Nagoya Castle, Osaka Castle, Nijo Castle

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New Photo Collections of Nagoya Castle, Osaka Castle, Nijo Castle


I'm very sorry that it's been so long since the last update to Jcastle. I have not been idle and have been making the best use of this castle visiting season. In the coming months, I'll have 30 castle visits to document, 17 of which are new castles to Jcastle and 22 are new for me personally. If you've been following along on Facebook, most of these have been posted there already, but there's also more to come.

Today's update is not actually about any of these trips but documents some special trips from the last 2 years.

First, I've made a technical update to Jcastle to allow for "photo collections" or "sub albums" of photos. I always have a hard time limiting the photos that I want to post to those that will fit on one page. Sometimes extra albums would be useful to subdivide photos and document something in more detail. Future sub-albums may include a collection of photos by season (snow, cherry blossoms, fall colors), night photos, castle interiors or castle towns.

You will find these collections listed after the main gallery as "More galleries and feature pages"

 Features screenshot.jpg

The first use of this new feature is to document the special limited time opening of structures at Osaka Castle, Nagoya Castle, and Nijo Castle. Over the last 2-3 years we've seen a growing trend for castles to open up, for a limited time, castle structures that are typically closed to the public. These are usually closed because they simply don't have the staff to guard and maintain them every day and the need to prevent further damage or limit the number of visitors at one time for structural reasons.

Along with each of the new collections listed below, most of the photos for each castle have also been renewed.

Osaka Castle (2017) - it's becoming an annual tradition to open these buildings in the summer

Nijo Castle (2017) - these 2 structures were open for a limited time to commemorate the restoration work that was completed on the Otemon Gate in 2017.

Nagoya Castle (2018) - the palace is always open but the three yagura below were open for a limited time in the summer after the palace was finished in 2018.

Nagoya Castle / 名古屋城


Had it not been destroyed by the bombing of World War 2, Nagoya Castle would likely be the most splendid castle in Japan today with both an original main keep and the honmaru palace. The palace was rebuilt (completed) in 2018 and is truly a modern National Treasure. Everything from the artwork to the woodwork has been faithfully reproduced using original materials and techniques, even the gold foil covering the trimmings. Currently there is debate about rebuilding the main keep and how it should be done. The palace is a must see for any castle fan or fan of traditional architecture, but don't miss out on the original yagura and the amazing stonework that can also be seen here.
Nijo Castle / 二条城


Nijo Castle is a popular site for visitors to Kyoto but most don't realize that the palace was not the castle. They skip all the other artifacts and go straight to the ornate Karamon and then the palace. The entire compound along with the main keep (that no longer exists) would have been the castle. All those old gates and other buildings are important historical relics too. Nijo Castle provides something a little different If you get tired of visiting all the temples in town. Be sure to pay attention to the many original gates, storehouses, walls, turrets and other structures that also make this a magnificent castle ruin and must see for any castle fans.
Osaka Castle / 大阪城


This is a great castle to visit. Unfortunately, some people go straight to the main keep, see the museum and go away disappointed with the elevator and concrete. For some trips I haven't even gone in the museum. The basic layout of the castle is nearly in tact. There are several original gates and yagura and the stone walls are simply amazing. Take your time to enjoy everything Osaka Castle has to offer.
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