Tottori Castle was originally built in 1532 and served as the regional center of power during Japan's era of warring states. Later it served as the seat of the Ikeda Clan who ruled the powerful Tottori fiefdom during the Edo Period. Unfortunately, the castle fell victim to the modernization policies of the Meiji Period government and was subsequently destroyed.
Today the Tottori Castle Ruins are all that remains on the side of Mount Kyusho at the northeastern end of the city center, with only the castle's stone walls and a single wooden gate still standing. Visitors may climb up the castle courtyards to an observation point that offers a commanding view over Tottori City. There are also hundreds of cherry trees planted along the stone walls which make the ruins one of the city's more popular cherry blossom viewing spots around mid April.
After the end of the feudal age in 1907, the former lords constructed a European style building at the base of the castle ruins. Named Jinpukaku, the white wooden building features open verandas, brick fireplaces and a beautiful wooden spiral staircase that has become a key feature of its architecture.
The building was the first in Tottori to have electric lights and served as a symbol of modernization. Over the years it was also used as a guest house of the visiting crown prince, as a public hall, reception hall and a prefectural museum. Today it houses a small museum about the Ikeda Clan and serves as a public event space, while the Tottori Prefectural Museum moved to a larger complex nearby.
Take the green line of the 100 Yen Kururi Bus from Tottori Station and get off at bus stop number 12 from where it is a few steps to the Castle Ruins. The bus ride takes about 10 minutes and costs 100 yen. Buses depart every 20 minutes. Alternatively, the ruins are a 30 minute walk from the station.