Takeda Castle

japan‘s Machu Picchu is a castle floating in a sea of clouds

Japan is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. From ancient temples to majestic castles, the country is filled with architectural wonders that showcase its glorious past. One such castle that stands out among the rest is Takeda Castle, often referred to as the “castle in the sky” or the Machu Picchu of Japan.

Located in Asago City, in the center of Hyogo Prefecture, Takeda Castle is a sight to behold. Built in 1443 by Otagaki Mitsukage, the castle served as a fortress and a symbol of power during the feudal era. However, its glory days were short-lived, as it was abandoned shortly after the pivotal Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

The ruins of Takeda Castle were restored in the 1970s and ’80s, and they now stand magnificently at the top of a mountain. The castle’s stone ramparts have been well-maintained, giving visitors a glimpse into its former grandeur. Although the main buildings no longer exist, the castle ruins include the castle tower and several wings, allowing visitors to follow a one-way route through the site.

One of the most captivating features of Takeda Castle is its location. Situated on top of a mountain, the castle offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. On foggy mornings, the castle ruins appear to be floating in the sky when viewed from neighboring mountains. This phenomenon, known as unkai in Japanese, creates a surreal and ethereal atmosphere, reminiscent of the legendary city of Machu Picchu.

The unkai phenomenon occurs during the months of October and November, particularly around sunrise. However, it is a rare occurrence and happens only about once every three days. To witness this magical sight, visitors can head to the observation decks on Ritsuunkyo, the mountain opposite the castle. Although there is no public transport to Ritsuunkyo, there is a car park next to the trailhead, which is a 5-minute drive or a 45-minute walk from Takeda Station.

Aside from its stunning views, Takeda Castle also has a rich historical significance. It played a crucial role during the unification conquest of Japan in the late 16th century. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, a prominent warlord, conquered the castle and added it to his vast domain. Akamatsu Hirohide, the castle’s final lord, fought on the winning side in the Battle of Sekigahara but later committed ritual suicide after being accused of arson.

The castle’s association with such historical events adds to its allure and makes it a popular destination for history enthusiasts. Moreover, due to its remarkable location and architectural beauty, Takeda Castle has also served as a filming location for various movies.

To reach Takeda Castle, the closest station is Takeda Station, located at the base of the castle remains. From Himeji Station, visitors can take the JR Bantan Line to Takeda Station. From there, it is a 40-minute walk to the castle ruins or a 20-minute bus ride followed by a 20-minute walk. Additionally, there is a connection from Takeda Station to Kinosaki Onsen Station to the north, allowing visitors to explore other attractions in the area.

Near the base of the mountain, close to Takeda Station, there are a series of old temples associated with the castle. These temples were once the residences of the castle lord and his retainers and served as the first line of defense during times of war. However, after the castle was abandoned, the temples were relocated to their current location.

Apart from its historical and architectural significance, Takeda Castle also offers other attractions for visitors. The castle grounds provide ample space for leisurely walks and picnics, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere of the surroundings. The castle’s expansive grounds and well-preserved stone walls make it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts, who can capture the beauty of the castle from various angles.

In addition to the castle itself, visitors can also enjoy the stunning views of the castle grounds from the Ritsuunkyo viewing spots. The morning “sea of clouds” in October and November adds a touch of mystique to the already enchanting scenery.

Overall, Takeda Castle is a hidden gem in the heart of Japan. Its unique location, historical significance, and architectural beauty make it a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike. Whether it’s witnessing the castle floating in a sea of clouds or exploring its well-preserved ruins, Takeda Castle offers a truly unforgettable experience. So, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, don’t miss the opportunity to visit this majestic castle and immerse yourself in its rich history and captivating beauty.

Address And Maps Location:

169 Takeda, Wadayama-cho, Asago-shi, Hyogo-ken

Find Location And Direction On Google Maps

Subscribe, follow travelbloggerindonesia.com