Takato Joshi Park | Nagano Travel Guide
History of Takato-jo Castle
The place where there is currently the Takato Joshi Park, there used to be a castle called Takato-jo (高遠城). The exact date of construction and its builder are not known, but it was already there in 1541.
Several squires occupied this castle to control the area, but after the Meiji Restoration in 1871, Nakato-jo Castle was destroyed and the old castle trees were auctioned off. This destroyed the castle grounds. In 1876, the former samurai (clans) of the area could not bear this reality and decided to create a park. They did this by planting cherry trees and moving the old gates and buildings of Takato town to this park.
Thanks to this effort of old samurai, this park has now become a famous place to admire the cherry blossoms in spring. We now have about 1500 cherry trees in this park. It is a unique place where we can see the central Alps between the cherry blossoms.
The variety of cherry trees here is the Takato Kohigan Zakura, and we can find this variety only here. The petals are pinker than those of the Somei Yoshino variety which is more common in Japan.
What to See Near Takato Joshi
But there is more in this area. A 15-minute walk from Takato Joshi Park (1 km south of the park), we can admire 170-year-old weeping cherry trees, called Katsuma Yakushi-do no Shidare-zakura (勝間薬師堂の枝垂桜), literally the weeping cherry trees of the Katsuma Yakushi-do temple.
A temple called Yakushi-do was built in 1603 on this land. Unfortunately, between 1772-1781 (the exact date is not known), this temple was abandoned. And nowadays, only the Yakushi-do pavilion housing 13 Buddhist statues still exists. Between 1854 and 1860, the inhabitants of the village planted weeping cherry trees.
These large weeping cherry trees are just beautiful. Don’t forget to see these cherry trees when you visit Takato Joshi Park.
Access: 15 min. walk from Takato-eki bus station (25 min. from Ina-shi station on the Iida-sen line)
Admission fee (during cherry blossom season): 500 yen for adults / 250 yen for school children
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