Asuke Castle, Nagoya Castle, Okazaki Castle Profiles Renewed

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Asuke Castle, Nagoya Castle, Okazaki Castle Profiles Renewed

2020/07/25


Day 2 of our August 2019 castle getaway was spent in about 40' C weather in Nagoya. We started early with an early morning tour of parts of the Sannomaru on the way to the visit the palace. I had never been to this area before so the huge trenches and stonework remains were impressive. Especially the stone walls near the Prefectural Library had many kokuin to search out and photograph. On the Nagoya Castle page I added a new photo gallery for this walk around the Sannomaru. I also replaced or added about 20 photos to the Honmaru Palace album.

The last day of this Aichi castle getaway took me to Asuke Castle, one of the few accurately reconstructed mountaintop castles. It's well maintained and they were in the process of replacing some of the fencing and fixing up some of the buildings when we were there. The kind gentleman at the entrance also gave me some local maps to other castles in the area so you'll probably see me back there again some day.

Following Asuke Castle I dropped by Okazaki Castle on the way back to Tokyo. I wish had more time here ! The stone walls and huge moat around the honmaru are impressive indeed.


Asuke Castle / 足助城

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Asuke Castle is one of the rare faithfully reconstructed Sengoku Period mountaintop castles. The castle was really called Mayumiyama Castle but when it was built as a tourist spot it was named after the more well known Asuke Clan, whose main castle was really one mountain over at Iimoriyama. Iimoriyama is in the middle of Korankei, the famed autumn colors spot.

There are several ways to get at Asuke. From Nagoya, you may take a Ltd. Express at the Meitetsu Nagoya Station, on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line, bound for Toyohashi. Get off at Higashi-Okazaki Station, after a 30min ride (660yen). At the North Exit, at bus stop 4, take the bus n°8 bound for Asuke. After a 70min ride(800yen) get off at bus stop Korankei Ichinotaniguchi. From there it's 1.5 km to the castle. Another way to go back to is to take a bus at bus stop Korankei (in front of Asuke Hachiman shrine). It's also bus n°8, but of the Toyota-city bus company. It is bound for Toyota Welfare Hospital. After a 50min ride(500yen) get off at Josui Station. This station is on the Meitetsu Toyota Line. Get a ticket for Nagoya. At Akaike Station the line becomes the Nagoya Subway Tsurumai Line and you are back in Nagoya.

Asuke is very well known for it's momiji (red maples) in November. The Korankei is a valley with thousands of maple trees. During this period there are frequently traffic jams, which lengthens the time considerably with the bus. The Sanshu Asuke Yashiki is also located in the Korankei Valley. There are several old buildings used by different artisans : paper makers, weavers, etc. The Korankei valley seems to be a spot that is popular in summer too. There were many people playing around and in the river on a hot day.

Original Profile by Furinkazan (2017) - Notes and photos updated by Eric (2020).
Nagoya Castle / 名古屋城

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Had it not been destroyed by the bombing of World War 2, Nagoya Castle would likely be the most splendid castle in Japan today with both an original main keep and the honmaru palace. The palace was rebuilt (completed) in 2018 and is truly a modern National Treasure. Everything from the artwork to the woodwork has been faithfully reproduced using original materials and techniques, even the gold foil covering the trimmings. Currently there is debate about rebuilding the main keep and how it should be done. The palace is a must see for any castle fan or fan of traditional architecture, but don't miss out on the original yagura and the amazing stonework that can also be seen here. Nagoya Castle is even larger than you might think. The ruins around the Sannomaru Bailey area are also worthwhile visiting. There are vast trenches and a lot of stone wall remains. The photos show here are a collection from 3 or 4 distinct trips and I've still missed some areas I'd like to explore further.
Okazaki Castle / 岡崎城

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It was more than 20 years since I revisited this castle and I'm glad I finally did. I had seriously underestimated how great of a site it is based on only visiting the main keep and being unable to take any good pictures of it the first time I went. The stonework around this castle is amazing. This was a bit of a rushed trip after visiting Asuke Castle and on the way back to Tokyo, so I would actually like to visit again and spend more time exploring the castle and checking out the stone walls. There is the castle museum inside the main keep and then another Tokugawa museum on the site. I probably spent too much time in the first Tokugawa museum and had to cut short the rest of the castle exploring and the main keep museum. Plan for plenty of time when you visit or prioritize each area accordingly.
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