Japan is said to once have had between 40,000 and 50,000 castles. Of those, about 200 had “Tenshu” style castle towers. Only a scant 12 remain to this day with their castle towers fully intact. Loved and cherished by the people, they are known as the “Genson Juuni Tenshu” in Japanese, meaning the 12 Surviving Castle Towers.

The Last Castle Tower near the ILC Kitakami Candidate Site
 The Tohoku region, where the Kitakami candidate site for the International Linear Collider (ILC) is located, has many historical places of note, including the Hiraizumi World Heritage site.
In terms of surviving castle towers here however, only one of them remains. It is located in Hirosaki City of Aomori Prefecture, called Hirosaki Castle.

Hirosaki Castle Will Only Be In Its Current Location Until the End of 2024!
Please have a look at the photo. Behind the castle stands Mount Iwaki, also known as Tsugaru Fuji. I really love this shot.
The truth is, 2024 will be the final year in which this shot can be taken.
This because Hirosaki Castle will be moved back to its original location 70 meters away in 2025. The castle is currently undergoing repairs which are done once every 100 years, and by this year the repairs will have mostly been completed. When the repairs are finished in 2025, the castle will be moved back.

The Best Time to Visit Hirosaki Castle is Cherry Blossom Season
Hirosaki Castle is also well known for its cherry blossoms. In a survey targeted towards a Japanese audience, “Ranking the Cherry Blossom Spots People Want to Visit Once in their Lifetime,” Hirosaki Castle ranked first place for this year.
This year, the middle of April was the best time to come. Japan extends very far from north to south, so please be careful of the timing in which you visit. Due to global climate change, the cherry blossoms bloom earlier each passing year. Even Japanese people are unsure of when exactly next year’s flowers will bloom…

 For more information on sights and attractions to go to in Hirosaki and the Tohoku Region, especially in Iwate Prefecture, please don’t hesitate to contact the official X account of Iwate & the ILC. https://x.com/IwateILC

If you’re interested in learning more about Hirosaki Castle, you should be able to learn more here!
FYI Hirosaki Castle(EN) https://www.hirosakipark.com/en/


【Kitakami Times 番外編】
Hirosaki Castle,it’s the only existing castle in JAPAN TOHOKU.

かつて日本には、4~5万の城があったと言われていますが、そのうちCastle Tower(天守閣)を持つ城は、約200あったそうです。いま、当時の姿のまま残っている天守閣は、わずかに12しかないんだとか。日本語では「現存12天守」と呼ばれ、国民に親しまれ、大事にされています。




弘前と併せて行くべき東北の名所、特に岩手のことについては、ぜひIwate & the ILCのエックスに気軽に聞いてみてください。

FYI Hirosaki Castle(EN) https://www.hirosakipark.com/en/