Tour the fortress and grounds that were home to a shogun
Sunpu Castle Park is a historical site located in Shizuoka City, japan. It is a popular tourist attraction that offers visitors the opportunity to explore the fortress and grounds that were once home to Tokugawa Ieyasu, a powerful shogun who played a significant role in Japanese history. Although most of the original castle and buildings have been destroyed, the area and castle recreations are still an excellent place for an afternoon with friends.
How to Get There
Getting to Sunpu Castle Park is relatively easy. Visitors can reach the park by train, followed by a short taxi or foot journey. The castle and park are just a 15-minute walk away from JR Shizuoka Station, making it easily accessible for those arriving by train. Additionally, it is only a 12-minute walk from Shin-Shizuoka Station on the Shizutetsu Line. For those in a hurry, taxis are available as an alternative mode of transportation. Shizuoka Station, the nearest major station, is just an hour away from Tokyo via the shinkansen.
Sunpu Castle Park holds significant historical importance, as it was the primary residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu for a significant portion of his life. He spent his childhood as a hostage in the castle, belonging to a rival clan, and returned to the fortress after becoming a shogun. He resided in Sunpu Castle until his death in 1616. The castle has faced several challenges throughout its history, including fires and earthquakes. It burned down in 1607, was rebuilt, and then destroyed again in another fire in 1635. Despite these setbacks, many of the gates and turrets have been reconstructed in recent decades. One notable structure is the Higashi Gomon, known as the “death-box gate” due to its strategic design intended to decimate attackers from all four walls.
The Castle’s History
Sunpu Castle has witnessed significant historical events and played a crucial role in shaping Japan’s feudal period. It served as the residence of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the most influential figures in Japanese history. Ieyasu spent most of his life in Sunpu Castle, from his time as a hostage to a rival clan to his reign as shogun. The castle’s strategic location and impressive architecture made it a symbol of power and authority. However, the castle experienced numerous challenges throughout its existence. It burned down in 1607, but was rebuilt shortly after. Unfortunately, it suffered another devastating fire in 1635. The castle was eventually torn down at the end of the feudal period, and its walls fell during a great earthquake in 1854. Despite these hardships, many of the castle’s gates and turrets have been reconstructed, allowing visitors to catch a glimpse of its former glory.
The park surrounding Sunpu Castle is a beautiful and serene place to take a relaxing stroll. The park is open from early morning until well after dark, allowing visitors to enjoy its peaceful atmosphere at any time of the day. One of the park’s highlights is the Momijiyama Garden, a small but picturesque garden. It features an artificial mountain that resembles Mt. Fuji, providing visitors with a stunning view. The garden overlooks what appears to be a tea plantation, complete with a waterfall and a carp pond. For those seeking a moment of tranquility, there is also a teahouse where visitors can enjoy a cup of Shizuoka’s finest tea and indulge in some traditional sweets.
In addition to its historical significance and beautiful park area, Sunpu Castle Park offers visitors a chance to learn more about Japanese history and culture. The park hosts various events and exhibitions throughout the year, providing insights into the region’s rich heritage. Visitors can participate in cultural activities, such as tea ceremonies and traditional performances, to gain a deeper understanding of Japan’s traditions and customs.
Overall, Sunpu Castle Park is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and anyone looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Japan. Its historical significance, stunning surroundings, and cultural offerings make it a unique and memorable experience. Whether you are interested in exploring the remnants of the castle, taking a leisurely walk through the park, or learning more about Japanese history, Sunpu Castle Park has something to offer for everyone. Plan your visit today and embark on a journey through time at this remarkable destination.
Address And Maps Location:
1-1 Sunpujokoen, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka-ken