62.Wakayama Castle Part2

There are so many attractions you should check out in the castle.


From Main Gate to Nakagomon Gate Ruins

Today, Wakayama Castle site has been developed as Wakayama Castle Park by Wakayama City. It still includes the main portion of the original castle. It has five entrances same as the castle had, as the Main, Okaguchi, Oimawashi, former Akazuno, and former Fukiage Gates.

The map around the castle

If you want to see what the castle was like, it may be better to enter the Main Gate at the northeastern part of the park. The gate and the bridge in front it over the Inner Moat were restored in the present time. Once you enter the gate, you will see how large the castle grounds and moats are.

The Drawing of the Main Gate Area from the Illustrated collection of Famous Sites in Kii Province, from the signboard at the site
The Main Gate
A view from the inside of the Main Gate
The Inner Moat at the eastern side of the castle

You will go to the ruins of Nakagomon, the second gateway, which still have alternating stone walls. This is an interesting spot where you can see two types of the gate stone walls using roughly and precisely processed stones. In addition, you can see the old stone walls surrounding the hill using natural greenschists ahead. These walls were built in different periods.

The ruins of Nakagomon Gate
Looking down the alternated part from the top of the stone walls
The walls using granite porphyry stones on the left and the walls using sand stones on the right
The walls using natural Greenschist stones

Second and Western Enclosures

The Second Enclosure is the west of the Main Gate area. It has only a rock garden built in the present time, but it had the luxury Main Hall with turrets beside the Inner Moat. The Large Hall, part of the Main Hall, was moved to Osaka Castle and remained until 1947 when it was burned. Wakayama City is planning to restore the Large Hall at the original position with some turrets and the O-oku residence in a long term. The distant view of the Main Tower may be the best seen from the enclosure.

The map around the Second Enclosure

The inside of the Second Enclosure
The ruins of Monomi-Yagura Turret at the Second Enclosure
The Inner Moat at the northern side of the Second Enclosure
The Large Hall which was moved to Osaka Castle, quoted from the website of Wakayama City
A distant view of the Main Tower from the Second Enclosure

In the next Western Enclosure, the water garden, called Momijidani-teien or the Autumn Leave Valley Garden, was restored in the present time and designated as a National Scenic Beauty. the Passage Bridge between the Second and Western Enclosures was also restored in 2006. You can walk into the roofed and slanted bridge which is quite rare.

The Autumn Leave Valley Garden in the Western Enclosure
The Passage Bridge
The interior of the Passage Bridge

Remaining Okaguchi Gate

The area around the Okaguchi Gate at the southeastern part of the park is also great to visit. The gate building with the mud wall beside is one of the few remaining buildings of the castle and designated as an Important Cultural Property. It looks like a simple gate with a gabled roof, but it was sandwiched by turrets on both sides.

The map around the Okaguchi Gate

The Okaguchi Gate
The remaining mud walls
The top of the Okaguchi Gate
Part of the Drawing of the Okaguchi Gate Area from the Illustrated collection of Famous Sites in Kii Province, from the signboard at the site

Inside the gate, there is the second gateway similar to the Main Gate area. You can see a great and high stone wall base for Matsunomaru Turret on the left. Other stone walls form a square space called Masugata to prevent their enemies from attacking them. No buildings remain on them, however, these newer stone walls are also worth seeing.

The second gateway from the Okaguchi Gate
The stone wall base for Matsunomaru Turret
The square space seen from the top of the base

Going Main Enclosure and Main Tower climbing Slope

There are two routes to the Main Enclosure on the hill as the Front Slope and the Back Slope. The Front Slope is a gentler but longer route. The first part of it is wide and zigzagged, with beautiful paved Greenschist stones.

The map around the Main Enclosure

The Front Slope
The beautiful paved Greenschist stones

The last part is long, with old stone walls on the right hill side and several turret stone wall bases on the left valley side. Currently, visitors can enjoy a relaxing walk on that route, but at that time, the enemies would have found the route troubling as they could be counter-attacked.

The last part the Front Slope
A turret stone wall base on the valley side

The Back Slope is steeper but shorter. This route is also made and surrounded by old stone walls, but has a different taste with the mossy stones.

The Back Slope
The mossy stone walls

The top of the hill has two peaks, one was for another Main Hall, and the other is for the Main Tower. The Main Hall coexisted with that of the Second Enclosure, but it was not often used for its small size and inconvenient location. There is a water station now and it is a good view point of the Main Tower.

Going to the Main Enclosure from the Front Slope
The Main Hall Ruins of the Main Enclosure
A view of the Main Tower from the ruins

Most visitors’ destination is the Main Tower. It is actually a modern building, not original, but was apparently restored in 1958. Its stone wall base is original and thought that it is the oldest among the stone walls in the castle. A building like the Main Tower may have been built on it from the first stage.

A close view of the Main Tower
The stone wall base for the Main Tower

The style of the tower is called Renritsu-siki or the Tower Grouping, which refers to the Large and Small Main Towers and turrets being connected by Hall Turrets like a corridor. The interior of the tower is used as a historical museum and the top floor is used as the observation platform.

You can see the style of the Tower Grouping from the top floor
A storage box for tea ceremony utensils, one of the exhibitions in the tower
The top floor of the Large Main Tower as the observation platform
An eastern view including the Main Hall Ruins from the platform

To be continued in “Wakayama Castle Part3”
Back to “Wakayama 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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