4.Hirosaki Castle Part3

Park with beautiful cherry blossoms


There is one more remaining gate building at the North Enclosure, the northmost one in the castle. It had originally been the Main Gate before the route to the castle was changed. That’s why the gate is larger than other remaining gate buildings. If you visit all the remaining buildings in the castle, you can see how large the castle is.

The remaining North Gate of the North Enclosure

Later History

After the Meiji Restoration, Hirosaki Castle was abandoned and many residential buildings such as the Main Hall for the lord were demolished. However, The Main Tower, the turret and gate buildings fortunately remained, though some of them were accidentally burned. In 1895, the castle ruins were turned into Hirosaki Park. Since then, cherry trees have been planted little by little, and the number of them reached about 2,600 by now. The first cherry blossom viewing party was held as early as in 1918. Its 100th event was held in 2021.

The Main Tower of Hirosaki Castle with cherry blossoms

As for historical issues, the Main Tower, three Three-story Turrets and five gate buildings lastly remain and all designated as the Important Cultural Properties.

The Second Enclosure Ushitora Turret, one of the three Three-story Turrets
The Second Enclosure East Gate, one of the five gate buildings

My Impression

When I compared the old drawing of Hirosaki Castle in the Edo Period with the recent map of Horosaki Park, I was really surprised to see that they are very similar. I also felt like that the castle remains as it is when I visited the park because many castle buildings are still there.

The map around the castle

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

I hope that the repair of the stone walls will be completed and the Main Tower will go back to the original location soon. I also think we can enjoy the castle and park in all seasons – cherry blossoms in spring, the Neputa Festival in summer, autumn leaves in fall and snow in winter.

The Main Tower before the stone wall repairing
The Second Enclosure East Gate with autumn leaves (taken by まさあき from photoAC)

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car:
It is about 10 minutes away from Owani IC on the Tohoku Expressway.
There are several parking lots around the park.
By train, it is about 30 minutes away from Hirosaki Station on foot, or you can take the “100-yen Dotemachi Loop Bus” from the station and get off at the Shiyakusho-mae bus stop.
To get to Hirosaki Station from Tokyo: Take the Tohoku Shinkansen super express and transfer at Shin-Aomori Station to the Ohu Line.

Hirosaki Station

Links and References

Hirosaki Park, Hirosaki Castle

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