Tsuyama Castle and Kakuzan Park
Tsuyama Castle is located in Kakuzan Park on a small hill in Tsuyama City in northern Okayama Prefecture. It is ranked as one of the Top 100 Historical Parks in Japan, due to the castle’s architectural credentials - the 400-year-old castle has the third largest number of turrets in Japan, after the castles of Hiroshima and Himeji. Completed in 1616, Mori Tadamasa, the first lord of the Tsuyama Clan, spent 12 years building this flatland mountain castle. Although the buildings were demolished after the 1873 ordinance abolishing castles, the largest watchtower in the castle was reconstructed in 2005.
In the sakura cherry blossom season in spring, the castle looks especially beautiful. Visit between late March to mid-April to see Tsuyama Castle adorned with about 1,000 cherry trees, most of them of the prized Yoshino cherry tree variety. The breath-taking landscape is recognized as one of the Top 100 Cherry Blossom Spots in Japan, with sakura in full bloom surrounding the castle, tower and stonewalls on a magnificent scale. Tsuyama Castle is known as the hottest cherry blossom viewing spot during the springtime, not only in Okayama Prefecture, but also in Western Japan.
Every year the Tsuyama Cherry Blossom Festival is held at Tsuyama Castle. Follow the traditional paper lanterns beautifully harmonized with cherry blossoms lining the path through the castle grounds. Here you will find many festival food stalls, providing the opportunity to taste local delicacies such as Tsuyama horumon udon, fried noodles with offal. You can also try a tea ceremony in the castle grounds beneath the blossoms.
10 minutes walk from JR Tsuyama Station, which is 90 minutes by train from Okayama Station.
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