Sitting just around the mouth of Kii River in Wakayama Prefecture is the national historic site Wakayama Castle. This castle was built in the same spot as Ota Castle that is a rebuilt temple for Japanese Buddhism after the war. Though what is there today is a reconstruction of the original, it is always worth a visit. If you are eyeing for a relaxing day and just enjoy a panoramic view of Wakayama City and its landscape, then this place is perfect for you.
Because of its striking white exterior facade, locals often called this castle as the White Castle. The castle has two concrete gates – the Otemon gate and the Okaguchi gate. The gates complement the unique style of the castle and its walls.
Wakayama Castle originally flourished as an important base for the Tokugawa clan during the Edo period. During the World War II, a bombing destroyed most of the original castle buildings. But it was rebuilt in the 1950’s. Currently, this castle serves as an important symbol of Wakayama City. Along side, it is known as an accessible cherry blossom viewing spot in spring.
THINGS TO ENJOY AT THE WAKAYAMA CASTLE
PANORAMIC CITY VIEW
Rising on top of the Torafusu hill, the Wakayama Castle offers an astonishing and overlooking view of the city from the observation deck.
Inside the white castle are beautiful garden and grounds perfect for a tranquil stay at the castle. Upon entrance, you will see the traditional garden known as the Maple Leaf Valley Garden built during the Edo period. During the Hanami season in March and April, the garden overflows with colorful and booming flowers. The castle’s expansive grounds are also perfect go-to-spot for cherry-blossom picnics in the spring.
Inside, there is a well-designed Wakayama Museum of Modern Art that houses collection of both Japanese and western contemporary arts. The museum actually allows small group gatherings, workshops, seminars, and small concerts. Additionally, in the castle tower, you can also find many relics and some items from Yukari Tokugawa. There are also pieces from global art giants such as Picasso, Rodin, and Rothko.
Besides the castle tower, there are many attractions inside that you will enjoy. There is also a tea house there where you can enjoy a good cup of green tea and some sweets for an affordable price. Visiting the tea house complement your viewing of the vibrant gold, yellow, and red foliage while sipping your brilliant-green matcha tea.
Additionally, there is the Ohashi Roka bridge that is believed to be built for the feudal lord and their servants to move between the government offices on the outer citadel and their houses and to the western citadel to the garden. It is known to be so unique as It has walls and roofs so that you cannot see outside, making it difficult to see people crossing. In addition to that, it is also a slanted structure with an 11 degree angle.