An entry point of Kyushu, Kokura is in Kitakyushu.
It is a larger city than you thought of, and it is a perfect place for shopping and dining!
“But, there is not place for sightseeing……! I have no interest in a castle…”
No no no, wait please a bit!
Kokura Castle is more interesting castle than you think of!
Kokura Castle was renewed in end of March 2019
As standard exhibition of a castle, there are Kabuto (a samurai helmet) and Japanese paintings, and besides these there is somewhat called the Tonosama(lord master) quiz.
Moreover, as you can actually get onto the Daimyo cage, you can absolutely have fun if you go there with more than two persons.
*Daimyo cage is a cage to carry Daimyo(land lord) used in Edo period.
Innovative Design of Kokura Castle
Kokura Castle was built by Tadaoki Hosokawa, who entered to the country as rewards of the battle of Sekigahara, in 1602.
It is built in a compact shape, but the shape is a bit different.
Can you see the floor just below the roof is one size larger?
This is the structure called as “Kara zukuri (a modern structure)” that 5th floor is larger than 4th floor.
It was devised by Tadaoki Hosokawa, also as a man of culture, and it was a rare castle, one and only nationwide at that time.
It was burnt down, however, in the fire occurred inside of the castle, in 1837.
Though it was rebuilt 2 years after, the castle tower was not rebuilt.
Then after during a long rough course of the history the castle remained as it was, but the castle tower had been rebuilt in 1959 by ardent wish of citizens of Kitakyushu City.
Surprisingly, newly built tower castle is made by reinforced concrete!
Anybody of Kitakyushu knows about this trivia.
But, for those who do not have much interest in a castle, it is all about like “ah, it is a castle of a bit different shape…”.
But, we strongly suggest you to go entering the inside, before you just give up!
The Daimyo cage is inside of the castle, and you will surely have quite different impression when you go entering inside from the impression that you have from outside!
Full Automatic Daimyo Cage Exists Only Here in Japan
Air-conditioned, the inside of castle is like a beautiful museum.
The ground floor is history zone, and diorama of replication of Kokura at that time will greet you.
It is made with about 1,500 dolls made of Japanese paper, and when you push switches, videos come out and start explaining, so, it’s worth to watch.
Climbed up the stairs, you will find experiencing zone of the inside of castle on the second floor.
Some mechanical dolls that look as if real will welcome you, while having a strategy meeting on the night before of going to battle of “Shimabara no Ran”.
Also here, when you push the switch, the dolls start to move!
It is also charming that dolls are a bit scary as these are the same size of us.
When you pass through beside of mechanical dolls, you will find the characters for your photo shooting.
Samurai warlords of the Sengoku Era and Ninja warriors are characterized here without faces so that you can place your face for photo shooting.
Both sides are painted, also mirrors are set on the other sides, so even if you are not with somebody who take your picture, you can self-shoot your photos.
And long finally, Daimyo cage appears!
You can actually freely get onto that Daimyo cage, for which everybody surely has been longing.
What a more surprise is the Daimyo cage will start moving when you push a button.
It slowly floats up, and when it swings back and forth, you will feel as if you go back in time to the Edo Period.
It is so real that you feel strange that you are not dressed in Kimono (Japanese traditional cloth).
Of course, adults also are allowed to get on, and photo shooting is also allowed, so please go there more than 2 persons and shoot photos as much as you like.
Shooting videos are also recommended.
Lord Master Quizzes And Horseback Archery
Of course, Kokura Castle is not just about the Daimyo cage.
There is a corner so called as “the Lord master quiz” in experiencing inside of the castle zone, and you will learn a lot about the lord master by ingeniously planned quizzes.
Even if you are not interested in history at all, you can enjoy the corner with the quizzes, such as “one day of the lord master” that pop videos are cute, and the quiz of the lord master’s dining table that you can actually serve dishes.
When you go up further to the upper floor, there is a video experiencing zone.
A modern mechanical doll while throwing a wig sometime guides you to Kokura at that time.
Also, what is interesting is horseback archery.
Riding on the back of the robot-horse, you can experience horseback archery.
You will see how it is difficult to shoot through the enemy while riding on the horseback.
And you will understand that people in those day had high skill of archery in Japan.
Kokura Castle Might Suit Especially Those Who Are Not Interested In Castles
The fourth floor and the fifth floor of “Kara Zukuri” are special exhibition zone and observation zone.
You can overlook the city of Kokura and the view is splendid especially on a fine day.
There are also vending machines, and the air-conditioner is not very strong, so it is also recommended to have slowly a short break, viewing the landscape.
Also, there are many living things in the moat, such as glorious carps and friendly turtles, so you will be healed.
Even if you are “not interested in a castle and history”, you can enjoy Kokura Castle.
Please make sure that you try enjoying with getting onto the Daimyo cage and playing the lord master quiz.
You will enjoy more than you thought!