Hirosaki Castle to be Relocated

Repairs necessary for stone walls

By Justin Velgus    - 2 min read


Hirosaki Castle is closed annually for winter, from November 24th to March 31st.

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Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture is moving. The first major repair work of the inner castle walls within the last 100 years calls for extreme measures. The iconic "tenshu" castle tower, the only such tower of its kind in the entire Tohoku region, will be literally lifted and moved to an adjacent site. This will allow visitors to still access the castle during most of the ten year construction period. However, the famous scene of the tower at the corner of the moat surrounded by cherry blossoms will be missed for at least a decade.

The castle walls will be rebuilt one stone at a time. The 14.4 meters high and 400 ton castle will not be deconstructed, but will be moved as is over a period of 3 months to the center of the castle.

The immediate consequences on tourism are unclear. Keeping the castle intact will surely prevent significant drops in attendance. Furthermore, Hirosaki is advertising the repair process and moving castle as a spectacle. This once in a 100 year event will be able to be viewed from an onsite observation deck.

Current construction schedule:

(From April to Early May of 2015)The Tenshu at the current position is still available to see until the Cherry Blossom Festival. (Displays of artifacts will be unavailable.)

(From Mid May to July of 2015)The Tenshu will be closed after the Cherry Blossom Festival. Entering the Honmaru will be available.

(From August to October of 2015)The ‘Hikiya’ of the Tenshu will begin. The observation deck will be built at the Honmaru.

(2016)The Tenshu will be open for public to view at a new site. The stonewall repair will begin. The repair construction can be seen from the observation deck.

Source and more information: http://en.tohokukanko.jp/michinoku_tanbou_09/

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Justin Velgus

Justin Velgus @justin.velgus

Justin Velgus (ジャスティン ベルガス) is a long-term resident and promoter in the Tohoku region. He has been a content producer for JapanTravel.com since 2012 and was the Miyagi Prefecture Regional Partner 2013-2015. Justin’s over 300 published travel and culture articles come from a background of studying in Akita, teaching English in Miyagi through the JET Program, and working for the government in Fukushima. He lives in the gyutan capital of the world, Sendai.   Justin is an expert in local culture and history. He was the first foreign volunteer at Sendai City Museum and regularly advises the local volunteer guide group GOZAIN , which he is a veteran member, on guiding techniques and hidden locations in the city even locals don't know about. In his free time he enjoys delivering original walking tours, such as his Dark Sendai Tour (ghost tour) or Kokubuncho Mystery Tour (redlight district tour). Justin is also a Certified Sake Professional.

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Bonson Lam 4 years ago
Thanks for the news Justin! Gives a new meaning to the movie, "howl's moving castle"! :)