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“Impressive for its history but not the size”
Review of Maruoka Castle

Maruoka Castle
Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

It's one of a few castles in Japan which remains the original construction as the very first one. However, it's a small castle comparing to Osaka-jo and Himeji-jo.

1  Thank Jiapeng Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 254 reviews

Reviewed 31 May 2016 via mobile

I was told that Maruoka Castle is the oldest castle in Japan. (Neither Inuyama nor Hikone?) The main keep is a small one with many Sakura surrounding. If you go there by JR, get off at Sakai Station, then take a bus, never try to reach there from the Maruoka JR Station!

Thank LloydCMC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Thank ART196
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

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 ...

2  Thank Vanessa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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