About Wakayama Castle
Wakayama Castle is located on Torafu Mountain in the center of Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, and is therefore often called Torafu Castle. It was originally built in 1585 by Toyotomi Hidetada as a terraced castle, and is known as one of Japan’s three great castles, along with Matsuyama Castle and Himeji Castle, with the Kino River flowing through the northern part of the castle as a natural moat.
Since its construction, Wakayama Castle has had a glorious history as a feudal castle for the Toyotomi, Asano, Tokugawa and other famous warlords in Japanese history, but it has also undergone great changes through the years, recording several major changes in Japanese history. On July 9, 1945, Wakayama Castle was bombed by the U.S. Air Force and Tenmori was burned down. The entire castle was rebuilt in 1958 and is only a quarter of its size.
Today, Wakayama Park has been built around Wakayama Castle, and 1,300 cherry trees are planted in the park, turning the entire castle into a sea of cherry blossoms in spring. Various exhibits related to the Tokugawa family are displayed in the reconstructed Tensho, and the highest floor has an observation deck from which visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of Kikkawa and downtown Wakayama.
How to get there
(1)10 minutes from JR Wakayama Station (get off right in front of Wakayama Castle)
(2)5 min. from Nankai Wakayama-shi Station (get off at Wakayama-jo-mae bus stop)
(3)10 minutes from Nankai Wakayama-shi Station
The castle was bigger and larger than I had expected. There was a zoo next to it. I thought it would be a good walking course if I lived nearby, as there are many benches and places where you can enter for free. There was a long walk to the castle tower, but the stone walls along the way were magnificent, and the stones used and the way they were stacked were so varied that it was interesting to see where they were brought from and how they were stacked. It was interesting to see where the stones were brought from and how they were piled.
There were people dressed as ninja who guided us along the way and gave us recommendations for photo spots. At the top of the castle tower, we had a great view of the city. There were many documents on display.