View of the castle grounds including the Inari Yagura tower from the honmaru (inner citadel)

Kofu Castle (b{, Kōfu-jō) is a ruined and partially reconstructed castle in central Kofu that has been made into a public park, named Maizurujo Park. It features reconstructions of a castle turret and multiple gates, as well as a Japanese garden. The surviving stone walls make it easy for visitors to appreciate the original layout of the castle, and the park affords nice views of the city and nearby mountains.

Interestingly, the original castle was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the late 16th century and not by the Takeda clan who ruled the area in preceding centuries. The reason is that, for all their military conquests, the Takeda wanted to avoid attracting conflict near home, and thus left the town castle-less. Following the battle of Sekigahara in 1600, the castle fell into the hands of the Tokugawa clan, in which it remained for the rest of the Edo Period. After the Meiji Restoration the castle was abandoned and dismantled before being opened as a public park in 1904.

Of the castle park's various features, highlights include the Inari Yagura, a reconstructed turret which can be entered for free and contains a small exhibition room with a diorama of the castle's former appearance. Good views can be enjoyed from the turret's upper floor and the castle's elevated former honmaru (main citadel) in the center of the park. Finally, a Japanese garden compliments the park's tranquil atmosphere.

The park's Japanese garden

Access

Kofu Castle is a five minute walk to the southeast of Kofu Station.

How to get to and around Kofu

Hours and Fees

Maizurujo Park

Hours

Always open, except the Inari Yagura which is open 9:00 to 16:30 (entry until 16:00)

Closed

No closing days, except Inari Yagura which is closed Mondays (or next day if Monday is a national holiday) and during the New Year holidays.

Admission

Free

Typical Visit Duration

30-90 minutes