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Morioka Castle Site Park

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Morioka Castle Site Park

The Morioka Castle Site Park was first built towards the end of the Sengoku period by Nanbu Nobunao, who tasked his son Nanbu Toshinao to oversee the construction. Despite the flooding from the Nakatsu and Kitakami Rivers, the castle was completed in 1633 and Nanbu Shigenao, the third lord, was able to take up residency. The castle site used to be called Kozukata Castle, until it was renamed to Morioka because the ruling lord at the time preferred it. One year later after in 1634, the main keep burned to the ground and was never rebuilt. The Nanbu Clan made Morioka Castle their residents throughout the Edo Period. When the Meiji Restoration began, Morioka Castle as well as other structures was demolished in 1874. All that was left were the castle walls. For many years after the castle site was left neglected and unattended. During this time two famous poets visited the grounds and wrote about it. Kenji Miyazawa, a famous children’s book writer, wrote poems about the castle ruins and there is a monument dedicated to him.

Ishikawa Takuboku, a famous young Japanese poet, went to middle school in Morioka. Takuboku used to skip classes to go to the nearby Morioka Castle Site Parks where he would read books. A memorial plaque is dedicated to him with a poem by him that translates to “Lying on the grass of Kozuata’s palace staring up at the sky, the heart of being 15.” In 1906, the Morioka Castle ruins were open to the public as Iwate Park when Yasuhei Nagaoka, a modern park designer, finished his garden layouts that infused the castle walls. Then in 1934 the Nanbu Clan donated the area to Morioka city. The Morioka Castle Site Park is now a popular spot for the cherry blossom and autumn seasons. At its centennial celebration the name of the site changed from Iwate Park to Morioka Castle Site Park to commemorate its history.



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Travel Japan more flexibly in groups of 6 to 13 people using public transportation.

Explore Japan off the beaten path via Japanese public transportation, walking, hiking, cycling and more. Take more time to enjoy local experiences and picturesque landscape. Our Active Small Group Tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path via Japanese public transportation, Discover the country of Japan the way the locals do and see Japan from a different angle. A focus on getting away from the crowds and into the real Japan, see the diversity of Japan’s countryside unfold before your eyes.

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