Kachoen is one of the most popular attractions in Kakegawa particularly among families with small children because they can have close encounters with wild animals and birds. It has various kinds of bird shows. Botanical garden with water lilies is great as well.
Mount Hakko is the highest peak in Kakegawa city, 832m a.s.l. It is one of the most popular hiking destinations from Kakegawa. The mountain is noted for the great view of Mount Fuji if you are really lucky. The most popular hiking route is from Fukuyo Station of Oigawa Line starting from Kanaya station. Kakegawa residents, however, take the shorter route to the mountain from the south side because they have private cars. From Fukuyo station it takes about 2 hours to the mountaintop.
Nissaka is in the eastern edge of Kakegawa and is best known as the twenty-fifth lodging station of Tokaido Highway, between Kakegawa and Kanaya. It is about twenty-five-minute bus ride from JR Kakegawa station. Nissaka area mainly consists of 1 lodging station area 2 Sanoyo-no-Nakayama hill area and 3 Mt. Awagatake area.
Also see Nissaka Travel Page.
For an evening of good music, interesting conversation, fascinating people and great food, don't miss Mal's Bar when you're in Kakegawa. It is an International Communication Space and Emporium of Gastronomic Excellence. People from all over the world flock there to broaden their horizons through warm at home hospitality with an exchange between Japanese locals and sophisticated international types. Bar Master and owner, Mal Adams, is an internationally known broadcast journalist from CNN and CBS news networks and is quite the raconteur telling stories of his days as a worldwide news correspondent and showing pictures of himself with some of his most famous friends and acquaintances such as U.S. Presidents, Japanese Prime Ministers, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson just to name a few. His wife and partner Kimie (Mama) Adams is a great cook and will prepare Neo Japanesque and western style dishes for your dining pleasure. It is a warm and lighthearted spot that features live Jazz and R&B music on a regular basis. You're gonna love it!
Otemon serves as a main entrance gate to the castle. There are two different ways to describe this gate in Kanji characters. One way uses Kanjis which mean "Main Gate", the other way use Kanjis which mean "drive-away-enemies". Whatever kanjis are used, the purpose of the gate is the same. It is the gate "to drive the enemies away". There used to be two gates at the Otemon entrance of the castle. Second gate of the Otemon entrance is now at Yusanji in Fukuroi. Present gate was reconstructured about 50 meters north of where the gate originally was located.
Gijsbert Hemmij, the chief official of VOC (Dutch East India Company) passed away in 1798 on his way back to Nagasaki in Kakegawa. His tomb lies at the premises of Tennenji Temple and epitaph was inscribed in uniquely shaped tomb in Dutch.
A "sankakuten" is a Japanese word for a Trigometrical point. Many Japanese people believe the peak with a trig point is the summit. But it is not always true. And more often than not it is misleading. This peak has a trig point and the exact elevation is shown on the map. 264.4m. But it is not a highest peak of Mt. Ogasayama nor the summit in religious sense. The presence of talismans shows the peak over Tamon Shrine is the holy mountain. Some major mountains do not have the trig points because their moutaintops do not fit for trigometric survey. Some trig points are heavily protected with yagura but most stand bare partly buried in the soil.
The temple with tongue-tying name is actually a mausoleum of Iyemitsu Tokugawa the third shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate (posthumous buddhist name: Taiyuuin) , built by Ujishige Hojo then the lord of Kakegawa castle in 1656. This place was originally an older Kakegawa castle and when the mausoleum was built this place served as an eastern extension of the newer castle. The present building was rebuilt in 1822 after the original building was lost in fire in 1818. Despite the otamaya contribution, Ujishige's house was abolished because he had no heirs.
This is where you can sense the godly atmosphere of Mt. Ogasayama with rare fern species and lined white talismans attached to the arrows show this is the religious mountain. Around Tamon shrine there is the old fortress built by Iyeyasu and you can have a nice view for the Kakegawa city area and if you have an excellent eyesight you can see the Kakegawa castle in the far distance. This area seems to be the mountaintop in the religious sense. The trig point peak(264m) is 100 meters apart from this peak.
Ninomaru Museum is part of the reason why I visit Kakegawa Castle from time to time. Particularly I love Kinoshita collection on travel paraphernalia including medicine box and tabacco pipes during Edo Period. Exhibits are changed every one or two months and a compound ticket with palace and donjon is also very convenient.
Takenomaru used to be the Kakegawa castle compartment set side for the warlord's retainers. After the Meiji Period a wealth merchant acquired this place and made a nice manshion based on bukezukuri-styled(used in Samurai residence) house with some modern addition of Meiji and Taisho Style. To protect the house from attackers the house has some unique tricks to hide the valuables and house members. It is located about 100 meters north of Ninomaru Museum.
From Tamon Shrine there is a hiking trail leading to Relay Tower peak which is the highest peak of Ogasayama mountain range(elevation: 265 meters). After crossing a narrow stream the trail is divided with ridge route and detour route. To get to the peak it is advisable to choose ridge route. After enjoying the relay tower peak which has less open space than I expected for a relay tower peak, you have to choose either to go back to the Ogasa Shrine or go down to the direct route down to Ogasaike Pond.
If you choose to go down to the perilous narrow-ridged path starting from the divide about 200 meters from the Relay Tower peak, you will need to face these dark tunnels which are rumored to be haunted. Unless you have a lighting gear going inside the tunnels is really really scary. First tunnel is only 100 meters long but the next one is twice as long. It really is tough to walk along the dark tunnel and I am truly releaved to see the light outside. After passing two dark tunnels you will reach the pond finally!
Note: The trail down to the pond is for experienced hikers! The ridge is unstable and the harsh elements sometimes knock the directing board off.
Ogasaike Pond is a water reservoir built in 1950s. This pond is popular as a base for the Mt. Ogasayama hiking as well as watching wildbirds from the floating hut in the lake. There is a hiking trail from the pond and well-trodden trail lead to the Ogasa Shrine. It used to be the center of Shugendo, Shinto-Buhhism hybrid religion. Trail around the pond may require some caution because some parts are ruined. Also you need a headlight because you have to go through some spooky tunnels rumored to be haunted.
YAGURA were used as store houses. The origin of the word yagura is "a storage place for arrows."
Yagura weren't used exclusively for arrows, but were also used to store all manner of weapons, food and supplies.
They were also strategically placed to serve as watch towers and defensive platforms.
This particular Yagura was call the DRUM YAGURA or drum tower , it used to store a GIANT DRUM which was used to announce the TIME to people in and around the castle...At the moment you can view the drum in the PALACE HALL