A site set up by a local guide to provide information about places of interest in Wakayama City.
Nice Places in Wakayama City
Especially for Long-stay Travelers and Long-term Residents in Kansai
Please be sure to check the latest information including transportation you need for yourself.

Wakayama Castle

Wakayama Castle is a symbol of the region. Many people in Wakayama are very proud of it.

In 1945, the original wooden castle tower was totally destroyed in the air raid. And eight years later, in 1953, it was rebuilt to its original appearance with money donated by many people. Considering it was completed during the years of confusion after Japan’s defeat in World War II, the concrete work must have been the result of a great deal of effort many people devoted.

While some buildings including the castle tower were reconstructed recently, others have kept their initial states since they were built in the 17th and 18th century. Espcially stone walls in the castle are well-known to castle enthusiasts, because they show us three different masonry skills in successive periods.

Why don't you find your own favorite spots in Wakayama Castle?

Okaguchi-mon Gate

Okaguchi-mon Gate

This wooden gate has kept its original conditions. It is thought to have been renovated in1621. A National Important Cultural Asset.

Original Moat

Moats of the Catle

The original size of the castle property was about four times larger than today. But the only eastern moat has kept its width.

Otemon Gate

Ote-mon Gate

Visitors to the castle had to go through three gates in the past. This was the last one. The present one was rebuilt in1982.

Bent Approach

Bended Approaches

Approaches to the castle tower were carefully designed. Hundreds of intruders couldn't rash to the castle tower in a short time.

Stone Steps

Stone Steps

This castle is on a peak of a 49-meter-high rock hill. You can see exposure of the rock in places. It is partially used a part of stone steps.

Castle Tower (1)

The Castle Tower(1)

While the tower was reconstructed with reinforced concrete in 1958, the appearance is precisely the same as the original one.

Castle Tower (2)

The Caste Tower(2)

You can enter the castle tower. The inside is used as a small museum. Various things related to the castle lords are exhibited.

View from the Tower

View of the Kino-kawa River

You can see the mouth of the Kino-kawa River from the top of the castle tower in the west. The river was a natural wide moat against Osaka.

Back Side Slope

Back Slope

The northern slope is called "ura-saka." It means "a back side slope." It has preserved its original atmosphere in the past.

Corridor Bridge (1)

Passage Bridge(1)

The corridor bridge was built only for lords who go to a garden from his residence. The present one was rebuilt in 2006.

Corridor Bridge (2)

Passage Bridge(2)

You can walk through the unique bridge for free. Thanks to this bridge, lords were not seen walking to the nearby garden in secret.

Castle Garden (1)

Nishi-no-maru Garden

Nishi-no-maru Garden was also built only for lords. They enjoyed their free time in nature without going out of the castle.

Castle Garden (2)

Nishi-no-maru Garden

There are several much larger gardens for lords in Japan. They developed from this kind of smaller ones like this in castles.

Castle Garden (3)

Nishi-no-maru Garden

This garden is also called Momiji-dani Garden. It means "Autumn Leaves Valley Garden." It is very famous for its beauty in fall.

Marks on Stones

Nishi-no-maru Garden

Some of the stones used in stone walls of the castle have marks inscribed by masons to show who built the portion.

Chronology of Wakayama Castle

1585

Toyotomi Hideyoshi, after conquering Ki-shu (Wakayama), built a castle at the present location in defense of Osaka Castle. It took only one year to complete the construction. His younger brother, Hidenaga, was designated as the lord.

1586

Kuwayama Shigeharu became the acting Lord.

1600

Asano Yoshinaga became the lord. The castle tower and the stone walls were renovated.

1619

Tokugawa Yorinobu, the first shogun's tenth son, became the lord. The castle was renovated into much more luxurious one as a residence for one of three branch families of the house of Tokugawa.

1846

Almost all the buildings were burned down in a fire caused by lightning. Rebuilding was permitted exceptionally.

1868

A new era named "Meiji" stared. Samurai including Tokugawa families lost their power.

1871

The castle was abolished.

1945

Almost all the castle buildings were burned down by a fire caused by an air raid in the world war II.

1958

The castle tower was reconstructed with concrete accurately based on its original design with financial support from many people in Wakayama.

1983

The main gate and its bridge were reconstructed.

2006

The corridor bridge was reconstructed.

Stone Walls of Wakayama Castle

Wakayama Castles has at least three types of stone walls. Can you say the diference among them?

Type 1

Gemeration 1

"Nozura Piling"
Stones were not processed. It was the most primitive, but, on the contrary, it was the most difficult to build up.

Type 2

Gemeration 2

"Uchikomi Bonding"
Bonding planes were processed. The technique started in the 16th century.

Type 3

Generation 3

'Kirikomi Bonding'
Stones were thoroughly processed. The technique started in the early 17th century.

A Plan for Walking

Of course, you can walk around in the castle area freely as you like, and you may find a favorite place of your own, but, just in case, let me show you my favorite route as an example as follows.

Wakayama Castle Map