Spot in Nagano Prefecture

Takatô Castle Ruins Park [高遠城址公園]

Takato Castle Ruins Park
Takato Castle Ruins Park
Photo by Inashi Kankoukyoukai

Ouunkyo bridge to Takato Castle
Ôunkyo bridge to Takato Castle
Photo by Inashi Kankoukyoukai

Takatô Castle Ruins Park ("Takatô Jôshi Kôen" in Japanese) is located about 10 km east of the center of Ina city.
Ina city is about 12 km north of Komagane city which is the gateway to Mount Kiso-Komagatake, and is about 25 km south of Lake Suwa.

Takato Castle was constructed as a residence castle of Takato family which was a local lord in this area in the early 16th century.

After that, the castle had been used as a strategic place until the establishment of Edo Government in the beginning of the 17th century.
During Edo Period (1603-1868), this castle was a local government office in this area.

Takato Castle and carp streamers
Takato Castle and carp streamers

Ouunkyo bridge of Takato Castle
Ôunkyo bridge of Takato Castle

Originally, there was no big castle tower, and only a few small towers and residences were in this site.

After the establishment of modern Meiji Government, this castle was demolished in 1872.

Because the site had been left to ruin, the former samurais who worked in the castle planted many cherry trees and developed the site into a park in 1876.

This is the current Takato Castle Ruins Park.

Takatokaku built in 1936
Takatôkaku built in 1936
Photo by Inashi Kankoukyoukai

Pond in Takato Castle in the evening
Pond in Takato Castle in the evening
Photo by Inashi Kankoukyoukai

There are about 1,500 cherry trees in this park.
The kind of them is not popular Somei-Yoshino but the species blooming only in Takato.
So, the color of the blossoms is slightly deeper than Somei-Yoshino.

The blooming period is from the beginning to the middle of April.
Every year, over 100 thousand people visit this park in the season.

And there are about 250 maple trees in this park.
The best period to view colored leaves of the maple is the beginning of November.

Colored maple in Takato Castle
Colored maple in Takato Castle
Photo by Inashi Kankoukyoukai

Colored maple by Takatokaku
Colored maple by Takatôkaku

Takato area says that Takato is the birthplace of "Shinshu Soba" (buckwheat noodle of Nagano Prefecture).
So there are some restaurants serving Takato Soba in the town.

Takato Soba is cold soba noodle.
Juice of grated Japanese radish and baked miso paste are mixed and we eat the noodle after dipping into it.

Panorama Ina city

How to get here

Get off at Inashi station of JR Iida Line.

From Shinjuku (Tokyo) to Okaya, about 2 hours and 15 to 30 minutes by JR limited express of Chuo Line.
Then from Okaya to Inashi, about 1 hour by local train of JR Iida Line.

Or, from Komagane station, about 30 minutes by local train of JR Iida Line.

Then, by route bus, about 25 minutes from Inashi station to Takato-eki stop.
To the park, about 800 meters walk.

Other Tourist Attractions in Nagano Prefecture

Northern part

Mount Asama Karuizawa Kaikoen Bessho Onsen Sugadaira highland Zenkoji temple Obuse town Yudanaka-Shibu Onsen towns Jigokudani Monkey Park Shiga highland Nozawa Onsen Lake Nojiri Mount Togakushi

Central part

Tateshina highland Kirigamine highland Lake Suwa Matsumoto Castle Azumino town Utsukushigahara

Along Northern Alps

Kamikochi Norikura highland Lake Aoki Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route Hakuba village

Along Kiso Valley

Narai post station Mount Ontake Nezame-no-toko gorge Tsumago & Magome post stations

Along Ina Valley

Mount Kiso-Komagatake Tenryukyo gorge

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