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Image: PIXTA/ kazukiatuko

Kyusho Park: Admire cherry blossoms at a park featuring castle ruins, a history museum and a mansion from the 1900s

By Laura Payne

Tottori—the least populated prefecture in Japan, invites visitors to experience sand dunes, delectable food and classic anime and manga. Best of all, Tottori is off the beaten path and a great place to avoid large crowds. The prefectural capital, Tottori City, is a particularly popular destination because it offers convenient access to the sand dunes and cherry blossom viewing spots such as Kyusho Park.

Built atop the ruins of Tottori Castle and home to hundreds of cherry blossom trees, Kyusho Park is a place where visitors and locals alike enjoy the seasons and connect with regional history. Here are some of the park’s highlights.

The “Little Brother” Castle

Visitors can hike up the old stone foundations to see a bird’s-eye view of Tottori City. Image: PIXTA/ m.Taira

Tottori Castle was renowned for its defenses during Japan’s Sengoku Period (1467-1615)—an age of civil war between regional feudal lords. In 1581, Tottori Castle withstood a siege for months until starvation pushed the castle’s forces to surrender.

When the Sengoku Period ended, control of the castle transferred to Ikeda Mitsumasa—grandson of the lord of Himeji Castle. This familial connection and the fact that craftsmen who worked on Himeji Castle later maintained Tottori Castle caused this fortress to be nicknamed the “little brother” of Himeji Castle. Unlike its sibling, however, Tottori Castle was left to ruin during the Meiji Era (1868-1912)—Japan’s modernization period.

The grounds of Tottori Castle were later converted into Kyusho Park, and today visitors can hike up the old stone foundations to see a bird’s-eye view of Tottori City.

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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