Photo by © cinnamonellie

Japan Travel: Hirosaki Clan and Best times to visit Hirosaki Castle

Tsugaru region and Hirosaki City are located in Aomori Prefecture, in northern Honshu. The area is surrounded by nature, oceans and mountains.

Rich in history and panoramic views, the Tsugaru region has a lot to offer besides apples and abundant snow.

Many visitors to Japan are not too familiar with Hirosaki. Such was my case before I spent around a year living there during my exchange program to Japan.

The Hirosaki clan and the Lord of Tsugaru

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Hirosaki has quite a history behind it. The lord of Tsugaru is the one that founded and ruled the Hirosaki clan. At the time, it was based in western Aomori Prefecture.

Tsugaru Tamenobu had won independence over Iwate Prefecture’s Lord of Nanbu, subsequent to which he became the leader of the Hirosaki clan.

Hirosaki, located in the southern part of Tsugaru, was built after Tsugaru Tamenobu ordered to build a town in 1603. This was followed by the construction of the Hirosaki Castle in 1610 at the order of Nobuhira, who succeeded Tamenobu as clan lord.

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In 1627, the castle tower was struck by lightning and burst into flames. What we see there now is actually a reconstruction of the castle finished in 1811.

The three-story reconstructed castle is situated in Hirosaki Park and is one of the rare cases of a castle rebuilt in an era other than the modern one.

Best times to visit the Hirosaki Castle

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Hirosaki Park is famous for its cherry blossoms. Many people come during spring to see the beautiful scenery composed of over 2,500 trees of various species of cherry blossoms, sakura tunnels, and the majestic Hirosaki Castle, all of which combine to create a picture-perfect panorama you can appreciate all day and night.

In 2020, you can admire the sakura trees in full bloom together with the serene atmosphere of the castle and park from April 23rd to 6th of May during the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Aside from spring, fall is one of the best times to visit the castle and enjoy beautiful chrysanthemums and trees painted in the crimson colors of autumn.

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In both seasons, you can enjoy the festive feeling of the park during the Sakura Matsuri in spring or the Autumn Foliage Festival from October-November. Of course, you can also enjoy viewing the trees at night when they have illuminations.

By - cinnamonellie.