Thursday, June 9th, 2022

An unexpected visit to Fukuchiyama Castle

Photograph of a Japanese castle with the stone base, a wood mid section and ornate white upper floors

It was meant to be a visit to the dinosaur museum in Tamba. However, a cock-up setting the sat-nav took us too far, so that idea was parked. A quick search on Maps and we were heading to the city of Fukuchiyama, specifically it’s castle.

The castle was originally built in the 1570s by the powerful Yokoyama Clan. It projected power in the north of Kyoto for several centuries before being destroyed in the 1870s as part of Japan’s modernization.

What you see today is a 1980s reconstruction, something quite common across Japan. It’s become a local museum, with a quite impressive archive of handwritten books, journals and artworks. And there’s the view, which takes in another castle, temples and the plain on which the city of Fukuchiyama sits.

There’s a lot more to explore, and I’ll be heading back there when I get a spare day.

Photograph of a curved bridge stretching towards one bank
The bridge from the car park to the castle grounds is a work of art
Photograph of a Japanese castle with the stone base, a wood mid section and ornate white upper floors
The castle keep.
Photograph of a Japanese town with a carpark in the foreground and coffee-shop, then stretching out to mountains in the far distance
The city of Fukuchiyama seen from the original entrance to the castle

Photograph of a roof line pointing out into the Japanese country side
Detail of the roofline of the castle
Photograph of a fish sculpture with its head flat on the ground and tail bent upwards towards the sky
Sculpture commemorating the reconstruction of the castle
Photograph of a Dragon water fountain with drops of water coming from its mouth
Water flows from a dragon’s mouth
Photograph of the detail of a reconstructed Japanese castle showing the formation of the roof timbers and underpinnings
Detail of the castle keep showing its intricate construction

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction. Find out more.