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Tiny castle and oldest (?) castle keep

We were in Fukui for Eiheiji and had saved time for a visit to the Maruoka. If we weren’t already... read more

Reviewed 30 September 2018
丸岡城 [福井県、坂井郡] Maruoka Castle, Sakai, Fukui Prefecture

We arrived just a little too late to Maruoka-jō and so couldn’t enter, which is a shame because... read more

Reviewed 21 April 2016
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Reviewed 17 September 2015

As I'm a great lover of Japanese castles, we had to stop here. The carpark below is free. There are quite a few stairs to climb to the top. We got there early (around 9 a.m.) on a weekday and we had the entire castle to ourselves - when we left more people came. It is said to be the oldest in Japan, built in 1576, and is well-known for it's donjon - still in it's original state.
It's nicknamed "Kasumi-ga-jyo" because legend has it that whenever someone came to attack it, a thick fog appeared and hid the castle from sight.
The grounds are lovely, with well-kept gardens. There are quite a few maple trees so I imagine it would be beautiful in autumn.
An interesting part of the castle is that each floor is totally separate ... there are no big columns that rise up from the first to the third floor - each floor is detachable.
The climb up the very steep stairs is fun, scary and unique - the two sets must be around 80 degrees, for sure. The view from the top is pretty good. It's small, so you can't go outside. Mind your head, if you're tall ... I whacked mine only once ...
They also have an elaborate small scale display of the castle and grounds, as they once were, just inside on the first floor with 3 ninjas 2 kuro-no-ichi's (female red ninjya's), 11 chickens, 3?-4? horses, 2 dogs and even a toilet door open, which everyone seems to enjoy searching for ... going around several times. Unfortunately, the sign isn't in English.
Maruoka Castle is definitely one of my favourite castles ... and worth a look around, with the steep little climb inside to the top ...

Date of experience: September 2015
2  Thank VanessaY650
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2015

It is free to explore the grounds and look at the castle, but 300 Yen to enter the castle, and also a small museum in a seperate building. Definitely worth entering the castle, an original old Japanese castle, for the views of the surrounding area. It used to be used as a watchtower, and from the views it commands it is easy to see why.
Once inside, be ready to climb to get to the top floors of the tower, using very steep stairs with a rope to help you. Worth the effort to get up there.
Walking around the outside of the castle is also very interesting, and in summer there are a lot of insects, butterflies, birds, and flowers to see. There is also a small garden, with a koi pond, and a shop/cafe in the grounds.
(The museum is the 'Sakaide City Maruoka Museum of History and Folklore', included in the castle ticket)

Date of experience: September 2015
3  Thank KlapauciusJapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2015

Old wooden castle. Was open for this visit as when last called in 2 years ago was closed.
Steep steps up to the castle and even steeper inside to the floors which will be impossible for those with mobility difficulties. Nice views from the top floor. Worth walking around the walls to get impression of size and way built.

Date of experience: September 2015
2  Thank WorcesterMoray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2015 via mobile

Small but original castle, if you like Japanese castles then well worth seeking out. If you are following Google maps it takes you to the wrong side, if you arrive and you can't park a bus in the car park then keep driving till you see the one you can park one in.

Date of experience: July 2015
Thank TrentEndNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2014

This castle is one of the the castle tower saved from that time which exists 12 castles in Japan.
Since this castle has the best preservation of a wooden portion, it is estimated as the No.1 castle in Japan by lover of the castle.

Date of experience: September 2013
1  Thank kaneneby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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