Region
Kansai
Island
Honshu
Largest City
Wakayama
Population
1,069,839

Wakayama Castle

A small town castle fit for a Shogun.

From its perch atop Mount Torafusu in the heart of Wakayama City, Wakayama Castle has stood sentinel over the city that bears its name for nearly 600 years. Its construction was ordered by the famous samurai general, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, so that this remote and wild province could be more effectively administered.

It briefly passed to the Asano Clan who made significant improvements before finally coming under the direct control of the Shogun who installed a branch of the Tokugawa Clan. These “Lords of Kishu” would hold the castle for the next 250 years and several of this family line went on to become Shogun themselves.

Like many city-based castles, Wakayama Castle is surrounded by some lovely gardens.

The current castle is a concrete reconstruction, having been destroyed by lightning in the 19th century and by bomb damage during World Wa rII. The three-floor keep occupies the western side of Mount Torafusu and contains an excellent museum with well-preserved exhibits including weapons, armor and many documents detailing the history of the castle. The top of the tower affords a splendid view over the city.

Gardens at Wakayama Castle

Like many city-based castles, Wakayama Castle is surrounded by some lovely gardens. In particular, the Momijidani-Teien is very beautiful, especially during fall, as one might expect with a name that translates as “Garden of the Valley of Maple Leaves.”

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The garden is quite small but it contains two ponds, one of which has a tiny tea house rising up out of the water. There is even a rare and unusual covered bridge called Ohashiroka which allowed the Lords of Kishu to reach the garden from the palace living quarters in privacy.

Wakayama Castle is an interesting reconstruction within lovely grounds that can be explored at a relaxed pace as it doesn’t attract the huge crowds that flock to more famous castles like Osaka, Himeji and Matsumoto.

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Trivia

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Things To Know

Hours and fees

Entrance to the castle museum costs ¥410 per adult and ¥200 for children, though children can enter for free on Saturdays. Opening hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and it is closed from Dec. 29 to 31.  of December.

How To Get There

Address

3 Ichibanchō, Wakayama-shi, Wakayama-ken 640-8146, Japan

By train

Take the Nankai Main Line from Nankai Namba station to Wakayama station. Alternatively, you can take the JR Wakayama Line which runs from Oji in Nara prefecture to JR Wakayama station. The JR Wakayama line also passes through Hashimoto station which makes the castle accessible to people traveling to/from Mount Koya.

From either the JR or Nankai station, you can take a short bus ride to the “Koen-mae” stop.

 

Where To Stay

Hotel Avalorm Kinokuni
  • Minatotoorichokita 2-1-2 Wakayama-Shi, Wakayama 640-8262
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.4 km
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Daiwa Roynet Hotel Wakayama
  • Nanaban-cho 26-1 Wakayama-Shi, Wakayama 640-8156
  • 8.5/10
  • 0.5 km
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Business Hotel Kawashima
  • Jusanbancho 20 Wakayama-Shi, Wakayama 640-8150
  • 7.2/10
  • 0.6 km
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Wakayama Daini Fuji Hotel
  • Minatokonya 1-20 Wakayama-Shi, Wakayama 640-8221
  • 7.1/10
  • 0.9 km
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