A Partial Reconstruction of a Historic Site

Ukan Tsuneyama Castle

takahashi city, okayama prefecture, visitwestjapan
Photographer | Takuma Kimura


Ukan Tsuneyama Castle was built by the feudal lord of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle (also located in present-day Takahashi City), Akiba Shigenobu. Both fortifications were constructed in the 13th century and the Ukan complex would have served as a kind of satellite for solidifying control of the entire domain.

The structure that stands today is a reconstruction of one of the castle towers and a surrounding wall. Visitors often mistake it for the castle itself, whereas it is only one of the keeps that would have served to protect a full-scale fortress.

The castle tower serves two other purposes, as it functions as both a museum and observation deck. Inside are fossil exhibits and a multimedia display on the history of the area. The most curious object on display is a replica of a turtle that would have lived around 16 million years ago when the Ukan district was at the bottom of the sea. Some of the fossils at the site have been dated as far back as 20 million years.

The third floor of the tower is an observation deck and rest area. You can appreciate an amazing panoramic view of the Ukan Valley from this point and see why this particular spot was viewed as having great strategic importance.

The castle tower and the surrounding park make up one of town’s main venues for festivals and annual events. No matter what time of the year that you happen to visit, there is something likely to be going on.

Today, the summit of the 265 meter high Mt. Tsuneyama and its surrounding environs encompass Tsuneyama Park and have become a well-visited spot for nature lovers.


About the Area

Takahashi City is a place that requires several days to even scratch the the surface of the diversity of its culture, landscape and people. As the city center is easily accessible by train that is the best place to start.

Right next to the station is the Takahashi City Library, which was conceived as a gathering place for the 21st century by town planners. An overwhelming success, the space draws locals and visitors from across a great distance.

Central Takahashi is also the home of the historic district, which includes the former residences of the samurai who served the lord of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle.

The castle occupies the highest elevation of any in Japan and is a challenging hike from the bottom of its access road. Actually reaching the castle gate requires a relatively steep climb up steps that have been set into the mountainside.

There are many options when its comes to getting outside the city but if you have limited time Fukiya Furusato Village and Nariwa are good choices. Fukiya is a historic bengara (iron oxide) mining town where the reddish-brown pigment takes on many forms. Nariwa is location of the Tadao Ando designed Nariwa Museum of Art.


Access: Take the JR Hakubi Line from JR Okayama Station to JR Takahashi Station. Take the Ukan Interchange bound bus to the Doi bus stop. It is about an 11-minute walk from the Doi bus stop to Ukan Tsuneyama Park.

Cancellation Policy

1) Detailed tour information & conditions will be given after application is made; please read and confirm the final itinerary before the departure date.
2) Reservations: Fill out the application contact form; application is complete upon payment. Reservations accepted by phone, mail, fax, online, or other communicative methods. The contract is not valid at time of reservation; the customer will be asked to submit an application form and payment within 3 days from time of reservation. If application form and payment are not submitted within the term, the reservation shall be considered void.
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4) Cancellation fees: When the application is cancelled by the customer or when payment has not been made by the specified date, Ryobi Tours shall receive a percentage of the per person tour fee as a cancellation fee, or a penalty fee. Differences in room charges that result from one person in a group cancelling shall be charged to the participating person(s).

Cancellation Date Up to 21 days prior 20-8 days prior 7-2 days prior Day prior to start of tour Day of tour After start of tour/non-participation with no contact
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