Tag Archives | castles

Takeda Castle: Castle In The Sky

Another amazing place to visit in Japan is Takeda Castle, often called Castle in the Sky in a nod to the Ghibli film.

Takeda Castle Ruins in Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture looked like an island floating on the sea of clouds on the 13th. It’s called “the Castle in the Sky.” In this area, a sea of clouds emerges in the morning in bright sunny early morning between autumn and winter.

Go look at the photos. It’s really beautiful. It’s been near the top of my Japan bucket list for awhile, but I haven’t been able to find the time to travel there yet.

Jasmine at ZoomingJapan has some more photos.

Unfortunately, too many tourists are evidently trampling and destroying the vegetation that is holding the castle ruins together and what’s left is in danger of collapsing. Let’s hope the city is able to repair things before that happens. Let’s also hope they can do so without closing the site to tourists.

Castle Under Purple Sky

The sun had just set and the sky it up beautiful like this. First a light orange, then a fiery red. By the time I made it to the castle, the light was going fast and it had turned to this shade of purple. Okazaki Castle never looked better.

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Okazaki Castle Up Close

Living in Okazaki, I’ve visited Okazaki castle many times. I’m always photoing it and always looking for that perfect shot. This isn’t it. But I do feel like every time I shoot the castle I get a little closer to that perfect shot than before.

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Okazaki Castle Guard Tower

This is a nice landscape shot I took from Okazaki Castle a while ago. I liked the clouds and that’s what made me take it. Although it’s not the focus of the photo itself, the tower may draw your eye more than anything, so let’s talk about that.

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Castle Town

Looking towards Okazaki Castle here near evening, it almost looks like a scene from a samurai movie set during an earlier time. I half expected to see some ninja crawling around on one of those roofs!

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Castle Through the Wheat

I think it’s actually just tall, wild grass that is smack dab in the middle of the Oto River on a small island there. The city crews come out twice a year to cut it down to nothing, but it grows wild the rest of the time. I wanted to use it to create the illusion of maybe a past time when there wasn’t so much stuff clogging up the view of the castle.

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Daily Photo: Mummy Trees [50/365]

Ok, maybe mummy trees is a bit of a silly name. Still, it kind of describes the photos a little. I don’t know exactly why they wrap up trees like this here in Japan. Is it a holy thing, is it to protect the trees from the cold? I’ve heard both and the people I’ve asked are unsure themselves. At any rate, it seems like a tedious job. I’ve watched as city workers go from tree to tree, carefully wrapping them up. They are very meticulous and it takes a while to do each tree.

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A Castle View

A view of Okazaki Castle, to be exact. According to legend, Tokugawa Ieyasu was born here. Many people I meet say it’s an open secret that he was actually born in Toyota City, about a 30 minute drive to the north, but it’s a tradition to say he was born here anyways. I’m not sure which is true, but at this point I suppose it matters little.

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Dog Mountain Castle

Inuyama Castle is one of the few originals left in Japan. It is unique in that it was privately owned until very recently. It is a small castle, but quite nice. I got a similar feel from this castle as I did from Himeji. The view from the top is fantastic.

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Powerful Golden Castle

Daily HDR Photo — Powerful Golden Castle

Today’s photo is a shot of Osaka Castle, which was a pretty historical important place. Lots of gold on it, isn’t there?

Powerful Golden Castle


Osakajo is an amazing castle to visit. I don’t think much of the inside of the place — like many modern castles, it is a rather ugly concrete museum inside with little of the actual building to see — but the outside is gorgeous. The castle grounds are amazing too. Definitely add this to your must visit list (but be sure to visit here before you visit Himeji. Just saying.)

There is tons of history behind this castle. Briefly, it was the home-base of the opposition to Tokugawa Ieyasu, and was so well designed and defended that they held out for quite a while even after Ieyasu had taken the rest of Japan. Be sure to read more about it at the fantastic Japanese Castle Explorer webpage if you are interested.

I processed today’s photo a bit differently. Famous places like this are photoed so often that it’s hard to be original. Of course processing it in this way is probably still not that original, but… well, at least I tried 🙂

Okazaki Castle

Not many people think of Okazaki City when they think of historic cities, but it is right up there. Okazaki’s biggest claim to fame is that the Shogun who united the country in 1603, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was born here. There are various places he spent time at that are tourist attractions, some shrines, a temple, and others. One of my favorite is the castle.

Like most modern castles in Japan, this isn’t the original. The original was torn down a long time ago when Japan was modernizing and looked upon the old castles of the country as worthless. The one that currently stands was rebuilt after the war to be as close to the original as possible in appearance.

I visited the castle yesterday to take a look at a new addition they recently built, a tower. The tower was nice, but not much to post about that anyone except castle fanatics would be interested in. I also visited the main keep and snapped some shots I thought I would share. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Okazaki Castle

In front, at the entrance.

Behind Okazaki Castle

From behind. I gave this photo the antique treatment.

Thru the gates

The main entrance again, this time photoed from the shrine right next to it.