For over 350 years, Nagoya Castle stood as the biggest, the best designed, the most gorgeous, and well preserved of all the castles in Japan, and rightly so it had been designated a National Treasure. The artworks within its splendid palace and the palace itself were of higher quality than its counterpart, the current National Treasure, Nijo Castle Palace in Kyoto.
The Emperor had used the castle as a summer residence between 1893 and 1930, and the Imperial military had established barracks within its confines. It was a landmark, the pride of Nagoya City.
One fateful night, May 14, 1945, just months before Japan capitulated to the allies in World War Two, American aerial firebombing reduced the castle, its turrets, gates, walls and its fabulous palaces to ashes.
SHACHIHOKO, THE GOLDEN DOLPHINS
Topped with two meter tall 18 Karat golden dolphin like shachi ornaments, Nagoya Castle
boasted the nations biggest keep. It has more karahafu, the triangular shaped roof features than any other Japanese castle, and interestingly featured two keeps, a smaller keep linked via a high walled, open topped walkway to the magnificent main keep.