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Kasugayama Castle

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Enjoy the fall colors and history of Joetsu City from mountaintop castle ruins

Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture



The Kasugayama Castle Ruins in Niigata are known as the site of the former castle of Uesugi Kenshin, one of the most famous warriors of the Warring States period. It has been designated a national historic site and is also counted as one of Japan’s 100 renowned castles.
Even now, the castle’s features, such as the karabori empty moat carved by digging ridges in the soil, dorui embankments built up around the castle, and an oido great well, remain visible. Another major feature is the sougamae, a Japanese castle structure which surrounds the outer base for protection. At the foot of the mountain where the residences and empty moats were built, it extends some 1.2 kilometers around the castle.
Visit in autumn to enjoy the mountain colored with red, yellow, and orange leaves, as well as views of the Sea of Japan, Kubikino Plains, and the surrounding mountain ranges, from the honmaru inner citadel 180 meters above sea level.
As you approach the castle ruins, you will be greeted by a bronze statue of Uesugi Kenshin. It was produced in 1969, during the broadcast of the NHK period drama Ten to Chi to (Heaven and Earth), a television series about the powerful military commander’s life.


How to get there

From JR Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Joetsu Myoko Station. From Joetsu Myoko Station, take the Echigo Tokimeki Railway Myoko Haneuma Line to Takada Station (about 2 hours 20 minutes). From Takada Station, take the Kubiki bus to the Kasuga Sanso-mae bus stop. The ruins are about a 15-minute walk from the bus stop.


Ooaza-Nakayashiki, Joetsu-shi, Niigata-ken


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