Takeda Castle with mist covering the valley below

Photo:bullets95 on Flickr (used under CC BY-SA 2.0, edited)

Takeda Castle – The Machu Picchu of Japan

Takeda Castle is located in the city of Asago, Hyogo Prefecture. It is also known as Torafushi-jo (lying tiger castle) as its shape resembles a lying tiger. It sits on a mountain top at about 354 meters above sea level.

Photo by cotaro70s on Flickr

Morning mist that occurs in autumn and winter forms a sea of clouds which reminds of the movie “Castle in the Sky” directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Photo by bullets95 on Flickr

This is actually one of the reasons why this castle has become very popular to visit nowadays. However, the sea of clouds is a rare natural phenomenon that occurs only when specific weather conditions are met.

The best spots to enjoy the sea of clouds are Ritsuunkyou (in front of the ruins) and Fujiwa Pass (on the west side of the ruins).

Takeda Castle is often called the "Machu Picchu of Japan." Although only ruins are left, the location and scale of the site make it really impressive.

Address: 169 Kojozan, Takeda, Wadayama-cho, Asago City, Hyogo
Admission fee: Adult (high school students and over) : 300 yens, Junior high school students and younger: free
From JR Takeda station, 40 minutes walk on mountain trail
From JR Takeda station, 20 minutes by taxi or bus to the 2nd parking on halfway up the mountain and 20 minutes walk from the parking

For more information see the official website for Takeda Castle.

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