Field Snapshot: Yet Another Peek at the Honmaru Palace of Nagoya Castle, Japan (24 November 2016)

I’d been to Nagoya Castle a couple of times already, but there was something in particular that I was itching to come back for. And in any event, I’d gladly jump on any excuse to visit one of my favourite castles in Japan.

This one’s more of a filler post than a proper field report (hence the “Field Snapshot” designation), mainly because the long – no, wait, looooooong – 5-hour-plus train journey from distant Matsuyama ate up the entire morning and left me with just part of the afternoon for sightseeing. As to why I decided to shoot past Ōsaka (my next base) and spend one night in Nagoya before doubling back … well, my original plan was to visit Kōrankei the following day for some autumn colour hunting, and Nagoya was a better starting point for that journey. In the end, I cancelled the Kōrankei excursion in favour of Kyōto, but with my Nagoya hotel already booked, I decided to make the best of things and say hello to an old friend.

Now then, I shall spare the readership a lengthy discourse on the history, architecture, and cultural significance of Nagoya Castle (名古屋城, Nagoya-jō), nor will I offer much in the way of background information about the castle’s meticulously reconstructed Honmaru Palace. These older posts I wrote about the castle will suffice for an introduction.

For now, let’s just head into the Honmaru Palace itself…

…walk through the corridors whilst not paying much attention to the lavishly decorated halls on the right (you can see photographs of those rooms in this older post)…

…and move straight to the Taimenjo, a suite of private reception rooms used by the Lords of Owari Domain for meetings with their relatives and retainers. This section of the reconstructed Honmaru Palace was opened to the public last year; in fact, I visited it just days after its official unveiling (more pictures and commentary in this post). The thing is, whilst I was there last year, a television crew was on hand to document the beautifully recreated artwork and they were occupying a good vantage point. Even though that didn’t stop me from taking some decent pictures from the side corridors, I still wanted to observe the main audience chambers from where they were standing…

…and I finally managed to do so this time around.

I’ve already laid eyes on this particular corner, since it was located opposite the corridor I used last time…

…but if I’m not mistaken, this was my first time seeing the other corner (not readily visible from the place where I was standing before).

Ahh, sweet satisfaction.

Back outside, I swung round for a look at the palace’s rebuilt Kamidaidokoro, a special kitchen used for preparing meals when the shōgun happened to be visiting. The inside was still under wraps when I was last here, but it had already opened at the time of the present visit – as a gift shop.

Ah well. I had hoped for an accurate reconstruction of the kitchen’s interiors, and perhaps that’s still in the pipeline (much of the palace remains under construction, after all). Let’s wait and see.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without swinging by Nagoya Castle’s iconic tenshu

…which last I heard was due for demolition and eventual reconstruction in real wood (to replace the post-war reinforced concrete replica we see today). I’m not sure if the plans and timelines have changed at all, but I recall reading that the present tower will only be open until November this year, after which it will come down and the new, more faithful replica will go up by 2022.

And that’s it for the day. Well, not quite – there was time enough for a return visit to my beloved Tokugawa Art Museum (徳川美術館, Tokugawa Bijutsukan)

…a quick nighttime trip into downtown Nagoya, and then I finally called an end to the day.

All right, snapshot over. (^_^)


One response to “Field Snapshot: Yet Another Peek at the Honmaru Palace of Nagoya Castle, Japan (24 November 2016)

  1. Pingback: Field Report: Kiyomizu-dera, Kyōto, Japan (25 November 2016) | Within striking distance·

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