History of Takato Castle
History of Takato Castle
The Takato Castle is an officially designated historical site and certified as one of “The 100 Fine Castles in Japan”. The castle is well known as a castle which had been owned by Takeda Shingen, one of the famous warlords in the age of provincial wars in Japan.
Takeda family governed Takato for 35 years, but Nishina Goro Morinobu, the lord of the castle at the time, died in the tremendous battle with Oda family (the family of Oda Nobunaga) in 1582 (the battle of Takato Castle). The castle was finally turned over to Oda family.
In the Edo Period, the Takato Castle was the government office of Takato-han (Takato Domain) for about 270 years, in the political center of Kami-Ina Province.
Hoshina Masayuki, a lord of the castle in the early stage of the Edo Period, was a grandchild of Tokugawa Ieyasu (the founder of the Edo Shogunate) and has been celebrated as a ruler of virtue who supported the establishment of the shogunate.
In the Meiji Period, the castle went out of use and all buildings were destroyed. The premises of the castle was finally designated as a park in 1875. Cherry trees were transplanted to the castle from the “Sakura-no-baba” (Hippodrome of cherry blossoms) of the old Takato Domain. It was the beginning of the cherry blossoms in Takato Castle Site Park.
In Ina City, we have pure water upwelling from two Japan Alps and 4 sake breweries for splendid sake (rice wine). Each of the breweries has been walking with the history of the castle town Takato. You can enjoy clear but tasty sake using the underflow water from the mountains as mother water.
One of the local dishes in Takato is “Takato Soba” (see the page of “Ina_the birthplace of Shinshu Soba”) with the soup called “Karatsuyu”. The soup is made from grated radish called “Karami Daikon” added with grilled miso (soybean paste). “Takato Manju” is a type of Japanese confectionery given to the lord of the Takato Domain as a gift in the past. The taste of the Manju is different between confectionery shops, so that it is one of popular souvenirs in Takato.
Promenade in History
Takato is a town with an old history and prospered as the castle town of Takato Domain, and the town had been in the center of politics, economy, education and culture in Ina Valley (Kami-Ina Province). Temples and shrines are scattered around the town of Takato together with quaint alleys to leave appearance of the old castle town.
Takato produced many stone masons called “Takato Ishiku” (see the page of “Welcome to Hometown of Takato Masons”) in the Edo Period, and many of them worked successfully all around the nation according to their sophisticated techniques. You can see many stone Buddha statues along the highways in the Edo Period and in the premises of old temples and shrines. Scenery with stone statues, respected by residents of local communities are still left around the town.
“Takato Historical Museum” exhibits materials according to themes of history, culture and folk customs. The museum also exhibits the house for “Eshima”. She was a female officer for the “Ohoku” (inner palace of the Edo Castle, the government office of the Edo Shogunate and the residence of the Shogun, the top of the shogunate). She was banished to Takato and confined in the house. The house has been restored, so that you can imagine the frugal lifestyle at the time.