Mar 3, 2017
Maizurujo Park is an official historical site of Yamanashi prefecture. Kofu Castle is located within the park, which is just a three-minute walk from Kofu station.
Built after the death of military commander Shingen Takeda towards the end of the 16th century, Kofu Castle was once a sight to behold, standing across an impressive 20 hectares. Today, what remains are castle ruins. I was told that when viewed from above, the ruins resemble a crane flapping its wings – this is what gave Maizurujo its name.
Want to know more about the Takeda family? There is a museum in the park where you can learn more about the family’s history.
About 160 cherry trees surround the stone walls of Kofu Castle, which makes for a spectacular sight in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Here, you can take a nice leisurely stroll while admiring the majesty of Mount Fuji in the distance.
Besides the cherry blossoms, don’t miss Shingen-ko Matsuri, the biggest Samurai parade in Japan, which is also held in Spring. At the festival, matches are held to re-enact the decisive battle of Kawanakajima involving the armies from the East and West.
On this occasion, elementary and junior high school swordsmen and fencers gather together for field games. You’ll also be able to witness sword drawing and Naginanata dance performances. You can also find a variety of stalls selling specialty items from Yamanashi.
In case you miss Shingen-ko Matsuri, there are other seasonal events held throughout the year, so do keep an eye out!
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