Nakamura Koen (Nakamura Park), Nagoya 中村公園
Nakamura Koen, (Nakamura Park) is a small park in the west of Nagoya, constructed in 1885 around Toyokuni Shrine which enshrines the spirit of Hideyoshi Toyotomi (1536-1598), who was believed to have been born on the site, and also the spirit of his loyal general and cousin Kato Kiyomasa.
Nakamura Koen Attractions
Nakamura Park was expanded in 1910 with the construction of the Nakamura Park Memorial Museum, a traditional wooden building done in the shoin-zukuri style. The building, a rare example of a surviving, wooden Meiji Period public building was visited by Crown Prince Yoshihito (the future Emperor Taisho) in the year of its construction. A pine tree was planted to commemorate the Crown Prince's visit and can still be seen.
Nakamura Park contains a lake, various statues showing Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa as young boys and an interesting relic of World War II days - a radio tower built to broadcast wartime news. Another such tower can also be found in Shiga Park, north of Nagoya Castle.
Nakamura Koen also contains the interesting Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa Memorial Museum on the second floor of the Nakamura Koen Culture Plaza.
The free museum, above the first floor library, contains armor, war helmets and personal effects of Hideyoshi and Kiyomasa as well as wall panels and videos explaining the history of the period.
Though most of the material is presented only in Japanese, the museum is still interesting for fans of Hideyoshi and Japanese samurai history.
On the eastern side of the park is Myogyo-ji Temple, thought to be the birthplace of Kato Kiyomasa (1561-1611), the master castle builder of Kumamoto Castle and Nagoya Castle, who had the temple reconstructed from wood left over from his work on Nagoya Castle.
To the north of Nakamura Park is a keirin cycling track (Nagoya Keirin Race Course), which draws crowds of mainly middle-aged men who come to gamble on the bicycle races, either live or screened from other tracks.
The Asahi drinks' vending machine in the park emits free wifi.
Access - how to get to Nakamura Koen in Nagoya
Nakamura Koen is located a short walk from Nakamura Koen Station on the Higashiyama Line of the Nagoya subway, four stops from Nagoya Station. Walk through the large torii gate and continue straight on for about 5 minutes