Kochi Castle is a medieval castle located in the city of Kochi. It was built in 1611 and is one of the few castles in Japan that has been preserved in its original form without reconstruction.
History of the castle
At the very beginning of the 17th century, the lands of the current Kochi prefecture were allocated to Yamauchi Kazutoyo, for loyal service. Yamauchi began building his castle in 1601 and completed it in 1611. The building was supposed to serve as a family home. Prior to this, residences were built at a distance from the fortresses. In Kochi Castle, the central tower houses living quarters.
In 1727, a big fire broke out on the territory of Kochi Castle, many buildings, including the main tower, burned down completely. Two years later, a global restoration work was launched. The restorers of that time put a lot of work, they managed to completely restore the fortress in its original form, without introducing any innovations.
During World War II, Kochi Castle, as at the very beginning of its existence, avoided participation in serious hostilities and was better preserved than many other objects. Today, the fortress itself and the area around it look almost the same as several centuries ago. A magnificent park was laid out around the castle, the picturesque surroundings added to its popularity among tourists and the local population.
Sights of the castle
Unlike other castles, 14 original buildings have been preserved on the territory of Kochi, which are now available for visiting to everyone, among them:
- main tower;
- main gate;
- internal defensive ring.
You can also see a statue dedicated to Yamauchi Kazutoyo here, the sculptural composition is made of bronze, next to the warrior is his faithful horse. The horse figure is the largest equestrian sculpture in all of Japan.
Since Kochi Castle is located on a hill, you can see the city of Kochi from it. Once a year, locals hold a flower festival in the castle. The area is decorated with bright compositions, which are illuminated with lanterns at night. It also has its own museum, where you can see a large number of rare exhibits. Lovers of Japanese culture and history will surely like them