Few weeks back we bought the special JR one day trip to 竹田城 Takeda Castle in Asago district 朝来市 in Hyogo prefecture 兵庫県. It included return tickets by JR train, bus to the castle ruins and Japanese style lunch. Our train was at 9 in the morning and we reached Takeda by 11. There were buses waiting to take us to the restaurant for lunch and then the bus dropped us at the castle from where we had to hike to the top. Takeda Castle was built by Ohtagaki Mitsukage, a retainer of Yamana Sozen, lord of the area in 1441. It has a “National Historic Site” status and the ruins are attracting many tourists from all over Japan as a Japanese movie ‘Anata e’ was filmed there. The figure of visitors hit a record high this year and is expected to rise even further. Takeda Castle is special because of the gorgeous view it presents admist sea of clouds on autumn mornings mainly Sept-Nov (between sunrise and 8 am) when there is a sharp temperature difference between day and night. The effect created by the mist is beautiful and it looks like a castle floating on clouds.
The Takeda Castle Ruins are located on a hill, about 350m above sea level. It’s about 1km to reach the top or you can just take a taxi. It is not a difficult or long hike but better if you dont go during summer months. We had seen everything, taken pictures, relaxed by 1 p.m. and then took a taxi back to the station. There were trains to Osaka but as we had taken the JR package trip we had to wait until 6 p.m. for our train. So we looked around that area which was beautiful and practically empty and devoid of any restaurants or convenience stores. There were a few temples in a line on a street next to the station with a small stream flowing along. Also there was a sake distillery “The Old Kimura Sake Distillery” with a restaurant where we spent some time before our train back to Osaka.
The entire site is often referred to as Japan’s Machu Picchu, after the majestic mountain ruins of Peru.. which I think is a slight exaggeration!! And to be frank the ruins didn’t excite me much. Also I went in summer and during the day so I couldn’t see a site like this but if you are lucky enough to go in autumn you might…
Shirt – Bershka, 40$, 2012, also worn here;
Skirt – Uniqlo, 20$, 2011;
Jacket – Fila, gift, 2008;
Shoes – Nike, 121$, 2008, also worn here;
Sunglasses – Zara, 45 $, 2012; also worn here;
Watch – Tag Heuer, gift, 2009, also worn here;
Bag – GU, 20$, 2013; also worn here;