Takato Castle Site Park
With the unparalleled beauty of its Higan cherry trees, this park conjures up visions of the Sengoku period.
Takato Castle Site Park was developed on the site of Takato Castle, which came under the control of the Takeda clan during the Sengoku period (1493-1590) and survived until the abolition of feudal domains and establishment of prefectures during the Meiji period. One of the splendors of this park is its Takato-kohigan (Prunus subhirtella) cherry trees, which are unique to this region and said to be unparalleled in their beauty. The sight of the 1,500 or so trees blossoming at once is especially impressive. Many people-not only from the local area, but also from across the country-visit during the Takato Castle Site Park Cherry Blossom Festival, held during the whole of April each year, in order to admire the small, delicate petals with a distinctly reddish tinge. In 1960, this variety of cherry was designated as a natural monument of Nagano Prefecture. Moreover, in 1973, the park was designated a national historic site, while in 2006, Takato Castle was named one of the top 100 castles in Japan.
As well as the cherry blossom, every corner of the park is steeped in history, including the drum turret that announced the time during the Edo period (1603-1868), the statue of the Western-style painter Fusetsu Nakamura, who was active during the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods and who came from Takato, and a monument to Nakamura Mototsune, who compiled a collection of information and data about Takato. It's also worth a visit in the fall. The bright red leaves of the maples in its grounds are another highlight of Takato Castle Site Park.
Address: Higashi Takato, Takato-machi, Ina City, Nagano
Phone: 0265-94-2556 (Industry Promotion Division, Ina City Office Takato Branch)
Hours open to visitors: 08:00 - 22:00
Admission Fee: 500 yen (adults), 250 yen (children under 15)
Directions: About 25 minutes by bus from Inashi Station or Ina-kita Station (about 4 hours 10 minutes from Tokyo Station) on the JR Iida Line; alight at Takato, then about 30 minutes on foot. (Car) About 30 minutes from Ina interchange (2 hours 45 minutes from Tokyo) on the Chuo Expressway (car park available-charges apply).