Check out Shizuoka's "Castle of Success."
Hamamatsu Castle is a small but picturesque reconstructed castle in Hamamatsu city, Shizuoka Prefecture. Once home to Tokugawa Ieyasu, who became the first shogun of the Edo period, it now houses a museum and observation deck. In the spring, it’s one of the most popular spots in the city for cherry blossom viewing.
Originally called Hikuma Castle, Hamamatsu Castle was renovated, expanded and renamed by Tokugawa Ieyasu during the 17 years he spent living there. The castle was home to many other influential figures after Ieyasu, earning it the name “The Castle of Success.”
Although the castle was destroyed during the Meiji Restoration, the existing castle tower was rebuilt in 1958. Inside are several exhibits and items on display from the Tokugawa period – including armor, swords and other relics – which are sure to appeal to those with an interest in Japanese history. There’s also a model reconstructing what Hamamatsu city might have looked like at that time.
For a great 360-degree of what the city looks like now, head up to the observation deck on the top floor. If the weather is clear, you’ll even be able to spot the iconic peak of Mount Fuji on the horizon.
The grounds around the castle are as much of an attraction as the building itself, with a Japanese garden, a teahouse and a large lawn area sometimes used to host live events. The castle park is also home to hundreds of cherry trees, and is particularly beautiful in the spring when the blossoms are in bloom.