Takada Castle is a must of fans of historic sites and buildings.

Built in the 1614, just as Japan was in the final stages reunification after centuries of war, it sits a the juncture of the Seki and Yoshiro rivers. It was built for the 6th son of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu as the center of his assigned lands (at the time, the 2nd wealthiest domain in Japan). Geographically its site is important as it controls much of the access from the Japan Sea, down through the mountain passes to Nagano (then Shinano), and onto Tokyo (then Edo, the seat of the Togugawa Shogunate).

The castle suffer earthquake and fire damage but survived until the the Meiji restoration in 1868, when a royal degree ordered all remnants of feudal rule be destroyed. Part of the castle was then used as a school, while other parts became military barracks. After World War 2 much of the grounds became a park and over 4,000 cherry blossom trees have been planted. It is one of the most popular cherry bloosom viewing location in japan in spring, with visitors coming from all over.

The buildings today are a reconstruction of the original.



From Myoko Kogen Station take a train on the Echigo Tokimeki Railway line heading for Naoetsu, and get off at Takada Station. The castle ground are about 10 minutes walk from the station.

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