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Oita prefecture is known for many tourist attractions, but you will not find Saiki Castle Ruins on the typical tourist maps that a lot of charm has to offer. Let’s discover Saiki, known as a samurai town in Japan.
Getting to Saiki
You have to take the H73 bus to Ootemae (大手前バ ス乗り場) from a bus stop right in front of Saiki Station.
Price: 140 ¥ (~＄1.24).
From there, you will arrive at the destination shortly.
A little history
Check out this 700-meter long road given a name as “The Way of History and Literature (歴史と文学のみち)” that stretches from Otemonzeki ruins to Youken-ji temple. In 1986, it was designated one of Top 100 Roads in Japan.
Visit Saiki, the Samurai Town
First, cobblestone streets and statues will guide you into a time travel. You may find some panels, telling tell you stories and make it possible to give you further deepen understanding of the place while walking (if you can read Japanese language a bit).
Not only many modern buildings such as schools or houses, but also historical aspects would give me the feeling like ‘modernism and tradition’. You will also come across a church. The mix of the beauty of Japan and different traditions and cultures make it possible to keep its values.
I saw very few cars passing during my visit. In other words, you can take your time to keep going for a stroll around.
The old houses and its old lanterns as well as listening to bird singing songs really make you wonder about the time of the samurai. This is a good small escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Take an overlook to Mt. Shiroyama in the background, would also give it a charm more.
Then, if you take a closer look at the architecture, you will notice the precision and beauty of it. Especially I found the roof very interesting as shown in the photo below. As for old buildings, they look like new while keeping its appearance of houses representing the past. They will ask you only one thing: just visit.
The large paved driveway is a traditional road between remains and ruins. If you feel like it, you can enjoy tea at Kyushintei Tea House on the road.
If you’d like to spend more time educating yourself, then Doppo Kunikida Memorial House will give you a little knowledge of culture.
You will also find a place to rent a bicycle on the road if you want to go bicycle touring in the city.
- Adult : 300 ¥ (~＄2.67) per 3 hours
- Child : 200 ¥ (~＄1.78) per 3 hours
You will also find a temple to visit. Stone path on the garden in the center of the castle ruins is worth a visit.
If you have time and like hiking, visit Mt. Shiroyama nearby. You can see remains of stone walls which were built in 1606 and is now well known as a symbol of Saiki City. You can start your hiking with a beautiful climb at the center of the forest. The air is fresh during Japanese summer.
The area is also known as a popular sightseeing spot for cherry blossoms, and holds an annual spring festival.
Far from a beaten path, a trip to Saiki Castle Ruins will make Japanese culture enthusiasts delighted – especially those who are interested in the samurai period. So it is a short trip into the past that has kept its appearance of the past.