To the 16 km south-east of Tojinbo, Maruoka castle or Kasumi-ga-jo, whose keep (Tenshu) is believed to be the oldest of the remaining keeps in Japan (built in 1576), stands on the hill located on the east of Maruoka city. Although the scale of the Maruoka castle may not be as impressive as the other major castles in Japan, the historical architecture of the keep is promising for a short time travel to the ancient Azuchi-Momoyama Period. The name Kasumi-ga-jo comes from the legendary huge serpent who covers the castle with thick mist and protecting it from enemies. Today, the Maruoka castle is covered every year with Hana-Gasumi, flower-mist, of 400 cherry blossoms. (Designated as Important Cultural Properties of Japan)
Unlike the stone wall in Matu pitu, famous for its polished accurately arraged stone wall, the stones here seem to be arranged rather rough, but this allows rain water to run through the gaps, making the stone wall stronger and more durable in Japanese climate. The stone wall is also protected by human sacrifice. There are several stories associated with this human sacrifice. According to the one of stories, after a few occasion of accidents during the construction of the castle, a princess was chosen to be buried as a human sacrifice. She then turned to the huge serpent and protected the castle for a long time.
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- Address： 1-59 Kasumicho Maruokacho Sakai-city Fukui Prefecture, Japan
- Access： Take a bus from JR Fukui Station to “Maruoka jo” (40 minutes), the castle is within a few minutes walk distance. From JR Maruoka Station, take a bus to “Hon-maruoka” (15 minutes), and then walk about 5 minutes.
- Parking： Yes
- Hours： 8:30 to 17:00 (17:00 close)
- Admission： Adult 300 Yen Child 150 Yen
- Phone： 0776-66-0303
- HP： Maruoka Tourist Association