Kakegawa: An Atmospheric Castle and Post Town on the Old Tokaido Road

Kakegawa is a historic town located in Shizuoka Prefecture, japan. Situated between Tokyo and Nagoya, it serves as a great stopping point for travelers interested in Japanese culture and history. With its atmospheric castle, post town heritage, and numerous attractions, Kakegawa offers a fascinating insight into the rich history of Japan.

Castle Town
The focal point of Kakegawa is its castle, which is located just a 15-minute walk north of Kakegawa Station. Built in the 1470s by Asahina Yasuhiro, the castle played a significant role during the Warring States period. It changed hands multiple times until peace was established under the Tokugawa Shogunate. Afterward, Kakegawa became a post town on the Tokaido Road, an important trade route connecting the new capital in Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. This historical significance is evident in the town’s architecture and cultural heritage.

Restoration with Traditional Materials
During the Meiji Restoration, many of Japan’s castles were dismantled in an effort to modernize the country. Unfortunately, Kakegawa Castle also faced this fate. However, in 1994, it was rebuilt using traditional materials, setting it apart from other reconstructions that utilized ferro-concrete. Today, the castle stands as a symbol of the Edo period, displaying military hardware and historical documents. The one-story palace has also been restored, offering visitors a glimpse into the daily life of a castle during that era.

Experience Edo Era Chic
Within the castle grounds, visitors can find the Ninomaru Tea House, a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the famous Shizuoka tea. The tea house is surrounded by a serene garden, providing a tranquil atmosphere. Adjacent to the tea house is the Ninomaru Museum of Art, which showcases fine examples of Japanese arts and crafts. The museum also serves as a platform for local artists and artisans to exhibit their work. Additionally, in front of the castle, visitors have the opportunity to rent armor and imitation weapons for unique period photographs.

Ruined Castles Linked by Conflict
Apart from Kakegawa Castle, the area is also home to the ruins of two other castles. Takatenjin Castle is nestled within an atmospheric forest of cedar and cypress trees, creating a picturesque setting. On a nearby hilltop, Yokosuka Castle overlooks Takatenjin Castle. Interestingly, Yokosuka Castle was constructed to serve as a base for besieging Takatenjin Castle when it was seized by a rival clan. These ruined castles provide a glimpse into the conflicts that shaped the region’s history.

More Attractions Worth Visiting
Kakegawa offers more than just its castle and ruins. Shimizu Garden, one of Shizuoka’s most beautiful gardens, is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. The garden features carefully manicured landscapes and vibrant seasonal flowers. Another popular attraction is Honjin Street, where visitors can explore a self-contained village lined with food stalls and shops selling local crafts. This street provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the local culture and culinary delights. Additionally, Nissaka-shuku is worth a visit for its well-preserved Edo period building, the only one remaining from the 53rd stop on the Tokaido Road. History buffs can delve into the life and achievements of Yayoi Yoshioka at the Yayoi Yoshioka Memorial Museum. Lastly, Matsumoto Kamejiro Park commemorates a local man who moved to China and taught prominent figures, including Zhou Enlai, one of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.

Kakegawa is a town that beautifully preserves its historical heritage. From the atmospheric castle to the post town remnants, visitors can immerse themselves in the rich history of Japan. Whether it’s exploring the reconstructed castle with its traditional materials or indulging in a cup of tea at the Ninomaru Tea House, Kakegawa offers a unique experience for those interested in Japanese culture and history. The ruined castles and other attractions in the area provide further insights into the conflicts and achievements that shaped the region. So, when traveling between Tokyo and Nagoya, make sure to stop by Kakegawa and explore its fascinating historical treasures.

Address And Maps Location:

Kakegawa-shi, Shizuoka-ken

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