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“Castle in the Air”

Takeda Castle Ruins
Ranked #1 of 47 things to do in Asago
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Castle in the Air”
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Takeda Castle Ruins, also known as Castle in the Air. .
Tucked deep in the region of Hyogo, Takeda was only recently known to the rest of the world. 
She is served by Takeda Station on the Jr Bantan Line.
I checked and searched, finally decided upon Himeji as my start point as she is the nearest and the cheapest to Takeda.

Takeda Castle Ruins used to be relatively unknown and thus no admission fee was required. However due to the recent influx of visitors both inland and overseas, inorder to protect and maintain the premises, a small admission fee is now charged, 300¥. 
A small price to pay for the breathtaking view on top of the walls, no bars hold.

From the Jr Takeda station, a shuttle bus will take you to the top. However the bus starts running at 9:45am, and together with that, the crowd. So if you, like me prefer to enjoy the sight without the noise, come early and walk up the route. 
Turn right from the station, walk all the way till you see a fork in the road. The bamboo walking canes on the road side is a sure indication you are right on track. Before you proceed, the walking canes are there for a reason. Take one. I did and I'm not ashame to admit. Turn right and the nightmare begins.

The ascend is tough. Remember our target was a mountain top type castle. Wear sensible and comfortable footgear. I was there in Autumn 2013, thus the weather was cool, but still I managed to worked up quite a good sweat. At the end of the route, one hour later, is a small ticket booth (depends on how long your legs and how fit you are, I have short legs and I'm round). After paying your dues, more challenging incline to tackle. Slopes and then a series of steps to navigate. If you are not into exercising, wait for the 9:45am bus. 
I personally prefer to reach my destiny by foot. You get to experience, see and feel more. 
The impact of the beauty is the greatest when you had to sweat hard to get there.
Not forgetting I can use the workout as a good excuse to feast later on.

Takeda Castle Ruins, only the walls of the castle remain. But that did not matter, not at all. The sheer size of the bare structure, rising up into the sky. The view from the top, the town and valley below, the opposite mountain ranges. The colors, the dizzying heights, the danger of falling over the edge - all these came together and punched me hard.
It didn't matter to me I have height phobia. This place had me down on all fours so that I could move closer to the edge, to get a better feel of what it felt like to be on the edge.
As it was rather early, no crowd, just a few people here and there. Taking pictures was easy without the crowd getting in the way.
No fences, no bars, nothing to prevent you from moving closer to the edge, if you dare, nothing to stop you from falling over, if you are that stupid.
From the highest point, I sat and absorb the beauty. Using my visual power, I tried to soak in as much as I could. I can only imagine what it was like, a few hundred years ago,  the castle standing tall and proud. And what happened that caused it to fall into disrepair and ruins.

Then the crowd began to file in. The noise, the chattering, the clicking, the smell of human pollution. It is time for me to file out. 
Near the station, I found a eatery, very unique. It is not just a eatery, but a art house too.
It was a traditional Japanese house turned into eatery. Patchworks were on display, handmade items and cookies were on sale too. I had toasted mochi in red bean soup, tasted like Heaven.

The town is still not fully developed to cater to the amount of tourists they will be receiving. Trust me, she will be receiving a lot more attention with the internet now bursting with more information. So as of now the town is relatively quiet, no shopping mall, no conbini, no high rise buildings! No hotels. I don't know what kind of changes these attentions will be bringing to this simple town. But I will definitely visit this place again, in near future before the money and commercializing take over and turn this wonderful place into another tourist trap.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
14 Thank bakatori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Southport, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Amazing ruins”
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Wow, I never would have thought there were such amazing ruins not that far from Himeji. It was just monumental, really. No rails to bother you, no entry fee (as of yet, though I've heard this may change this year) and we barely saw any tourists to be honest. Getting there from Himeji was quite fun too, those trains were ancient, and I could tell the way people were staring at me that foreigners likely don't often come. We took the mountain path from the train station, and despite physically well-built myself with more than enough stamina, I wouldn't recommend taking this way. We've encountered one of those giant red legged centipedes, that are supposed to be one of the most toxic creatures in the country I hear, bang right in the middle of the path strolling around leisurely. And the other reason is that by the time we've arrived on the end of the path we were both sweating like crazy, not because it was so exhausting by itself, but because for the past few days we already did more than enough hiking at other places. I hear there supposed to be a bus taking up to the parking lot not that far from the castle, much better going with that.
The castle ruins themselves are just magnificent, amazing view from there downwards, even though we didn't have the best of weathers. Must be awesome when the cherry trees are blooming there. I honestly wished they wouldn't have abandoned it centuries ago, just so that one could see how it must have looked like. Well worth the short sidetrip, and the locals were really friendly too.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Gabor M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edinburgh
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Like Machu Picchu”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Although a ruin, the views from the castle across the valley below are spectacular. It is quite a climb from the car park however, so wear stout shoes. No sling backs!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank romanyjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Osaka, Japan
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Laid Back Moment at Japanese Ancient Ruin”
Reviewed April 11, 2012

This is one of the best and beautiful places to go when visiting Japan. Located near the JR Takeda Station, people can reach the ruins walking from the station or by car (parking lot is available on site).
There are a couple of Cherry Trees at the top of the mountain and in about mid April visitors can see the magnificent Cherry Blossom.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank kimurapilot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kumamoto, Japan
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Japanese Machu Picchu - Amazing Japanese ancient castle ruin”
Reviewed July 20, 2011

If you have a chance to visit world heritage Himeji castle, why not visit Takeda Castle ruin?

In Himeji castle, you can see the perfectly beautiful Japanese-style castle. Enormous main tower, white shining wall...
It must be the one you expected as the Japanese castle. Takeda castle ruin is a complete contrast to Himeji Castle.
There's no tower, no fascinating white wall, no such crowded people. Takeda Castle is only a ruin located on top of the mountain.
However, there's the TREMENDEOUS stone wall remained flawless, and the view from top of the ruin will fascinate you.
Especially, in the late fall, you can see the castle ruin shining above the sea of clouds.
The view deserves the name "Japanese Machu Picchu".

Access:
Takeda Sta.(About 2 hours by train from Himeji Sta. via the Bantan line), then 40 min walk or 15 min taxi.
There's a mountain trail behind Takeda Sta. The trail is a steep slope, but I dare recommend this route.
The great stone wall will impress you when you reach the summit by shank's mare.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank kuro38k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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