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Kaikoen (Ruins of Komoro Castle)

Kaikoen (Ruins of Komoro Castle)Kaikoen is the ruin of Komoro Castle in Komoro city.
Komoro city is located at the northeast part of Nagano Prefecture and about 20 km west of Karuizawa.
Kaikoen is located just west of Komoro station (JR and Shinano Railway).

It is said that Komoro Castle was built in 1487.
Since the 16th century, this castle had been the government of this area until the end of Edo Period (the 1860s).
The castle tower was gorgeous, but it was burnt down by a stroke of lightning in 1626.

This castle was very unique.
Generally, Japanese castles were built on high places. Or they were surrounded by some moats to protect from enemy attacks.
But Komoro Castle was built on the lower position than the castle town.

The site of the castle is nearly a trianglar shape.
On the west side, Chikuma River flows. And the other sides face the deep valleys. Their cliffs are the deposition of the volcanic ashes from Mount Asama, so it is very difficult that the enemies climb there.
The front gate (San-no-mon) is at a corner of the triangle. So if the enemies has come from the castle town, the soldiers of the castle had only to guard the gate.

Now, San-no-mon gate and stone walls in this site, and Otemon gate in the city remain.
San-no-mon gate is the main entrance of Kaikoen.

In the site, there are some museums, a zoo, an amusement park and some other facilities.
Also there are many cherry trees, then here is one of the major cherry blossom-viewing spots in this area in late April.

How to get to here

By railroad

  • By Hokuriku Shinkansen, about 1 hours 5-10 minutes from Tokyo to Karuizawa.
    From Karuizawa, by Shinano Railway, about 24 minutes.
  • By Hokuriku Shinkansen, about 1 hours 15-20 minutes from Tokyo to Sakudaira.
    From Sakudaira, by JR Koumi Line, about 15 minutes.

By car

Run Kan-etsu and Joshin-etsu Expressways and exit at Komoro exit. About 150 km from Tokyo. About 1 hours 50 minutes.
From the exit, about 3 km.

San-no-mon gate
Name plate of "Kaikoen"
Stone wall of Kaikoen in spring
In the site of Kaikoen

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