About Remains of Yonago Castle
Yonago Castle Ruins is located in Yonago City, Tottori Prefecture, in the Chugoku region of Japan, and is one of the most famous attractions in Yonago City. Especially in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, it becomes a sea of cherry blossoms and attracts a large number of tourists to visit the castle.
It is said that Yonago Castle was first built as a four-fold fortress by the warlord Yoshikawa Hiroya in 1591. Later, in 1601, Kazutada Nakamura, the lord of the castle of the Bokujikuni Kingdom, who came to Yonago from the Suruga Kingdom, built a five-story Tensho-kaku, which became the first castle in Sanin.
However, when the Nakamura family declined in 1632, Yonago Castle became an annex of the Ichigo (a position in the shogunate or clan in the Edo period of Japan, second only to the shogun and lord of the clan) of the Tottori clan, and was sold at a very low price in the early Meiji period and then dismantled. Although the present Yonago Castle is now a relic with only remnants of its ruins, visitors can still see its former prosperity in the remaining walls, and the surrounding area has been built as Minatoyama Park, which has been enjoyed by the public.
From the top of Minatoyama Park, which is 90 meters above sea level, visitors can see Yonago’s downtown area and the majestic Japan Sea to the north, the blue sea to the west, and the beautiful mountains to the east, offering a 360-degree panoramic view.
How to get there
20 minutes on foot from Yonago Station
We visited Tsuyama Castle and Yonago Castle Ruins on our favorite castle-hopping trip. The day before, we visited Tsuyama Castle, and on this day, we walked around the Yonago Castle Ruins early in the morning.
Although the castle we visited the day before did not have a castle tower, the entire castle ruins were well maintained as a sightseeing spot, although an entrance fee was required. However, the Yonago Castle Ruins are free to enter, and parking is also free, so I visited here expecting to see what I would normally consider “unmaintained castle ruins.
Since we stayed at a hotel very close to the Yonago Castle Ruins, we were able to use the “Yonago Castle Ruins San-no-maru Parking Lot,” a couple of minutes’ drive away, for free after checking out. I was told that this parking lot is considerably more convenient than the previous one, and indeed it is located just off the main road, with easy to understand directions, and dozens of cars were already parked there. And with the castle ruins, rather than a large castle, spread out before us, we climbed the castle with great anticipation, as it was a clear day. First of all, there was Uchizen-maru, so named because it was built by a former retainer named Uchizen. Unfortunately, there were no buildings left from those days, and it was more or less a large field with overgrown grass. We took a short rest there and then headed for the main castle.
As mentioned above, there were no buildings left from those days in the ruins of Yonago Castle, and we felt like we were simply climbing a mountain on the way to the castle. Of course, there is no castle tower, only the remains of a ring and foundation stones, but the 360-degree view and the foundation stones are enough to imagine the grandeur of the castle in those days.
The tower is said to be about 90 meters above sea level, and normally, it would have been surrounded by a fence to prevent people from falling down, but there was no such fence at all here, and the area immediately below was a precipitous precipice. We took our time to explore the ruins of the iron gate and the four-story turret on the way to the castle, and then left the ruins of Yonago Castle after stopping by the watchtower. The ruins of the castle tower, which is not well maintained but still magnificent, made us feel that the castle was once called the most famous castle in the San’in region. I would definitely like to visit it again if I have the chance!