Sightseeing in Wakayama

Numerous rich and varied highlights in "Wakayama castle"! Feature the castle, famous for cherry blossom and scarlet maple leaves, soaring in Wakayama city center!

"Wakayama castle", standing stately in the central of Wakayama city. Do you know there are many highlights in this historical castle known as one of the castles belonged to the three branch families of Tokugawa?

The castle became famous recently for superb views of cherry blossoms and scarlet maple leaves,and it is bustling when "Cherry blossom festival" in Spring and maple leaves in Autumn, but its highlights are only these?

The answer is "No!".

"Wakayama castle" is located on the top of Torafusu (tiger standing by) mountain, and when seen from the outside it looks as if it was only an ordinary castle with a donjon . But when you proceed your steps toward the castle, there are many must see spots in addition to "cherry blossom" and "maple leaves".

Combined with so called "Parallel donjon", which is a rare structured donjon in Japan, there are numerous unique views as broadcasted in TV, "shaped as a small man...", "inclined in 11 degrees" and "Wow, such facility in a castle..."

We would like to feature Wakayama castle, where we can enjoy strolling around with pleasure.

Table of contents for this article

1, Basic and useful information of Wakayama castle
2, Map of inside Wakayama castle
3, Highlights of "Wakayama castle" with rich and varied rare spots!
4, Wakayama castle seen by Google Street view
5, Comments from EnjoyJapan! Editorial dept.
6, Access to Wakayama castle
7, Parking information around Wakayama castle
8, Recommended information around Wakayama castle

1, Basic and useful information of Wakayama castle

Basic information

Donjon of Wakayama castle

Name: Wakayama-jo
Prefecture: Wakayama
Area: Wakayama city area
Postal code:640-8146
Address: 3 Ichibancho, Wakayama city, Wakayama
Tel: 073-422-8979 * Wakayama castle donjon

・Wakayama castle donjon/from Dec. 29 to 31
・West wing garden of Wakayama castle ※Koyodani Teien/from Dec.29 to 31
・Ohashi roka (bridge corridor)/from Dec.29 to Jan.3
・Tea House Koshoan/from Dec.29 to Jan.3
・Wakayama-jo Zoo/No closed day
・Wakayama History museum Exhibition hall/from Dec. 29 to 31


・Wakayama castle Donjon

Ordinary days/9:00 〜 17:30 ※Entrance by 17:00
Wakayama castle cool night visit period (from Jul.20 to Aug.31)/
9:00 〜 20:00 ※Entrance by 19:30

・Wakayama castle West wing gargen ※Koyodani garden/
9:00 〜 17:00

・Tea House Koshoan/9:00 〜 16:30
・Ohashi roka bridge corridor/9:00 〜 17:00
・Wakayama castle Zoo/9:00 〜 17:00
・Wakayama history museum Exbition hall/
9:00 〜 17:30 ※Entrance by 17:00

Entrance fee:

・Wakayama castle Donjon

Adult/410 yen
Child /200 yen ※Primary school or Junior highschool student (age 6 to 15)

・Wakayama castle West wing garden ※Koyodani garden/Free
・Tea House Koshoan/A cup of tea 460 yen
※Tea is served with seasonal Japanese sweet confectionery
・Ohashi roka bridge corridor/Free
・Wakayama castle Zoo/Free
・Wakayama history museum Exhibition hall/

Adult /100 yen
Child ※Primary school or Junior highschool student (age 6 to 15)/Free
※Combined addmission ticket to museum and the Donjon is available

Parking: Yes

※Parking fee is charged.。
※There are municipal or special metered parking lots around Wakayama castle.

Official site: http://wakayamajo.jp/

Useful information

Less than 10 minutes walk from the nearest station: Yes
Credit card: Unknown
Foreign language speaking staff: Unknown
Free Wi-Fi: Unknown
Average visit time: approx. 1h and 30minutes or more
Other useful information:

・Please also check events information on Wakayama castle official site as several events take place regularly.
・Wakayama castle is famous for scenic beauty of "cherry blossom" in Spring and "scarlet maple leaves" in Autumn.

2, Map of inside Wakayama castle

 Map of inside Wakayama castle in Japanese
Quote: Wakayama official site/http://wakayamajo.jp/

Download the map of inside Wakayama castle (PDF)

List of buildings in Wakayama castle

●Gate to the castle/Ootemon gate
●Gate to the castle/Okaguchimon gate
●Ninomaru (outer palace)
●Ohashi roka (Bridge corridor)
●West wing garden
●Tea House "Kosho-an"
●Gokoku jinja shrine

3,Highlights of "Wakayama castle" with rich and varied rare spots!


Wakayama castle looks ordinary castle from outside.From now, we would like to show many unusual and rare highlights of Wakayama castles, which you may see if you enter.

Highlights of the donjon which soars in the middle Torafusu mountain's green

@iambaueeeが投稿した写真 -



View of Wakayama castle donjon

The donjon of Wakayama castle is built on the top of Torafuku mountain. If you enter the donjon, therefore, you can see the whole castle town, Wakayama city. Please enjoy the scenery.

Wakayama city view from Wakayama castle donjon

Wakayama city view from Wakayama castle donjon

Wakayama city view from Wakayama castle donjon

Now, we are going to see the most important highlight of the donjon.

First, the donjon of Wakayama castle is famous for its unusual structure as a castle in Japan.
It's called "Parallel donjons"; if you see the structure from above, all buildings such as main donjon and smaller donjon, second gate to donjon (Kusunokimon), second gate turret, Inui (Northwest) gate, kitchen and Tamon turret are connected and create a figure of chinease character "yen".

There are only three castles that have the "parallel donjons" structure in Japan:

・"Wakayama castle" in Wakayama prefecture
・In Hyogo prefectureWorld Heritage and National Treasure"Himeji castle"
・and "Matsuyama castle" in Ehime prefecture

Please check the rare structure of donjon, as it can be seen only in these three castles.

@riko3288が投稿した写真 -



The donjon, called "parallel donjons" in Wakayama castle

In addition, you should not miss beautiful stone walls of Wakayama castle. The Wakayama castle donjon used to be designated as a National Treasure, but at World War II it was burnt and fell down because of great air raids in Wakayama. Then current donjon has been reconstructed and lost the title of National Treasure, so now it's "Ex-National Treasure". Nonetheless, its figure keeps exactly what it used to be in old time, and walls of the donjon are beautiful brilliant white even now, so please see the walls closely.


Brilliant white walls of the donjon

Plus, during Wakayama castle cool evening event (from July 20 to August 31) the castle is illuminated.

明石さん(@akaishi908)が投稿した写真 -



Illuminated donjon in Wakayama castle

The rare shot became a hot topic in TV! This doll-like figure is...."tree root"!



One of the secrets why Wakayama castle is famous as a rare spot is "a tree root which looks like a man" located at the foot of "Urasaka Nobori slope". It is indescribably cute as it looks like a small man trying to climb the stone wall.

For me his hand looks be stuck between stones. :)

Since this rare figure is shown in TV program, "a tree root which looks like a man" has become so famous that a lot of tourists come here to take pictures.

Stone masonry varied according to period of history

Stone walls in Wakayama castle



Stone walls in Wakayama castle

Let's check out the stone walls inside Wakayama castle. Depending on period of history, the way how to lay stones and kinds of stones varies.

●Nozura zumi (Natural stone loading):

Can be seen in front of outer palace (Ninomaru). This is the stonewall from original style, laying up "natural stones".

●Uchikomi hagi (Embedded stone laying):

Can be seen after entering the castle from Otemon gate. Between big rocks small stones are embedded and the surface of the stonewall is roughly flattened.

●Kirikomi hagi (Cut stone laying):

Can be seen if you proceed further. Rocks were cut carefully and laid up to make a straight line.

I would like to draw your attention to the marks sculptured on the stones of the stonewall. It is said that on approx. 2100 stones, around 170 kinds of marks were sculptured.

Marking sculptures on Stonewalls of Wakayama castle


"Marking sculptures" on stonewalls

Don't forget to check Important Cultural Asset "Okaguchi mon gate" and the other gates!

Okaguchi mon gate, Important Cultural Asset of Wakayama castle

"Okaguchi mon gate", Important Cultural Asset of Wakayama castle

뀽さん(@jongsoo.ryu)が投稿した写真 -


@iam1988jamieが投稿した写真 -


"Ichinohashi Otemon" gates

Good examples of Wakayama castle gates are, two-story "Okaguchi mon" gate selected as Japan's Important Cultural Asset, "Ichinohashi Otemon" gate which used to be a main front gate in Tokugawa government period, and "Oimawashi mon" gate.

Must to see "Ninomaru" (outer palace) and "Ohashi roka" (Bridge corridor) which you may never have seen before!

Once in Tokugawa government's time, as the main palace was located on mountain top and life there was not very easy, then outer palace is said to be used as a base. Here, there used to be "Omote" where ceremonies took place, "Nakaoku" as an official residence of the lord, "Oooku" which was the lord's private residence where female servants also lived. At that time "Oooku" existed only in "Wakayama castle", "Edo castle" and "Nagoya castle".

Now, "Ninomaru palace" and "Ninomaru garden" are maintained as plaza and turf field which are used as venues of events in Wakayama castle park.



"Okashi roka" (Bridge corridor)

"Ohashi roka" is a rare must-see place in Wakayama castle. This corridor was constructed in order for the lord and his close retainers to pass between "Ninomaru" and "Nishinomaru" where they used to spend the daily lives.This bridge is rare because it is covered with the roof and walls to hide inside, and it is inclined with 11 degrees.

HISAさん(@hisa815815)が投稿した写真 -


@masa.105が投稿した写真 -


Inside of "Ohashi roka" (Bridge corridor).You can see clearly the inclined corridor!

【Ohashi roka (Bridge corridor)】

Hours/9:00 〜 17:00


A Japanese garden "Nishinomaru garden" made in Edo period, is now called "Koyodani Teien" and famous for scenic beauty of scarlet maple leaves.

@a_0229_10_hが投稿した写真 -


mikaさん(@mi.ai.ka1104)が投稿した写真 -


View of "Nishinomaru teien" (West wing garden)

A Japanese garden "Nishinomaru teien" (West wing garden) made in Edo period is also one of must-see spots in Wakayama castle. Located on the skirt of Torafushi mountain, this garden is characteristic with water moats which look like ponds. Now it has became famous for scarlet maple leaves in Wakayama and called "Koyodani teien" (Scarlet maples garden) as a second name.

Let's imagine long time ago in Tokugawa government time, the lord of the castle would enjoy seasonal beauty admiring maple leaves and drinking tea in this garden in Autumn.


"Nishinomaru teien" (West wing garden) Autumn maple leaves

【Information of Nishinomaru teien garden】

Hours/9:00 〜 17:00

Plus, please remember that there is a tea house "Kosho-an" of Sukiya zukuri architecture in Nishinomaru teien.



Tea House "Kosho-an"

Tea house "Kosho-an" was constructed in 1973 by well-known Mr. Konosuke Matsushita commemorating the garden's re-establishment. The name of "Kosho-an" comes from two Chinese characters which represent "Koyodani"'s Ko and "Matsushita"'s Matsu (another reading of this character is Sho).

In this tea house you can enjoy a cup of "green tea" admiring the garden.

【Information of tea drinking in Kosho-an tea house】

Hours/9:00 〜 16:30
Fee/460 yen
※You can enjoy green tea and a seasonal confectionery.

"Wakayama castle" in Spring ornate with more than 600 cherry trees, is famous for scenic beauty.

@photo_life_manが投稿した写真 -



View of cherry blossom in Wakayama castle

Don't forget seasonal charms. Cherry blossoms in Wakayama castle is famous as scenic beauty in Wakayama. There are cherry trees here and there in the castle, and the whole castle turns into cherry pink color. You can admire cherry blossom.

In addition "Cherry festival" or other Spring event take place in Wakayama castle, and the castle is illuminated in night time, so you can enjoy cherry blossom reflecting pink light to your content.


Shot of "Cherry festival" in Wakayama castle

Matsuさん(@matz.2014)が投稿した写真 -


Illumination of cherry blossom in Wakayama castle.

This is a seasonal highlight of Wakayama castle.

A zoo in castle!? Free entrance Wakayama park zoo in Wakayama castle!

@daria070が投稿した写真 -



Of course, a zoo in a castle is very unique.
Plus, "Wakayama park zoo" is an old historical zoo which opened in Taisho period (early 20th century).

Currently 28 mammals of 13 various kinds, and 76 birds of 20 kinds are kept here. The admission is free and adults and children can enjoy the zoo.

You can meet "such cute animals" in the castle outside the zoo.



Squirrels live in Wakayama castle. If you are lucky, you can meet them!

4, Wakayama castle seen by Google Street View

You can see inside Wakayama castle donjon and scenery of Wakayama castle town from the castle.

Inside donjon of Wakayama castle

You can see inside donjon of Wakayama castle and scenery of Wakayama city from the donjon.

Inside Wakayama castle

You can see buildings of Wakayama castle closely.

5, Comments from EnjoyJapan! Editorial dept.

Donjon of Wakayama castle

"Wakayama castle" soars in the central area of Wakayama city, and it looks a very ordinary castle from outside.But if you enter the castle, there are many rare highlights which were introduced in TV programs. It's possible to enter the donjon and see inside, and please enjoy the scenery of Wakayama city as well. If you see the castle town from high place, it would be different view.
In addition, Wakayama castle is popular as scenic beauty of cherry blossom in Wakayama. In Spring time "Cherry festival" takes place and "Illumination" is good chance to admire the beautiful cherry blossoms. In Autumn scarlet maple leaves are seasonal charm. Wakayama castle has various seasonal beauties.

And lastly, there is "Wakayama castle zoo", which is a good place to enjoy with children.

6, Access to Wakayama castle

Postal code: 640-8146
Address: 3 Ichiban-cho, Wakayama city, Wakayama
tel: 073-422-8979 ※Wakayama castle donjon

【From Osaka direction】

・Take Nankai line and get off at "Nankai Wakayama shi", then walk 10 minutes.

(Train&Bus, taxi)
・Take JR Hanwa line and get off at "Wakayama"station, then take Wakayama city bus (route 0 or 25) and get off at "Koen mae" (Park front).
・Take JR Hanwa line and get off at "Wakayama" Station, approx. 10 minute by taxi to Wakayama castle

7, Parking information around Wakayama castle

Parkings map around Wakayama castle
Quote:Wakayama castle official site/http://wakayamajo.jp/

【Nearby parkings information】

・P1:Wakayama park parking/58 lots/1H 200yen or more
・P2:Oka park parking/34 lots/30min. 150yen or more
・P3:Wakayama city central parking/564 lots/
(weekdays) 1H 160yen or more
(weekends and holidays) 1H 160yen or more
・P4:Wakayama prefectual art museum parking/90 lots/
※9:00 ~ 18:00

Download neaby parkings map (PDF)

8, Recommended information around Wakayama castle

※To be released later.

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Date created:2016/07/08

Last update:2016/08/30

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