What is Wakayama Castle?
Wakayama Castle is a castle built in the center of Wakayama. The current castle tower was rebuilt following the war, and it remains a popular symbol of Wakayama. It is commonly used as a walking and jogging route, and is popular to take children for a visit to the castle. The white walls of the castle are very striking and so it is sometimes referred to as The White Castle. It also sometimes is referred to by the mountain it sits on as Torafuku-jo. The Kinokawa River that flows near it has become a natural moat, and you can enjoy overlooking Wakayama City and the river flowing around the castle from the overlook. This house was meant to house the "Gosanke", one of the top 3 people qualified to become Shogun, and there are many relics on display in the castle tower. The tower also has items from Yukari Tokugawa in it as well. The castle is normally closed from December 29-31. There is the "Wakayama Castle Nighter" that runs from July 20 to August 31, which extends admission time to the castle tower to about 20:00. Admission available until about 19:30.
Wakayama Castle's History
Built under the supervision of Toyotomi Hidenaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi's brother, with the help of Todo Takatoro. Later on, Asano Yoshinaga was the feudal lord of the castle in 1600 under the rule of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The castle's current state reflects renovations made by Tokugawa Yorinobu, the 10th son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, in the 17th century. In the Meiji period it became an abandoned castle and was turned into a park, and during the Second World War it was destroyed by a fire and then restored, resulting in it's appearance now.
There are numerous attractions to see besides the castle tower. The stone walls tell the long history of the castle in the way the stones are stacked. The oldest walls in the front seem very messy but as you go through the castle you will notice more and more elegantly and beautifully piled stones. If you look closely at the stone walls you will notice that there are engravings on them. These include engravings of the 170 types of stone, which are engraved on 2100+ stones, and it also shows who provided the stone.
There is also the Nishinomaru Square on the northern side of the tower as well as a Japanese garden. The garden is said to have been constructed by Tokugawa Yorinobu. Nearby there is also a tea house where you can enjoy green tea and some sweets for 460 yen. There is also a bridge constructed for lords to go back and forth between Ninomaru and Nishinomaru, with walls and roofs so that you cannot see outside, as if it were a corridor. You must take your shoes off in the corridor, but you should definitely see it if you can. To the castles southeast is a zoo with free admission. The zoo focuses on mammals and a "fairytale garden" for children, as well as a "waterfowl garden" where they show off various waterside birds. Near the zoo is "Fukutora-zo" which is made in honor of the castle's other name "Fukutora-jo".
You can get there by bus, train, or car. By train, get off at Wakayama Station (和歌山市駅) on the Nankai Electric Railway. By bus, take the Wakayama Bus and get off at the bus stop at the park (公園前). By car, take the Hanwa Motorway (阪和自動車道) to the Wakayama IC (和歌山IC) and get on highway 24 (国道24号), and it's about 15 minutes by Sannenzaka (三年坂通り). There is paid parking around the castle, and the nearest is open 24 hours a day, but be warned that during tourist season it is very crowded.
Image Gallery: Wakayama Castle
Description: Wakayama Castle
|Sights||Wakayama Castle (和歌山城)|
|Phone / Fax||Phone: 073-422-8979|
|Closed dates||NEW YEAR'S HOLIDAY|
|Admission Fee||Pay admission: 410yen|
Spring (March - May)Summer (June - August) Autumn (September - November)
|Recommended target||Family Groups Infant & Toddler (ages 0-6) Child (ages 7-17) Adult (ages 20+) Single traveller|
Map: Wakayama Castle