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“丸岡城 [福井県、坂井郡] Maruoka Castle, Sakai, Fukui Prefecture”
Review of Maruoka Castle

Maruoka Castle
Reviewed 21 April 2016

We arrived just a little too late to Maruoka-jō and so couldn’t enter, which is a shame because this nice little castle is true to its 1576 form. Indeed it's practically in its original condition. ‘Practically’ because it was – and this is a small technicality – laid waste by an earthquake in 1948. However, by the time it was reconstructed in 1955, 80% of the original materials had been reincorporated. Maruoka-jō is not a concrete reconstruction, but an historically accurate wooden tenshukaku (donjon).

Also, this is one of the contenders for "Oldest Castle in Japan". It has a strong case. Inuyama Castle often nabs the title due to its antiquated architecture and original construction date in 1440. But, it has been heavily augmented over time. Another contender is Matsumoto Castle, but I think this claim relies on discounting Maruoka Castle's originality.

Date of experience: October 2015
Thank ART196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7 - 11 of 302 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2016

Here is beautiful old castle. Not big, but it has good atmosphere. They have many cherry blossome trees. It's very hard to go.

Date of experience: February 2016
Thank fret d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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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

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