The main purpose of this trip was to visit Hirosaki Castle in Aomori. I was there once for the Cherry Blossom Festival in 1999 but I always wanted to go back and explore the castle the way it should be. The second goal to this trip was to see Shiwa Castle. The older castles like Shiwa Castle and Ne Castle are important steps in the evolution of Japanese castles. For this trip, I took an overnight bus to Hirosaki from Shinjuku on a Thursday. I saw three castles on Friday, 4 on Saturday and took the train back to Tokyo in the evening on Saturday.
- Hachinohe Castle
A fairly minor Edo Period castle, but it has an unusually large original munamon style gate.
- Hirosaki Castle
Splendid castle with many original buildings
- Kunohe Castle
A small castle ruin nestled in the mountains with a sad story about it's demise.
- Ne Castle
A 14th C. castle
- Sendai Castle
A famous Edo Period castle with a huge stone wall
- Shiwa Castle
The most well-reconstructed ancient (10th C.) castle with a huge gate, walls and yagura
- Taga Castle
Another famous josaku castle like Shiwa Castle