature stamps are so cool!|
I wish I could have one designed for my personal use :P
...and finally, view from the observation deck! I wonder what it looks like from here in the old days... it's so strange to have such an old building surrounded by all the new buildings!