After 5-minute drive from Nanshoso, a historic house in Morioka city, I could soon arrive at this Morioka Castle Ruins Park (Iwate Park). This place is one of the historical landmarks of Morioka city in Iwate, Japan. I’ve been to Iwate many times but it was my first time to visit there! From Nanshoso, you can have a quick trip to this historical park, so please enjoy both when you come!
There is a stone monument of a famous writer and poet, MIYAZAWA Kenji (1896～1933). His poem titled as “Iwate Park” is written on the monument. This poem was in his poetry which was completed just one month before his death in 1933, at his age of 37.
Walking in the beautiful park, I found a small area with a kind of cave and small stream. This area is called “Hotaru no Sato” where you can see fireflies (“hotaru” in Japanese) in summer. Fireflies glow beautifully at night but there are less and less places where people can see them nowadays. As you may know, fireflies can live in nature with clean water only. So, nature in this area seemed to be preserved for them. From the end of June to the middle of July every year, you may be able to enjoy seeing fireflies here!
Finally, I’m coming to “Honmaru”, the main bailey!
Because Honmaru is the most important place, there are steep slopes, curves and large stone walls to strengthen the defense. This is it!!
Morioka Castle has been chosen as one of the top 100 Japanese historical parks. Also, it has been recognized as one of Japan’s top 100 castles. It was the first lord, NAMBU Nobunao, who started building Morioka Castle in 1597. Then, it became his residence castle.
In 1906, a landscape architect, NAGAOKA Yasuhei, developed there as Iwate Park (Morioka Castle Ruins Park). Local people and visitors enjoy seasonal events such as cherry blossoms viewing and autumn leaves today. Including myself, I was relieved by the nature a lot. I thought it was a very good way to destress!
At the site of Honmaru, there remains a base of a bronze statue of the 42nd lord, NAMBU Toshinaga. The statue was built in 1908 to praise efforts of NAMBU Toshinaga who was killed in the Russo-Japanese War. However, due to the Pacific War, the bronze statue was dismantled to manufacture weapons.
There is a beautiful bridge from Honmaru to Ninomaru. At that time, “Ninomaru” was as important as Honmaru. The place was used to have various ceremonies, meeting place with other lords, and so on. Learning history at site is so much fun because we can imagine the old days on the actual site!
By the way, the contrast between the red bridge and green in nature are so wonderful!! I loved the walking trails so much!! This is exactly the place for relaxation, I think.
At the ruin of Ninomaru, there are more monuments of famous people who were born here in Iwate. One is a monument of NITOBE Inazo (1862～1933), who are well-known as an old educator, philosopher and a person who is featured on today’s Japanese bills. Another one is a monument in memory of a famous poet, ISHIKAWA Takuboku (1886～1912). When he was young, Takuboku often ran away from school and enjoyed reading books or taking a nap in this place. That’s surprising! It’s interesting to learn that even a great person had such experience in his childhood. I felt like we have something in common. haha!
Through my journey in this well-preserved ruin, I could not only learn history but also spend such a relaxing time in nature. This is nice relaxation techniques, I think!
Actually, we have another recommended historic site in Akita, too! It’s called National Historic Site “Akita Fort Ruins” (Akita city, Akita, Japan). You can see such historical ruins as the site of very old government office. Please enjoy both the historical landmarks in Akita and Iwate of the northern Japan!
＊＊Check them out! by KUMANEKO TRIP＊＊
＊KUMANEKO TRIP おすすめブログ記事＊
Nanshoso (Morioka city, Iwate) → Read blog♪
National Historic Site “Akita Fort Ruins” (Akita city, Akita) → Read blog♪
~~~ Facility Info ~~~
Morioka Castle Ruins Park (Iwate Park)
1-37 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate, Japan
【Parking】Morioka Castle Ruins Park Underground Parking Lot (Iwate Park Underground Parking Lot)
＊Address: 1-55 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate, Japan
・Business Hours (Incoming / Outgoing Hours)： 7:00～20:00 (7 days a week)
・Parking Fee (Regular price)：
【8:00～18:00】150 yen for every 30 minutes of parking time
【18:00～22:00】150 yen for every hour of parking time
【22:00～8:00】80 yen for every 1 hour of parking time
＊By bus: From Morioka station, about 10 minutes by bus “Den-den mushi”, etc. ～ Only a short walk from the bus stop “Morioka Castle Ruins Park”
＊On foot: From Morioka station (About 15 minutes)
＊By car: From Morioka IC (About 20 minutes)
Written by Naomi in Ugo
*As of October, 2019.