|Centrip Editorial Board
Experience the Time of Samurai at the All-Original Inuyama Castle
What kind of castle is Inuyama Castle?
Among the numerous castles in Japan, there are five that are designated as national treasures, and Inuyama Castle is one of those. The main keep is the oldest original one in Japan. It's said that it was built by legendary general Oda Nobunaga's uncle Oda Nobuyasu in 1537. The castle was built with a great view of the surrounding area and to its rear is a rough-running river. Since the castle was often on the frontline of battle, many generals made Inuyama Castle their home, including Toyotomi Hideyoshi, even after Oda Nobunaga's demise.
It takes 55 minutes to get from Centrair to Inuyama and 25 minutes from Nagoya Station to Inuyama using Meitetsu. Both offer non-stop service making access to Inuyama really convenient. You can even take the subway if you hop on the Tsurumai Line towards Inuyama. After you arrive at Inuyama, it's just a 20 minute walk to the castle and you can take your time and enjoy some of the surrounding castle town on your way.
Three Important Points about Inuyama Castle
So what's made the beloved Inuyama Castle so appealing all these years? Let's find out the top three reasons why.
Remnants of the Samurai Age
Inuyama Castle was built during the time of the samurai. In that era, guns had not yet come to Japan, so a samurai's weapons were limited to swords and bows. The castle is four stories tall and evidence of battle can still be seen on the first and second floors.
On the second floor, there is a hallway that encircles the central armory called "The Warrior Runway". Samurai could quickly grab spears and swords and the high ceilings allowed them to quickly grab-and-go.
While visitors can enjoy the vestiges of historical battles, architecture buffs will also enjoy Inuyama Castle. The castle is built on a hill and surrounded by a vast plain near a rushing river. The nearby forests provided wood for the castle's construction. The highest quality wood was selected when the castle was built.
The View from atop the Great Lord's Keep
From atop the castle's keep, you can see all of the castle's watchtowers. Even the oddly low handrails from long ago remain. If you make your way all-around the top, you can look out and see Gifu Castle, Nagoya Castle and Komaki Castle. You can imagine how those who lived in Inuyama Castle might have looked out of the hordes of approaching samurai. A castle with a view like this is quite rare.
How Foreign Visitors Can Enjoy Inuyama Castle
As you enter Inuyama Castle from the surrounding castle town and you pass through the Shinto shrine nearby, you'll climb a flight of stairs. This spot is really popular in the fall because of the multi-colored leaves visitors can see. There are also a large number of fun experiences to be had around the castle.
At Inuyama Castle, you can see a little bit of the battlefield the samurai fought on and where the great lords of feudal Japan once lived. The original castle keep is brimming with history and authenticity. Study its architecture, enjoy its view and atmosphere and experience a piece of history.