A castle that floats above it all—even the clouds
Tsuwano Castle, located 200 meters above the town and valley below, is a historical landmark that offers breathtaking panoramic views. Although the castle itself was dismantled in the latter half of the 19th century, the remaining stone walls and foundations still stand as a testament to its grandeur. Visitors can access the castle either by foot or by taking a chairlift. For those who enjoy a bit of adventure, the trail up to the ruins takes about 40 minutes on foot. Alternatively, you can take the chairlift as far as the first part of the castle ruins and then walk for another 15 minutes to reach the main open area.
The history of Tsuwano Castle dates back to the 13th century when fortifications were first built on the site. These early structures withstood a siege of one hundred days, showcasing the castle’s strategic importance. However, the current castle was constructed in the early 17th century by Sakazaki Naomori. Made primarily of wood, Japanese castles were vulnerable to fires, and Tsuwano Castle was no exception. After a devastating fire in the mid-19th century, only two structures at the base of the mountain survived. Despite its partial destruction, Tsuwano Castle remains a significant historical site.
Sea of clouds
One of the most enchanting aspects of Tsuwano Castle is the phenomenon known as unkai, or the sea of clouds. During the months of October and November, when the conditions are just right, Tsuwano Castle becomes a “castle in the sky.” The valleys below are often filled with clouds, creating a surreal and magical atmosphere. To witness this breathtaking spectacle, visitors must hike up early in the morning, as the sea of clouds only lasts for a few hours after sunrise. It is a sight that truly captures the imagination and leaves a lasting impression.
Another stop to consider
While visiting Tsuwano Castle, it is highly recommended to also explore Taikodani Inari-jinja Shrine. Located nearby, the shrine offers a serene and spiritual experience. To reach the shrine, follow the well-marked path that begins a short way down the road from Tsuwano Castle. Alternatively, you can take the chairlift, which is conveniently located just two kilometers from Tsuwano Station. The shrine is a beautiful testament to Japanese culture and spirituality, and it provides a tranquil retreat from the bustling energy of the castle.
In conclusion, Tsuwano Castle is a remarkable historical site that offers not only a glimpse into japan‘s past but also stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Despite its dismantlement, the castle’s remains continue to inspire awe and wonder. Whether you choose to hike up the trail or take the chairlift, the journey to Tsuwano Castle is worth every step. And if you’re lucky enough to witness the sea of clouds, you will be treated to a truly magical experience. Don’t forget to also explore Taikodani Inari-jinja Shrine, a nearby spiritual oasis. Tsuwano Castle and its surrounding attractions are a testament to the rich history and natural beauty of Japan.
Address And Maps Location:
477-20 Ushiroda, Tsuwano-cho, Kanoashi-gun, Shimane-ken