78 Castle Visits
- Akashi Castle
Two days ago i went to this castle. The turrets are nice and indeed the walls are impressive. Sadly the weather was very bad, so i couldn't appreciate to the fullest the site. I think with beautiful weather i would have stayed longer in the parc, which is very nice for a stroll. I appreciated the pontoon they have built behind the wall. It gives you almost the position of a shooter over the wall(such devices were installed at some castles during sieges, that's why some of the firing holes are very low. The men below had to kneel for firing their weapons). It is very difficult to take a nice picture from the JR station. There are some electric cables hanging in between.
- Ako Castle
I visited this site today. It is a very nice place to be during sakura-time. The park is surrounded by a lot of ishigaki and they are still reconstructing some parts of it. It's easy accessible. From the south-exit of Banshu-Ako station it's straight ahead. There aren't alot of buildings, but they made some kind of elevated map in the honmaru, where the palace once stood. The Oishi-jinja, related to the 47 ronin, stands inside the ishigaki.
- Arato Castle
The location of this little yamashiro and the buildings reconstructed are very nice, but don't expect a castle like Himeji or Matsumoto.
- Aya Castle
This is a castle reconstruction like they all should be. Very nice little castle and some interesting artifacts. When i arrived at Miyazakistation yesterday i went to the informationdesk to buy the 'Visit Miyazaki Bus Card'. For 1000yen you can take buses in Miyazaki and to extended cities, like Aya. This card is only for foreigners living outside Japan. The lady at the desk was really helpfull. She told me to take a bus in front of the station, east-exit, at busstop 2. The number of the bus is 304 or 305, bound for Aya. But afterwards i saw that there are more buses passing on the Tachibanastreet, the station being scarcely deserved by these buses. I took a 304 at Tachibanadori 3 chome busstop and the bus stops in the center of Aya. The fee was 1030yen, so the card was really interesting. After that i took a taxi, because the rain fell alot this morning. The fee for the taxi is 560yen. There are taxi's just in front of the busterminal. If you are in the area, you should go to Ayajo.
- Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
I went today to this castle. Really a nice castle to go, even with bad weather, like i had. The castIe was surrounded by a cloud and from time to time i had to wait that the wind blowed a little bit to take a photo. I took a taxi up to the castle(1250yen). I didn't go to the ruins behind the castle, because the paths were too muddy and slippery. When i wanted to walk back, it was really heavily downpouring. I was actually fortune. A visitor(i saw 4 on the site) asked me where i was heading. He took me to the bukeyashiki, where i started a walk at the Old Orii residence to end at the Shorinji. The Orii home has very nice buildings with the one in the backyard having some arms and armors on display. This little town is a 'must go'.
- Bitchu Takamatsu Castle
I'm at home since monday evening. I'm still putting my photos and other stuff together from my journey in Japan. I visited this site after Kinojô. It is just 2 stations away. I intended to give this castle also to this site, damn Phibbyfan, lol. There is really not alot to see here, but i found the site interesting to visit. Actually there are 2 sites. The site of the castle and the site of the kawazugahana remnants. These are only 1km apart from each other and there are plenty of direction-signs (with english). On the site of the kawazugahana there are only explanations in japanese, but on the castle grounds there is 1 big panel with english translation. It is better to begin your visit with the kawazugahana. Just walk under the very big torii leading to the Saijo Inari shrine(you can't miss it). Turn right on the second little path to the site. From there follow the directions on the signs. You'll have to walk a little back to go to the castle remnants. It is interesting to note that the seppuku of Shimizu Munehara was the only condition for a truce between the Mori and Hashiba(later Toyotomi) Hideyoshi. Hashiba needed this truce, because he learned of the murder of Oda Nobunaga, his master, at Honnoji by Akechi Mitsuhide. He wanted to be the avenger and he did at the battle of Yamazaki. From this point Hashiba steadily grew in power to become the most prominent figure in Japan.
- Echizen Katsuyama Castle
- Echizen Ohno Castle
Yesterday i went to this castle. It's lookout is very nice. The castle(=certainly concrete(lol)) has some artifacts on display. The city is commemorating the 430 years of it. There are some artifacts in the exhibition hall, but eveything is in japanese. For that i give the castle only 2 stars.
- Fukuchiyama Castle
Today i visited this castle.It's a really nice reconstruction. The interior is a modern one with little artifacts on show, but with a very nice lookout. If you come/go from/to Kyoto, prepare to take a picture on the train. You will pass not that far from the castle and it's the unique chance to take a nice picture from afar. I discovered it too late and tried to make a photo on the train to Osaka. Sadly this line is further away from the castle.
- Fukui Castle
After Maruoka i had some time left for visiting Fukui.(my hotel is just next to the trainstation)Normally i don't visit castleruins, but i have to say that this one is interesting. There are some panels around the moat(in english too)telling the story of Fukui-city and -castle. In 2008 the Oroka-bridge was restored to celebrate the 400 years of Fukui-castle. It is a covered bridge and for this i give 2 stars.
- Fukuoka Castle
I arrived today in Japan and landed directly in Fukuoka. After visiting some temples and shrines i went to this site. Since it was raining this morning i took the subway to Asakasa-station. From there it is a small walk to the site. There are now very big excavations fo the diplomatic center Kôrokan of the Heian period. The first building entering the site of the castle is the information center. Don't miss it, they'll provide you with a map of the site in english. Look at the explanation-movie. You will see some 3d rendering of the castle. Go then to the Kôrokan where you can obtain the nihon 100 meijô-stamp. From there follow the route on the map. You will go to every interesting place and building. There are lots of information panels(with english). The buildings and ishigaki are interesting.
- Fukuyama Castle
I went to this castle after visiting Suigunjo on Innoshima(not present on this site, but i'll give the info to the webmaster when back home). So i came from Onnomichi and saw the castle from the train. Since i use a JR-pass i have access to the Shinkansen-tracks without further costs. I took some photos from the track to Osaka. You may slide the windows to take photos, but don't forget to close them back. The castle is very impressive from the outside as stated below. Nevertheless i went inside and the artifacts on show are certainly worth the 200 yen entrance fee. Sadly nothing is translated. For the 2 original buildings on the site i give 4 stars to this castle.
- Funai Castle
The site has several reconstructed towers and some ishigaki. There is no museum. The nihon 100 meijo stamp is at the entrance of the cultural hall, which is on the castle-grounds. There is a lovely park next to the tenshukakudai. Imo the most interesting building on this site is the roukabashi, which is the only structure where you can enter.
- Fushimi Castle
I went here after Shoryuji castle. I completely agree with Raymond. It is a very nice reconstruction. It should be a 1,5 star, but this is not possible, so i give it 2 stars. It is closed, but i don't even know if it opens for the public. Perhaps on special occasions.
- Gifu Castle
I hiked up to this castle today.(@Webmater: little hike lol)It's a pitty that the montain is covered with trees, it's impossible to make a lot of nice photos of the castle. The castle itself isn't that fine(concrete), but the artifacts are interesting. Don't miss the little museum, which is in the price of the castle(=200yen).
- Gujo Hachiman Castle
Yesterday i went to this castle. The castle(=concrete)is not that nice, but the location on the hill is splendid. The lookout is marvelous and there are alot of things to see in the little town.
- Hamamatsu Castle
I was a little disappointed by this castle. The location isn't very nice and the armors inside are replicas.
- Hikone Castle
This is really a must. The site is marvelous and the castle is very nice. There is not alot to see in the castle, but the structure alone is breathtaking. There are alot of structures where you can go inside. I paid 1000yen for the castle, museum and garden. If you want to see the castle alone it is 600yen. The museum has some artifacts related to the Sengokujidai, but most of it consists of tea-ceremony, noh-theatre and music instruments. The museum is actually a reconstruction of the goten, so you can feel how it was living in those buildings.
- Himeji Castle
- Hirado Castle
Nice castle to visit. They at least tried to put some colors resembling wood. You are able to take photos of everything. After the castle i visited some other places of interest in the city. One for samurai-history-fans is surely the Matsura historical museum. From there you can take a picture of almost all towers of the castle afar. Inside you may take pictures without flash. The artifacts are really wonderfull. They have a byoubu(=folding screen) of the battle of Nagashino, and some other battles. I first had planned to take the train from Sasebo-station, but i decided to use the bus. You have to take it at busstop 2 in front of the east-exit of Sasebo-station. You can take it to the busterminal at Hirado, but i went off at the Saiwai-bridge.(the fee is the same : 1300yen) from there it is easy to walk to the castle or anywhere in the city. The time with the bus is +/-1h30min. This is the same time from Sasebo-station to Tabirahirdoguchi-station. The fee for the train is 1190yen, but you still have to take a bus or walk to Hirado(=+/-4.5km) The way back is very easy, the end-stop of the bus is at the Sasebo-station.
- Hiroshima Castle
This is a beautiful castle from the outside, at least the reconstructed yagura of the ninomaru are in traditional materials and add alot to the prestige of this place. The museum in the tenshukaku is a decent one and worth a visit. I find it a bit less photogenic than Imabarijo, because of the tall buildings almost around the site.
- Hitoyoshi Castle
The weather was nice today, not like yesterday, and this made the visit to this site more interesting. It is a nice park to stroll around and the reconstructed buildings are well done. In the little museum you'll find the nihon 100 meijo stamp.
- Iga Ueno Castle
2 days ago i went to this castle. I liked it very much, with its great walls and the artifacts on show. Kids and adults can disguise in shinobi(this is the land of the ninja) and i saw alot of little ninjas wandering. I also visited the ninjahouse in the parc. Its a nice museum(with english explanations) and you can attend a ninjashow. They demonstrate the use of some ninja-weapons, but it's only in japanese. I walked to the castle and took the train back, because some of them have ninjas painted on them.
- Ikeda Castle
What can i add to the comment of RaymondW. There is a drawing in the tower showing how the castle really looked in the Sengoku-jidai. This is a lovely park to go.
- Imabari Castle
The site of this castle is very photogenic. You are able to take very nice pictures from almost every side of the castle, walking around the very large moat. 5 years ago they have rebuild some aditional yagura and the kuroganegomon in original materials. For this i give it 4 stars(the tenshukaku is in concrete, at least inside they tried to hide it with wooden planking). The collection of armors is very impressive. At the entrance they told me that they possess the 2nd most important number of armors that a castle in Japan has. I really recommend this castle when you're in the vicinity.
- Inuyama Castle
Went today to this castle as well as Komakijo. This one is really a must do. Very nice structures and location. If you are in the vicinity, visit this castle>
- Iwakuni Castle
Like RaymondW wrote about this castle, it deserves 3 stars because of the site, not for the castle in itself. The castle is nice from the outside but too dull in the inside. Some nice swords indeed, but only one armor. The view from it is very beautifull. You can buy a ticket at the entrance of the Kintaikyo-bridge for 930yen. It gives you access to the bridge, the use of the ropeway in both directions and the castlekeep. You receive a reduction of 100yen for the Kikkawa museum and for the museum of arts. I went to the Kikkawa museum, but there are almost only scrolls to be seen, There was only one armor and one daisho. For the 400yen, you still have to pay, i found it a little too much. The Mekata residence is interesting as is the Kikkojinja. There are also some white snakes for 100yen to see, next to the Mekata residence. I found them interesting.
- Iyo Matsuyama Castle
This is a wonderful site to visit : alot of ishigaki and original buildings. I used the ropeway up the hill(260yen) and walked down trough the ninomaru garden. At the castle i encountered an english speaking guide who proposed me to make the visit together. He was astonished by my knowledge about japanese castle. We walked almost 3 hours on the site. I have to say that the buildings are very nice. In the taikoyagura(drumturret) you may play on the drum and on the first floor of the tenshukaku you may put on a complete armor(all the parts are present, but a little bit weared off). When i arrived there 2 japanese men were adossing the armors(there are 2 actually). I noticed to 1 of them that he had put the dou(torso) in the wrong direction. The backplate was at his front. I own a replica armor at home, in metal, which i put on on some occasions like the Japan-Expo or the kodomohi in the japanese garden in Hasselt(Belgium). I saw that they didn't know how to put the kote on. I decided to put one of the armors on. Apart from the sode(shoulderprotcections) and sashimono(backflag) i don't need help to put on an armor. I was going faster than the guy next to me who was helped by 4 friends. It was really funny and they laughed alot because they had to look at a gaijin how to put on a japanese tousei gusoku. This castle for its buildings, ishigaki and outstanding views from it mertis at large its 5 stars. If you are visiting Shikoku, surely don't miss this one.
- Kagoshima Castle
Hmmm, ah yes, there isn't alot to see here. You have everything with the photos posted. The nihon 100 meijo stamp is at the information desk of the Reimeikan(=museum on the castlegrounds. At least the museum contained some interesting artifacts. Sometimes i'm puzzled how a castle made it to the nihon 100 meijo. This one probably for its history. I went also to the observatory on the Shiroyama. The view is outstanding and Sakurajima is a must see.
- Kakegawa Castle
- Kanazawa Castle
- Karatsu Castle
This castle merits it's 3.5 stars. Like RaymondW mentionned earlier there are works goning on. Actually they have removed some part of the ishigaki of the tenshudai. I asked a friendly english speaking staffmember when the works will end. They don't know, because during the repairs they have found some original walls. Some parts of the works are halted for studying the discoveries.
- Kawanoe Castle
After visiting Marugamejo, i went to this castle. It suffered alot in mine opinion due it's a concrete reconstruction and Marugame is an original. At least they tried to make it to ressemble a wooden construction, but not the staircase. The collection inside the tenshu is somewhat interesting. I actually paid nothing to access the tenshu. When i was entering the attendee told me that i had nothing to pay because i was a foreigner. There are 3 buildings on the site, namely: the tenshu, a yaguramon and a suzumeyagura. The park next to the castle was very nice with the sakura in full bloom. The site is very easy to access : exiting the JR-Kawanoe-station you will see a roofed street right before you. Take this street straight ahead untill a T-crossroads. Go left and then the first to the right and you are up to the castle.
- Kikuchi Castle
The site is a big one, with alot of strollingpaths all around, but there are only the four mentionned buildings to see. In the reception-building you will receive a leaflet in english and you can enjoy a little documentary about the history of the site.(there are english subtitles) You can take a bus bound for Kikuchi onsen(=spa, on the bus) from busstop 1, left at the east-exit of Kumamoto-station. The number on the bus is 北1 or 北3(=kita(=north) 1 or 3). I got off at the busterminal in Kikuchi center. The fee is 790yen. From there i took a taxi, but it i not that far(+/-3km) so i walked back to the busterminal. After the terminal the bus goes in the opposite direction of Kikuchicastle.
This is a very interesting site to visit. I did like the webmaster tells in the notes. They were very helpfull at the Information desk at the Okayama-station. I paid for the taxi-ride 1650yen. The entry to the site is free of fee, but for the effort of maintaining the site and reconstruction i bought the small book(500yen). Even if you don't read japanese, there are alot of interesting pictures and photos inside. There is another book(2000yen) with more indepth information, but too complicated for me. About the site itself: the reconstructed portions are very well done and this is really something different from other castles. I walked the full trail and indeed the view is marvelous. One advice : put your good walking-shoes on, some parts of the trail aren't that easy. I walked back to Hattori-station. The route is very simple : go straight ahead until you see the railroad, then turn to the left and you should see the station.
- Kishiwada Castle
I visited this castle today. It is a nice little castle. You can take pictures of it from around the outer and inner bailey, which i found really nice.
- Kitanosho Castle
After Fukuijo i visited this place(not far from each other). I really don't know what to say about this one. There is almost nothing left. Only the statue of Shibata Katsuie is nice. I give it 1 star because of the story behind this castle.
- Kitsuki Castle
The building is a simple concrete museum, but what did my day is that you are allowed to take pictures of everything inside, and there are some very interesting artifacts. The view from the tower is marvelous. When i arrived at the station i was lucky to encounter an old japanese tourist who was looking to get to the castle. When he saw he had to wait for a bus he adressed a taxi. He heard that i was looking to go to the castle and asked me to go with him. I agreed and he insisted to pay the full fee of the taxi. He spoke english and he was a great token in the castle and after that we went to the samurai residences in the vicinity. Kitsuki is known to have alot of bukeyashiki(=samurai-residences) and i confirm that the streets are interesting to visit.
- Kochi Castle
This is really a nice castle to visit. You have access to all the buildings in the honmaru and you may take photos of everything. The goten was in very good condition and it's nice to see one just next the tenshukaku. I gave it 4.5 stars because it can't compare to Himeji and Matsumoto, but i really recommend a visit to this castle.
- Kofu Castle
- Kokura Castle
Nothing to add to the comment of RaymondW, apart that i liked to stroll around in the streets of Kokura. There are alot of informationpanels on the streets with a map indicating where you are and the interesting spots surrounding the spot where you are. I arrived too early this morning and the infodesk at the station was still closed, but with the afore mentionned pannels you don't need any other map.
- Komaki Castle
After Inuyama, this castle was really disapointing. No possibility to make nice pictures, and not alot to see inside the castle. Nothing in English. Consolation : entryfee is 100yen. I wanted to see both sides of the Komaki\Nagakute Campaign, but i won't recommend visiting this castle.
- Komoro Castle
- Kumamoto Castle
This is really a fabulous caslte to visit. I spent the whole day at the site. I didn't had enough with 1 pair of eyes to look at everything. Nevertheless i give it only 4.5 stars because of that little, very little black spot that is the concrete tenshukaku.
- Marugame Castle
Did 2 castles today. This one and Kawanoejo. This castle is easy to access from the JR-Marugame-station. I walked around the outer bailey before entering. It's a vast terrain. When i passed the Ote Ichinomon gate i went to the information desk. I got a little leaflet and a double coupon. 1 coupon halves the price of the entrance to the tenshu (200yen->100yen) The other gives 30% off the entrance to Nakazu Banshoen(=garden) (1000yen->700yen). The way up to the tenshu is very steep. The sakura in the ninomaru were loosing their petals. There were still alot with flowers. This gave a nice pink blanket. The tenshu is very small, containing some artifacts. The museum in the outer bailey is free to go. It has not alot to show, but some of the kabuto i saw were really unusual. For ishigaki-lovers, this is a place to go, these are really impressive.
- Maruoka Castle
Today i went to this castle. Because of the beautiful weather i decided to walk from Maruoka-station(=+/4.5km). This is a neat castle to visit because it's Japan's oldest authentic keep. There is nothing displayed in the tenshu, but the structure alone is worth the visit. With the ticket for the castle you have access to the little museum beneath the keep. There are some realy interesting artifacts on display, like a piece of an uma-yoroi (=horse-armor).
- Matsue Castle
This castle is certainly deserving its 5 stars. Like the webmaster told in his notes the pictures of this castle don't make it justice. I didn't believed my eyes when i saw this very big keep and its interior. The artifacts on show on the 2nd floor are plenty and wonderful. I visited the bukeyashiki after it. You can take a leaflet at the information facility just outside the station whereupon are the facilities you get a percentage off the entrance-fee when you are a foreigner. Most of the time the price is halved, by others you get 30% off the fee.
- Matsumoto Castle
- Matsushiro Castle
- Nagahama Castle
This castle is beautiful and the artifacts on show are interesting. The view from the upper floor is amazing. You have a clear view on Biwa-lake.
- Nagoya Castle
- Nakamura Castle
- Nakatsu Castle
For a concrete reconstruction, it's a nice one. It's not too far from the station. There are alot of interesting artifacts on show and you're allowed to take pictures. One of the doors of the castle, outside the actual castle-grounds, is used as one of the entrances of a school. The ishigaki of the Otemon are still present, but engulfed by modern buildings. You see that the people of Nakatsu is pleased by the choice of the next Taiga dorama personnage, namely Kuroda Kanbei. You see flags and other stuff everywhere about it.
- Nijo Castle
- Obi Castle
Obi city is a nice place to visit. For 600yen you have access to 7 buildings in the area of the castle. When the lady who sold me the ticket asked me if i came with a train, i showed her my JR-Pass. She deduced 100yen from the fee, because i came with the train. The grounds of the castle are interesting and the museum on the castleground have very nice artifacts. The Matsu no maru contains a very nice reconstructed nobleman's residence. If you have time try to spend certainly half a day in this little city.
- Odawara Castle
- Ogaki Castle
Today i made a triple. Ogaki, Hikone and Nagahamacastles. I knew, using this site, that this castle was under repair. Still i went there because it was on my way to Hikone. The tenshu is completely under the scaffolds. I won7t give stars for now, but i think i'll give only 2, because the site and the artifacts on show aren't pleasing.
- Okayama Castle
I went back to this castle today. I think i appreciated it more now than the first time. It was my first concrete castle i visited inside and i learned alot about these reconstructions. There is now a special exibit going on for the springtime. There are some nice armors and weapons which aren't there normally. It is really worth the visit, so if you are in the vicinity, go for it.
- Osaka Castle
This is really a nice castle to visit, even if it's in concrete. The site is beautiful and the collection inside the castle is worth a visit. If you visit the city for 1 or 2 days i recommend to buy a 1 or 2 day unlimited pass at an information center. It give access to several buildings and the Osaka subway. If you visit the Museum of history you can take a nice view of the castle from the 10th or 9th floor.
- Ozu Castle
Went this morning to this castle. It's a nice reconstructed one. It's easy to access from the JR-station. Just turn right on the exit and follow the small green flower-shaped indication-panels. The castle is about 2km. When you leave the station and go for Uwajima, you are able to take a nice picture of the castle.
- Saga Castle
I give it 3 stars because of the wonderful information you get with the free audioguide and the panels around the palace. I was struck that the reconstruction is actually 80cm above the real site. In one section of the palace you can see the old base-stones. To protect these they have put some earth on them and then they have put new base-stones right above the old ones to build the new buildings. In the doors of the Shachinomon you can see some bulletholes from the fightings during the Boshin-war. This is really a nice site to visit. I recommend it.
- Sakasai Castle
- Shimabara Castle
I agree with the statements below. The parking lot annoyed me much. The museum contains some nice arrtifacts. At the entrance a ninja and a samurai where present. You may put on a kabuto(=helmet) and the upper part of a tosei gusoku(='modern' armor) for free. The price with this included is not too high, because sometimes you have to pay to put on an armor.
- Shoryuji Castle
Today i went to this castle. It's a nice little parc actually and there is a little exhibition on the second floor of the only building. These are objects found during the excavation works. I give it 2 stars because outside the castle they have put a panel, in english, explaining the importance of the city during the ages and a little history of the castle.
- Sunpu Castle
- Takamatsu Castle
I totally agree with the notes provided by Raymond. It is a very nice place to be. For info the building standing on the tenshu-ishigaki(photo 3 on this site) is completely gone. The works are going well and i hope to see in the future this castle again with it's tenshukaku. The tsukimiyagura and mizutegomon were build many years after the watariyagura. The seawater came to this last turret in the first configuration of the castle.
- Takashima Castle
- Tottori Castle
Normally i don't visit castlesites where there aren't buildings remaining or reconstructed, but since i was at Tottori to visit the Watanabe Art Museum, i did make a visit to this one. The weather was outstanding to go to the honmaru and so i did. The trail to the top is very small and steep, so Raymond you did well. I wouldn't have tried myself if it was raining. The ishigaki are nice and there are some portions still being reconstructed. The view from the honmaru is incredible. You even see the so famous sanddunes of Tottori. The museum i visited contains alot of armors and weapons, but also ceramics, statues and more everyday stuff, even from other countries.
- Tsutsujigasaki Palace
- Tsuyama Castle
I went today to this castle like i said some days earlier. Sadly it was raining this morning and like i thought the sakura were to their end. There were some still blooming. There are alot of maples too, so it must be nice during the momiji. Apart from trees, the ishigaki are very well preserved and the bitchu-yagura was so interesting. It's the first time i've seen a goten inside such a turret. Are there others known? One minus point is that nothing is translated. You can have a page of explanations in the turret in english, but that's it. I still give 2.5 stars because of the reconstructed turret. It gives you such a feeling that you could living there right on the spot!
- Ueda Castle
- Usuki Castle
I didn't expected alot of this site, but i was surprized to see alot of informationpanels around the site, even in english. It's a nice little park to go to and it isn't far from the station. There is another reconstructed tower, the Utonoguchi-mon-wakiyagura. This is at the other end of the castle-grounds than the other reconstructed towers. I'll send photos of it when i'll be back at home. This is a site to visit when you're in the area.
- Uwajima Castle
After Ozu-jo i visited this one in the afternoon. Being one of the originals it is an interesting keep to go for. It's easy accessible, even when it rains. You can walk a fair distance under the shopping arcades. At the information point in the station they'll gladly indicate you the way to go. The keep is very small compared to others, but the inside structure is worth the visit.
- Wakayama Castle
I visited this castle today and thereafter i went to Kishiwada. The grounds of this one are beautiful. You may visit the garden for free and this is really rewarding. Actually the outer walls of the tenshu are in renovation(scaffolds), which mean you cannot take the picture which appears when you look at this castle on this site. Still you can take some nice pictures from lower baileys because trees are hiding the scaffolds. The top of the tenshu is still visible. The collection in the castle is really worthfull, but the castle is a concrete one.
- Yamato Koriyama Castle
I got to this castle today. There is not a lot to see apart from the 2 yagura and the gate. The walls of the baileys are covered with brush and trees. I encountered a group making a film. They took a picture of me surrounded by a samurai and a shinobi. I would not go to this castle if i was not in Nara for 2 days(4min with the local train).
- Yatsushiro Castle
On my way back from Hitoyoshi i stopped here. It is on the same trainline and the site isn't that far from the station(2km). Ther are only the ishigaki left but the park inside and the Yatsushiro shrine are very beautiful. That said i wouldn't have gone to this site if it wasn't on my way.
I 'only' give 4.5 stars, because it's not really a castle. I arrived late at the site (3:15pm, it closes at 5pm from apr 1-may 31 and sep 1-mar 31, it closes at 6pm from jun 1-aug 31). I had to walk fast because it's so vast. I eventually managed to see the whole site. It is a very impressive site and the explanations are interesting. When i arrived the rain began to fall and i took refuge in the exhibition room. I recommend to visit this room. Inside are some artifacts and at the information desk i received an english 29pages book about the site. Since it was still raining when i decided to exit this building, the staff kindly gave me an umbrella. They told me that the nihon 100 meijo stamp was at the east-entrance (i actually forgot to ask it when i bought my ticket). I don't know if there is a stamp at the west-entrance. I was actually lucky because the rain stopped during the rest of my visit. At the southern enclosure i met an english speaking guide who gave me nice information, but she couldn't tell me why the palissade is on the outer side of the moat(very strange) She could tell me that during the excavations they have found some stakes on the outer side, but why this was so.....??? Perhaps there is an explanation in the book i received. If this had been a castle, i would've given it 5 stars. This site is really a must-go, but plan well, because you'll need time to visit it.
- Yuzuki Castle