Castle best 3+1Visit your favorite castle in vain

I'm Naoko Kurimoto, a japan travel samurai who writes content about historical events. I love history and shrines, and have visited many castles during my travels around Japan. This time, I would like to introduce four of my favorite castles based on my own opinion and bias!

① Collaboration with cherry blossoms is the best!! Tsuruga Castle (Wakamatsu Castle)

Tsuruga Castle (Wakamatsu Castle) in Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture is a castle that I want to visit every year during the cherry blossom season. The first time I visited Tsuruga Castle was in spring, when the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. When I saw the white castle rising among the cherry blossoms, I remember being moved by how beautiful it was.

The origin of Tsuruga Castle is said to be the Higashi Kurokawa mansion built by Naomori Ashina in 1384, and later built by Ujisato Gamo in 1593, said to be the first one in eastern Japan. He built a full-fledged castle tower and named it Tsuruga Castle.

The current castle tower was built in 1965, and the interior is now a museum. In fact, renovations are currently underway inside Tsuruga Castle. The 4th and 5th floors have been pre-released since April 1st, and the grand opening will be on April 28th. It seems that the exhibition has been revamped by making full use of digital technology, and I'm curious to see how it has evolved.

The fifth floor of the castle is an observation deck, and the view from here is spectacular! During the cherry blossom season, the area below is dyed in cherry blossom color. The collaboration of red tiles and cherry blossoms that can only be seen in this castle tower is amazing♪

② Fall in love with the stone walls ♪ Kumamoto Castle awaits reconstruction

I think there are many people who like castles, but I like stone walls! Honestly, though, I don't know much about the stacking methods or types of stones. I like the light type of stone walls, where stones are piled up and lined up in rows, and I'm drawn to the sight of them going on and on. Kumamoto Castle is definitely recommended for those who love stone walls. Completed in 1607 by Kato Kiyomasa, the famous castle's exquisitely angled stone walls are packed with attractions.

Kumamoto Castle suffered major damage in the Kumamoto earthquake in April 2016. A year later, I visited Kumamoto for work, and the scars from the earthquake were still large, and I still can't forget the sight of the castle tower and collapsed stone walls.

However, the castle tower will be revived in April 2021! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to see it yet, but I'm looking forward to the day I can come back and watch the sunset from the castle tower again. The restoration work is expected to continue until 2052. This is because we are carefully restoring the area while conducting research and research, and I can't wait for it to be completed.

③ Okayama Castle with its beautiful contrast of gold and black (Okayama City, Okayama Prefecture)

Okayama Castle was built by Naoie Ukita and his son Hideie, and the castle tower was completed by Hideie in 1597. It is also called ``Ujo'' because of its black exterior, and ``Kinujo'' because of the use of gold-leaf tiles.The castle has a cool contrast between gold and black.

In fact, Okayama Castle is the most memorable castle that made me realize for the first time that there was even a black castle! I was shocked because I had thought that castles were white until then...

At Okayama Castle, you can actually eat parfait on the first floor of the recreated castle tower! This is an attempt unique to the fruit kingdom of Okayama. Okayama Castle will undergo renovation work from June 2021 to November 2022. At that time, the former "Oshiro Chaya" was relocated, but after the reopening, "Ujo Cafe" opened. Here you can eat ``Castle Parfait,'' which has a castle-shaped monaka on top.

Additionally, due to renovations at Okayama Castle, the exhibits at the castle have changed. I would like to visit again to see the exhibition supervised by historian Michifumi Isoda.

④ If you want to experience the unique charm of castle ruins, go to Hagi Castle (Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)

The last place we will introduce is Hagi Castle in Hagi City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. The castle was built by Terumoto Mori and was selected as one of the 100 famous castles, but it was destroyed in 1874 due to the Castle Abolition Order. Since all that remains is a so-called "castle site" with only stone walls and water moats, we have introduced it as an extra edition.

However, the beauty of the castle ruins and remaining stone walls is worth seeing. The combination of the moat, Mt. Shigetsu, and the stone walls covered in greenery in places is a spectacular sight. This is a castle ruins that anyone who loves stone walls should definitely visit. It is also recommended that there are fewer people than other castles. Sitting on the stone wall and thinking about history while relaxing and looking at the moat is very soothing.

Above, I have introduced the four castles based on my own opinion and bias. If you are interested, please visit and feel the atmosphere of the castle.

Article category
my favorite castle
Related castles

Tsuruga Castle

Kumamoto Castle

Okayama Castle

Hagi castle ruins

introducerNaoko Kurimoto (writer)I am a former travel industry magazine reporter. I have loved history, both Japanese and world history, since I was a child. I usually enjoy visiting temples and shrines, especially shrines, and often do ``pilgrimages to sacred places'' themed around historical figures. My favorite military commander is Ishida Mitsunari, my favorite castle is Kumamoto Castle, and my favorite castle ruins is Hagi Castle. My heart flutters when I see the ruins of battle castles and the stone walls of castle ruins.
Japanese Castle Photo Contest.03