Chiba Castle (Inohana Castle)
Chiba Castle is in Chiba Prefecture (map). I accessed it from Hon-Chiba Station (for more access information, scroll down towards the end of this post). It’s a pleasant half-a-day trip from Tokyo or Yokohama, for example.
Exploring Chiba Castle
Chiba Castle (千葉城) is located in Chiba City’s Inohana Park (亥鼻公園, Google Maps).
It is also commonly known as “Inohana Castle“.
Tsuneshige Chiba of the Chiba family built the castle in 1126. The Chiba Clan assisted Yoritomo Minamoto who wanted to become the first shogun in Japan! After many years of being useful to the shogunate, the Chiba Clan slowly lost their influence. In 1455 Makuwari Yasutane, who was a relative of the Chiba Family, attacked the castle. He took control of what was left, but abandoned the castle while keeping the name of Chiba. He built Motosakura Castle shortly after that.
The current castle is a reconstruction of 1967. It houses the Chiba City Folk Museum.
In front of the castle you’ll find a statue of Chiba Castle’s founder, Tsuneshige Chiba (千葉常重).
The area around the castle is especially beautiful during spring with all the cherry blossoms. As you can see I was about a week too early. The cherry blossoms were just about to open!
Of all the castles I’ve been to this is certainly one of the least interesting castle reconstructions!
If you want to see a Japanese castle that is not too far from Tokyo or if you are nearby anyways, then please go. If you are a fan of Japanese history and Japanese castles, then you might as well skip this one!
The castle reconstruction consists of 5 floors and the museum displays exhibits related to the Chiba Clan. Here’s the official English pamphlet.pdf.
You’ll find displays of swords, guns and other samurai weapons, but also a good overview over Chiba City’s history.
As you can see they offered minimal English descriptions for the exhibits!
Some old statues and even a wooden mini replica of Chiba Castle were displayed.
Also some more recent history of Chiba City was among the exhibits.
Time’s are changing! The same street in Chiba: 2010 (left) vs. 1955 (right)
The view from the top floor wasn’t special at all. Probably one of the most boring ones I’ve ever seen.
I suppose with the cherry blossoms in full bloom it would have been a bit nicer at least.
While the castle itself is rather boring, I still like the outer appearance of it!
Here’s a close-up of the front view.
Although the cherry blossoms were late in 2012, a lot of people came to have a picnic under the (empty) cherry blossom trees. This is called “hanami” (花見, flower viewing).
|Opening Hours:||9:00am-5:00pm (no entry after 4:30pm)|
|Holidays:||Mondays, national holidays and around the end / beginning of the year
If Monday is a national holiday, it’s closed on the following day instead of Monday.
|Entrance fee:||60 yen|
|Website:||Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center|
|Access:||1) JR Sobu Line to Chiba Station – East Exit: Bus Stop 7 – Keisei Bus for Daigaku Byouin)
2) JR Uchibo or Sotobo Line to Hon-Chiba Station – walk 15 min.
3) Chiba Urban Monorail Line to Kenchomae Station – walk 10 min.
My next destination on the same day was Nokogiriyama with a HUGE Buddha statue, so stay tuned!
Have you been to Chiba Castle?
If not, would you like to visit?
I suppose it’s worth a visit during cherry blossom season.
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