Takeda Castle [竹田城]
Ruins of Takeda Castle
Takeda Castle on Sea of clouds
Photo by HYOGO TOURISM BUREAU
Takeda Castle is a castle in the mountainous area nearly at the center of Hyogo Prefecture and is in Takeda district in Asago city.
The castle is on the top of a mountain 354 meters above sea level.
There is JR Takeda station at the eastern foot of the mountain, and the altitude is about 100 meters.
So the level of the castle is about 250 meters high from the foot.
It is said that the castle was built in 1443.
This area was just on the border between the north territory and the south territory in current Hyogo Prefecture.
In addition, there was a silver mine near this castle.
Therefore, the battles to occupy this castle often took place until the end of the 16th century.
After the foundation of Edo government in 1603, this castle was demolished.
But, the solid stone walls remain on the top of the mountain.
Stone walls of Takeda Castle
Main part of Takeda Castle
The ruins are on the mountain ridge, and the size is about 400 meters from north to south and about 100 meters from east to west.
The scenery is called Machu Pichu of Japan.
And, because a sea of clouds emerges in late autumn, it is also called Castle in the Sky.
The ruins of Takeda Castle are designated as National Historical Site.
So, the mountain trails to the castle are closed in January and February.
Takeda Castle in spring
Walking train on Takeda Castle
There are some routes to the castle, but the following two routes are main.
One is the direct route from JR Takeda station.
The length is about 1 km but it is a little steep.
Another is the route from the southwest side.
The length is about 0.7 km and it is not so steep.
In addition, "Tenku Bus" is operated from Takaeda station to the entrance of the mountain trail.
Tenku Bus is operated one or two times an hour from March to November.
It starts from Takeda station, and stops at Yamajiro-no-sato and Takeda Castle, then returns to Takeda station.
Yamajiro-no-sato is a parking lot for the visitor by car and there is a souvenir shop.
Private car can't run between Yamajiro-no-sato and Takeda Castle stop.
Sea of clouds around Takeda Castle
View of Sea of clouds from Ritsuunkyo
Sea of clouds ("Unkai" in Japanese) emerges between sunrise and around 7:30 from late September to late November.
In addition, it is necessary that it is cold in the night and it is fair without wind in the morning.
To see the castle floating on the sea of clouds, Ritsuunkyo (立雲峡) is a good spot.
It is located about 2 km southeast of the castle as the crow flies.
From the observatories, we can see the castle on the mountain beyond the valley.
Basically, there is no route bus to Ritsuunkyo.
The distance of the road is about 3 km from Takeda station, and taxi is available.
There are three observatories, and you must walk on the slope for some minutes.
How to get here
By local train for Teramae of JR Bantan Line, about 45 minutes from Himeji to Teramae.
Change to the train for Wadayama, then about 42 minutes to Takeda.