Kokura Castle is a magnificent castle in Kitakyushu City. It is characterized by the amazing views of things such as approximately 300 cherry trees that bloom in the spring, and colored leaves in the fall.
Great Points of Kokura Castle
The castle tower of Kokura Castle has an architectural style called “Karazukuri” and was said to be the only castle using this style in the country when it was built, making it rare. Karazukuri refers to the structure where the upper floor is made larger than the lower floor and is overhanging. In Kokura Castle, the 5th floor is larger than the 4th floor.
How to Enjoy the Architecture
The area around Kokura Castle is surrounded by waterways and stone walls, so try going through the gates made from this fine stone wall called “Otemon”. Beyond the gate, there is the five-story Kokura Castle.
Once inside the castle, visit the 1st floor, where there is a theater that broadcasts the history of Kokura Castle, the 2nd-4th floor, where historical materials and weapons are exhibited, and the 5th floor, where there is a view space overlooking the city.
On the east side of Kokura Castle is the “Kokura Castle Garden”. You can see Japanese gardens and traditional buildings with beautiful ponds and trees, so be sure to visit!
At Kokura Castle, festivals are held according to the season. For example, at the Kokura Castle Cherry Blossom Festival, which is held from the end of March to the beginning of April, gourmet stalls are lined up in the square in front of the castle tower where cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and song and dance stage events are also held. In addition, at the “Kokura Castle Festival” in mid-October, gourmet stalls line up, and dances, local arts and tea parties are also held.
Famous Flowers, Photo Spots for Instagram
There are spots great to take photos for Instagram from the natural scenery to unique exhibitions.
Natural Scenery of Cherry Blossoms and Autumn Leaves
Kokura Castle is a famous spot for cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. Around 300 cherry trees are in full bloom in the spring, and the whole area is dyed pink. In particular, the scenery of the magnificent castle with white walls and cherry blossoms is very beautiful.
On the other hand, in the autumn, the leaves of zelkova and ginkgo trees turn to color the area around Kokura Castle. “Kokura Castle Garden” is a spot where a colorful autumn scenery spreads out.
Spot where you can Take a Photo with a Swordsman
On the third floor of the castle, materials related to the swordsman “Musashi Miyamoto” and “Kojiro Sasaki” related to Kokura are exhibited. Here, there is a photo spot that reproduces the duel scene of the two, and you can take a picture with the full-scale figure of the attacking Miyamoto Musashi.
Experiences and Events for Foreigners
On the first floor of Kokura Castle, there is a corner that reproduces the castle town where you can experience various things.
There are costume rental spots such as armor kabuto, ninja costumes, and kimonos. You can wear traditional clothing while exploring the first floor.
There is also a corner where you can experience Yabusame. Yabusame is a traditional samurai competition where you ride on a horse and shoot a bow and arrow. Let's try this game of riding a horse model while watching the TV screen.
About Kokura Castle
- Year of Construction: 1602 (reconstructed in 1959)
- Festival: Kokura Castle Cherry Blossom Festival/end of March-April weekend, Kokura Castle Festival / mid-October weekend
- Spot name: Kokura Castle
- Street address: 2-1 Jonai, Ogura Kita-ku, Kitakyushu 803-0813
- Access: Kokura Station ... about 20 minutes on foot
- Wi-Fi: Available (Kitakyushu City Free Wi-Fi)
- Language: English, Chinese, Korean
- Ticket Purchase: At acceptance
- Credit cards: No credit cards accepted