Here is located in the southern part of Tajima area, close to Fukuchiyama city of Kyoto. Most of visitors do not recognize Asago city. However, when it comes to the Castle in the sky “Takeda Castle”, we will have a different reaction.
Both of Takeda castle and Ikuno Ginzan are famous spots in Asago. If this is your first time to visit Asago city, I recommend to target Takeda castle more.
If you would like to visit Takeda Castle, “Tenku Bus” will take you up to the mountain depending on the season. The bus stop is located outside of the railway station. In the off-season or if you have confidence in physical strength, you can also choose to take the mountain road up the mountain.
It takes 60 min from the south mountain road or 40 min from the mountain road behind the station to climb up the mountain. You shall not go into the mountain depending on the time so that please check the website before departure.
About 3 hours may be required to see around Takeda castle including taking and waiting for a bus and climbing. If you would like to walk up the mountain road, it takes much more time.
Takeda Castle Ruins
When it comes to Takeda castle, the name “Castle in the sky” must be mentioned. When Takeda castle is surrounded by the morning mist, it is as if the castle in the sky appeared in the animation of Hayao Miyazaki so that those who likes taking a photo cannot miss here.
But if you want to see the fantastic castle in the sky, you got to be lucky! The sea of clouds appear only when various climatic factors meet the conditions. Autumn is the best season that the sea of clouds tend to appear often.
Except for the sea of clouds, stone walls of Takeda castle should be admired. Besides, Takeda Castle is also nice in the season of cherry blossoms. You can see the castle in the sky covered with the sea of pink flowers. You will feel what you cannot experience when admiring the flowers in the ground.
Season: It may not be able to go into the mountain during winter or due to the bad weather. Check the website before departure.
Getting there: get off at Takeda JR station. Walk for about 60 minutes from the southern end of the hiking trail, or about 40 minutes from the hiking trail at the back of the train station. Alternatively, take the Sky Bus for about 20 minutes to reach the site.
If your main purpose is to take a photo of the castle in the sky, Ritsuun-kyo Valley is highly recommended. However, like visiting Takeda Castle, you have to climb a mountain to see the beautiful scenery.
Ritsuun-kyo valley is located at 757m high from the bottomed of Mt. Asago. In addition to the view of Takeda castle, here is also famous for cherry blossoms called “Tajima Yoshino”.
It takes around 40-50 min from Takeda Station to the bottom of Ritsuun-kyo Valley by walk. It takes around 10 min from Takeda Station to the parking at the bottomed of the valley.
Ritsuun-kyo valley has 3 spots to take photos of Takeda Castle. It takes 5 min walk from the parking to the 3rd observatory which is closest to the station. 30 min walk is required to reach the 1st observatory where the best scenery can be viewed.
Because it is located at a distant place, you will be able to take the best photo.
The Old Kimura Distillery
A distillery originally opened for business circa 1625, the present building has been reconstructed in 1902 after having been through several fires. The outer appearance of the building has retained its original looks, with the building being a registered national heritage site. In 2013, sections of the building were refurbished, turning the site into a touristic complex. Inside, an area entitled “Castle in the Sky” is dedicated to providing information to tourists. The area contains three sections, one being an exhibition area, a video viewing room, and a tourist information area. The original store and parts of the main house of the distillery have now turned into boarding facilities, with the Komegura and Funakura becoming a restaurant. Tourists can also mingle with locals and rest in the building’s event space and its souvenir gift shop.
Opening hours: 9 am to 5 pm
Closed from December 29 to January 3
Getting there: 5 minutes walk on foot from Takeda JR station