4.Hirosaki Castle Part2

The castle remains in nearly its original range.


From Outer Moat to Third Enclosure

Surprisingly, almost all the range of Hirosaki Castle remains as Hirosaki Park.

The aerial photo around the castle, it looks almost the same as the old illustration of the castle below.

Part of the illustration of Hirosaki Castle in Tsugaru District, in the Edo Period, exhibited by the National Archives of Japan

If you visit the park from the south such as Hirosaki Station, you will enter the Main Gate at the Third Enclosure surrounded by the earthen walls and the Outer Moat. You will also find huge amount of cherry trees planted on the earthen walls and can imagine beautiful cherry blossoms even if it is not spring.

Around the Outer Moat with cherry trees planted

The gate is one of the two remaining gate buildings at the enclosure. You may also find the gate turning to the other side not facing you. This is because other castles built in the same period as Hirosaki Castle usually have a gateway with two gate buildings. The first one is facing the visitors and the second one is turning to other the side. The two buildings form a square space with other walls to protect the castle, called “Masugata”. In the case of Hirosaki Castle, the first one was omitted, which has a very unique style.

The Main Gate of Hirosaki Castle
An example of the Masugata style from the restored Yamanote-mon Gate of Kofu Castle

There is an Information Center in the enclosure.

The Third Enclosure

Second Enclosure still has all its Gates and turrets

The aerial photo of around the Second Enclosure

You will walk inside, then see the Second Enclosure surrounded by the earthen walls and the Central Moat. It is also amazing that the two gates and three Three-Story Turrets of the enclosure all remain now. These turrets have cooper plate roof tiles, which make them look thin. The combination of the turrets and the earthen walls also look very good. There is an Information Center in the enclosure.

The entrance of the Second Enclosure
The remaining Second Enclosure South Gate
The remaining Second Enclosure Tatsumi Turret
The remaining Second Enclosure Hitsuji-saru Turret

Main Enclosure where Main Tower was once moved

The aerial photo around the Main Enclosure

You will soon reach the Main Enclosure with the remaining Main Tower inside the Inner Moat. In fact, the stone walls on the eastern side of the enclosure are being repaired (as of Sep 2021). This is because the surface of the stone walls are inflated that might collapse if there’s an earthquake.

The stone walls of the Main Enclosure which are being restored

For this reason, the Main Tower was once moved from the stone wall base at the southeast corner to the center of the enclosure. Therefore, you can see the Main Tower close by. The two sides of the tower that faces the outside are much decorated. On the other hand, the other sides facing the inner part are very simple. It might be for that the tower was at first built as a substitute, anyway it’s so interesting.

The present stone wall for the Main Tower without it
The sides of the Main Tower which are decorated
The sides of the Main Tower which are very simple

You can also see the large stone base for the first five-layer Main Tower at the southwest corner in the enclosure. If the weather is fine, you can see a great view of Iwaki-san Mountain from there.

The stone wall base for the first Main Tower
A view from the stone wall base
The view could be like this if the weather is fine (taken by u**m from photoAC)

To be continued in “Hirosaki Castle Part3”
Back to “Hirosaki Castle Part1”

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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