If you’re visiting Kumano Hayatama Taisha and have a few extra minutes, it’s worth dropping by.
Walking from the JR Shingu Station to the shrine will automatically bring you to the entrance of the castle.
You’ll come to a crossing where you have to turn left in order to get to Hayatama Taisha, there you’ll see the entrance on the right side of the road. It’s very easy to spot.
From the JR station it’s a 15 mins walk.
There are a few stairs you’ll have to climb as the castle used to be on a hill.
It won’t take long. Exploring this castle site will only take about 10-20 mins.
Shingu Castle’s Origins
Shingu Castle was built from 1618-1633 by Asano Tadayoshi.
It is not clear if the honmaru was a five-storied castle tower or a three-storied one.
During the Meiji Restoration (in 1873) the castle was dismantled like many other castles as well.
Today only the stone staircase and walls remains.
It is now a public park and especially nice in spring because there are a lot of cherry blossom trees.
Because of its location on a hill the castle offered a wide view of the Pacific Ocean and the Kumano River. That’s why yet another name of the castle is Okimi Castle (沖見城, lit.: open-sea-view castle).
On the opposite side you get to see part of Shingu City from above which is also a nice view.
The small garden in the park is really neat and beautiful!
From the Shingu Castle Ruins it’s just a short walk on to Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
If you have enough time, make sure to check out both!