What to Do in Maizuru


2018.01.19

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Located on an inlet of the Sea of Japan, sits Maizuru a stunning beach town filled with fascinating history and incredible local sights. If you find yourself traveling through the Northern Kyoto area, a visit to this laid-back escape is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. The city was officially founded in 1943, however modern development of the area began back in 1904–05 during the Russo-Japanese War. The city is also home to a number of more historic artifacts including an impressive collection of temples and shrines.

  • 01

    Seafood Markets

    Seafood Markets

    Seafood Markets

    Beyond sites, one place you can’t miss while visiting the area is the seafood market at Michi-no-Eki Maizuru Port. Overflowing with local produce, it’s also home to the famous and elusive snow crab, which only grows in the near freezing waters in the North Pacific and Atlantic. There are various ways you could sample the fresh seafood from sushi to barbeque, all within the premises.

  • 02

    Gorou Sky Tower

    Gorou Sky Tower

    Gorou Sky Tower

    To get a larger perspective on the city itself, check out Gorou Sky Tower. Looking a bit like an airport control tower, this building is situated between Higashi Maizuru and Nishi Maizuru towering over the shoreline. In the observation tower which reaches an impressive height of 301.2 meters, guests can witness the beauty of the town below unfold right before relaxing with a coffee and some snacks in the tower’s warm and friendly café.

  • 03

    Kongoin Temple

    Kongoin Temple

    Kongoin Temple

    Once you’ve seen the city from up high, it’s time to head down to explore some of the area’s best hot spots up close and personal. Make your way to Kongoin Temple, a historic site that transforms with the changing of the seasons. It’s said that this temple was opened by the monk Takaoka Shinno at the beginning of the Heian era (794 to 1185). Featuring a three-story pagoda, a main temple hall, and Unzankaku hall, the area is so stunning that its scenery was referenced in the 1956 novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima. The temple is open from 9am until 4pm daily. To get there take JR Maizuru Line to Higashi-Maizuru Station then switch to the Kyoto Kotsu Bus heading towards Takahama, and get off at Kahara stop. From there the destination is a 10-minute walk.

  • 04

    Tanabe Castle

    Tanabe Castle

    Tanabe Castle

    From one historic site to the next, be sure to explore the famous Tanabe Castle ruins. Known to the locals as Tanabe-jo or Bugaku-jo, the castle and its surrounding Maizuru Park are some of the sightseeing highlights in the Nishi Maizuru area. Filled with old world charm, this castle town is home to a collection of buildings all with their own unique histories and designs. The castle was originally built by Japanese samurai daimyo Hosokawa Fujitaka in 1579, however it was dismantled in the early years of the Meiji era. Because it was originally constructed between two rivers, not allowing much space, it was constructed in a unique spiral design. Thanks to its historic significance, 1940 saw the castle’s corner turret (yagura) rebuilt, followed by a main gate which was reconstructed in 1997.

  • 05

    Maizuru Red Brick Park

    Maizuru Red Brick Park

    Maizuru Red Brick Park

    Finally, the most iconic of all the local sights is Maizuru Red Brick Park, a collection of red brick warehouses constructed during the city’s old navy times. Originally constructed in the early 1900s, during the aforementioned Russo-Japanese war, these days the area still maintains some of its military atmosphere, feeling like a scene taken from a cold war spy movie. The area is also home to a performance space and a museum dedicated to the history of red bricks.

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