There’s really never a bad time to visit the ruins of Takeda Castle. A frequent entry on lists of Japan’s best castles, the 353-meter altitude of the mountaintop site, located in the city of Asago in Hyogo Prefecture, provides it with breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain.
But perhaps the best time to visit is right now, and ironically the reason is because those views are likely to be obscured.
The meteorological phenomena, called "unkai," or “sea of clouds,” in Japanese, occurs most frequently from September to October, particularly in the early morning. At its most dramatic, "unkai" makes it appear as though the castle is floating in the sky.
So why is autumn the best time to witness "unkai?" Because the season is the sweet spot for the humidity level needed for these cloud formations. Japan’s summer is often too wet and its winter too dry.
In addition, the relatively large swings between daytime highs and overnight lows at this time of year are ideal for producing the mists that make these photos look so otherworldly.
If you’re looking to see the "unkai" at its optimal conditions, you’ve still got a few weeks left in which to make your travel plans, and detailed information about how to get to the Takeda Castle ruins can be found here, in English, on Asago City’s official website.
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