25.Kofu Castle Part3

Castle ruins which should be more popular


Other Attractions outside Castle ruins

Two restored gates called Uchimatsukage-mon Gate and Kaji-kuruwa-mon Gate are open to the public road at the western foot of the hill. they look like the entrances of the castle, but they were the gates between other enclosures, which means the castle was so large in the past.

The map around the castle

The restored Uchimatsukage-mon Gate
The restored Kaji-kuruwa-mon Gate
The miniature model of the main portion of Kofu Castle, adding the location of the two gates (an exhibition in the Inari Turret)

Finally, I recommend walking outside the eastern side of the hill to have a better look of the high stone walls. The walls are 17m high which are one of the highest ones in eastern Japan. The method of piling the stones is called Nozura-zumi using natural stones, so they look very natural. The method became popular when the castle was built. You can see them close by from the road alongside them which was part of the Inner Moat.

The high stone walls at the eastern side
The stone walls are 17m high
The present route goes alongside the stone walls

Later History

After the Meiji Restoration, Kofu Castle was abandoned and all the buildings of the castle were demolished. The ruins were turned into the industrial experimental station such as for silk making and brewing. After that, the ruins partly became a park, but the rest was turned into the city area. They were first designated as a Prefectural Historic Site in 1968. Yamanashi Prefecture has been developing the park investigating the ruins and restoring the castle buildings. They were finally designated as a National Historic Site in 2019.

A picture of the castle ruins about 100 years ago (licensed by 江戸村のとくぞう via Wikimedia Commons)
Part of the castle ruins were turned into the Yamanashi prefectural office
The tower in this picture is the Shaon-to Tower built in 1922

My Impression

I think Kofu Castle may not be so popular for its potential. It could be because people usually think Kofu City is a legacy of the Takeda Clan. Kofu Castle was built after Takeda. However, if you visit and learn about the castle, you will find that the city was clearly developed based on the castle. The restored castle buildings look good, and the remaining stone walls are particularly great. The stone walls look rough, but are piled wisely. We can enjoy seeing the contrast everywhere in the castle.

The stone walls of Kofu Castle (in the central part)
The stone walls of Kofu Castle (in the eastern part)
The Main Enclosure that can be seen from the base for a Main Tower

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car:
It is about 15 minutes away from Kofu-Showa IC or Kofu-Minami IC on the Chuo Expressway.
There are several parking lots around Kofu Station.
By train, it is very close to Kofu Station.
To get to Kofu Station from Tokyo: Take the limited express Azusa or Kaiji at Shinjuku Station, and get off at Kofu Station. It takes about 1 hour and a half.

Kofu Station that can be seen from the base for a Main Tower
The limited express Azusa (licensed by MaedaAkihiko via Wikimedia Commons)

Links and References

Kofu Castle, Kofu City

That’s all. Thank you.
Back to “Kofu Castle Part1”
Back to “Kofu Castle Part2”

投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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