Takeda is a small town in Hyogo prefecture, most famous for its castle ruins on a mountaintop, regarded as Japan’s “Machu Picchu”. Most people come by train and head straight for the castle, without really taking the time to check out what the rest of the town has to offer, which is a shame as it really is quite a pleasant little town, well worth spending a full day in. Here is a rundown of what Takeda has to offer.

  • 01

    Witness the ‘Castle in the Sky’ from afar

    Witness the ‘Castle in the Sky’ from afar

    Witness the ‘Castle in the Sky’ from afar

    Takeda Castle was constructed in 1441~1443, and used for almost two hundred years before being abandoned shortly after the battle of Sekigahara in 1600. It has sat in ruins ever since. An increasingly popular way to view the ruins in their entirety is to hike to the top of an adjacent peak, which allows fantastic views across the town of to the site of Takeda Castle. While this is a pleasant site during any season, we recommend visiting particularly from the end of summer to the start of winter in the early morning, when the sun rises, and the morning clouds and mist form a base around the castle – this gives the illusion that the castle is floating in the sky.
    The best spot for viewing this is roughly a 25-minute hike up the mountain from Ritsuunkyo parking lot, which can be accessed by car from Takeda town in less than ten minutes, or within an hour on foot. Don't forget to take your camera!

  • 02

    The Takeda Teramachi Temple Stroll

    The Takeda Teramachi Temple Stroll

    The Takeda Teramachi Temple Stroll

    Once you’re done viewing the castle from afar, make your way down the mountain and back into town for a spot of breakfast, before heading to the train station, behind which you’ll find a picturesque row of four Buddhist Temples, all lined up one after another. If you start at the western end of the road at Zenshoji Temple and make your way down the road via Jokoji Temple and Shokenji Temple, you will finish up at Hojuji Temple which takes you back onto the hiking trail leading up to the castle ruins. These four temples aren’t widely advertised in Takeda, but they are excellent examples of traditional Buddhist temple design, each with their own unique courtyards, well worth taking a look at.

  • 03

    Experience Takeda Castle ruins up close

    Experience Takeda Castle ruins up close

    Experience Takeda Castle ruins up close

    Once you’re done at the temples, you can embark on the 45-minute hike up the mountainside to the Takeda Castle ruins. The hike up is a pleasant one, which allows views over the town as you near the top. The hike isn’t particularly taxing, although sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes are recommended. Entrance to the castle will set you back 500 yen. Once inside the grounds, you can slowly walk around the ruins and get a feel for how vast the castle was in its heyday. Panoramic views from the castle site make for some fantastic photography too.

  • 04

    Rent Bicycles in the town

    Rent Bicycles in the town

    Rent Bicycles in the town

    Once you’re back down from the castle, head to Tenku Guesthouse, which is situated just a few minutes from Takeda Station to take advantage of their rental bicycle service. This is an excellent way to see the town, explore the streets around the town and find somewhere for a spot of lunch. Rental rates start at 200 per hour or at 1,000 yen for the day.

  • 05

    EN Sake Distillery

    EN Sake Distillery

    EN Sake Distillery

    Although this distillery is no longer in use, you can enter and see the interior of this old sake brewhouse for free. The apparatus and work tools left inside give a feeling of Japan in a bygone era. The back end of the distillery has been converted into a café/restaurant and small shop, also worth checking out for local souvenirs. They also have a pretty Japanese garden.

    ซากปราสาททาเกดะ
    place
    Hyogo Pref. Asagoshi Wadayamachoutakeda
    phone
    0796742120
    หุบเขาริตสึอุงเคียว
    place
    จังหวัดเฮียวโกะเมืองอาซาโกะวาดายามะโจทาเกดะ
    phone
    0796742120
    竹田寺町通り
    place
    兵庫県朝来市和田山町竹田
    phone
    0796742120
  • GUESTHOUSETENKU
    place
    จังหวัดเฮียวโกะเมืองอาซาโกะวาดายามะโจทาเกดะ220
    phone
    0796668836
    竹田城 城下町 ホテルEN(えん)
    place
    兵庫県朝来市和田山町竹田上町西側363
    phone
    0120210289
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