Kokura Castle, located on a plateau in the center of Kitakyushu City, is a famous historical site in japan. It is known for its association with the renowned samurai Miyamoto Musashi and its beautiful castle grounds. The castle park, known as Katsuyama Park, offers visitors a chance to explore the castle’s history, enjoy scenic views, and experience the nearby recreational facilities.
One of the main reasons Kokura Castle is popular among visitors is its connection to Miyamoto Musashi. Musashi was a legendary swordsman and philosopher who is considered one of the greatest swordsmen in Japanese history. He is known for his famous duel with his rival, Sasaki Kojiro, which took place on Ganryu Island. It is believed that Musashi stayed in Kokura Castle during his travels, adding to the castle’s historical significance.
The construction of Kokura Castle began in 1602 during the Edo period and took approximately seven years to complete. It was originally owned by the Ogasawara clan until it was destroyed during a war between the Kokura and Choshu clans in 1866. The current keep is a reconstruction of the original castle, designed with a more aesthetically appealing structure.
The castle grounds offer a serene and picturesque setting for visitors to explore. Surrounded by a moat on two sides and expansive grounds on the other two, the castle is situated within Katsuyama Park. The park is particularly beautiful during mid-spring when the cherry trees bloom, covering the grounds with a vibrant display of pink and white blossoms. In 1998, a Japanese garden and pond were added to the castle environs, providing a tranquil space for visitors to relax and enjoy the scenery.
One of the highlights of visiting Kokura Castle is the opportunity to ascend to the top floor of the keep and enjoy panoramic views of Kitakyushu City. From this vantage point, visitors can take in the sights of the cityscape and the surrounding natural beauty. The castle also houses exhibits that showcase the history of Kokura and its significance in Japanese culture. There is an interactive zone that allows visitors to experience samurai life during the Edo period, providing a unique and educational experience.
Adjacent to Kokura Castle is Riverwalk Kitakyushu, a large commercial complex that offers plenty of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The complex is situated along the scenic Murasaki River, which adds to its charm. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river and take in the serene views. Riverwalk Kitakyushu is also home to open-air cafes and spaces that provide a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the river views.
In terms of accessibility, Kokura Castle is conveniently located near Nishi-Kokura and Kokura stations, making it easily accessible by public transportation. Nishi-Kokura Station is a 10-minute walk from the castle, while the larger Kokura Station is a 15-minute walk away. Kokura Station is also a stop on the Sanyo Shinkansen, providing direct access to Fukuoka and Osaka.
In conclusion, Kokura Castle is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage. Its association with Miyamoto Musashi, its beautiful castle grounds, and its proximity to the scenic Murasaki River make it a popular attraction in Kitakyushu City. Whether you’re exploring the castle’s exhibits, enjoying the cherry blossoms in Katsuyama Park, or indulging in the shopping and dining options at Riverwalk Kitakyushu, a visit to Kokura Castle promises a memorable experience.
Address And Maps Location:
2-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka-ken