Things to Do in Fukuoka Castle and Korokan Area - [Places to Visit]2021.12.22
Located in the heart of Fukuoka City, Maizuru Park is a popular resting spot for residents and is home to the ruins of Fukuoka Castle and Korokan, essential parts of Fukuoka’s history. Take a trip back in time visiting these two spots, which are quite rare in Japan as a national historic site is located within other one. The Fukuoka Castle and Korokan area continues to evolve as a location for sightseeing as well as new discoveries and experiences for people living in Fukuoka.
If you come to the Fukuoka Castle and Korokan area, why not visit the visitor’s centre and museum to learn its history? Check in advance for the spots and information that will make your walk around the area more enjoyable. And take pictures at the best photo spots such as the magnificent stone walls.
Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center
Start exploring the Fukuoka Castle and Korokan area here!
Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center located in front of the Korokan Square, is an information facility where you can experience the history of Fukuoka Castle. Inside the centre, a 1:400 scale model of the castle in the late Edo period is on display to show visitors what it used to be like.
There is also an exhibition of old maps with which you can enjoy comparing with the current locations. The reception provides information on the castle’s highlights and recommended spots. “When you come to Fukuoka Castle Remains and Korokan Ruins, please visit us first. The information you get here will make your visit more interesting” says a staff.
❖Fukuoka Castle Visitor Center
Address: 1-4 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
Official website: https://fukuokajyo.com/facility/mukashi-tanboukan/
Korokan Historical Museum
Reminiscing the historical romance of long ago
Korokan was established more than 1,300 years ago. It was used to welcome foreign guests in the Asuka, Nara and Heian periods, serving as a guest house for delegations from mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. It was also used as an accommodation for Japanese diplomatic envoys to the Tang Dynasty and Silla Dynasty awaiting their departure. Similar facilities were also built in Kyoto and Osaka, but only this Korokan in Tsukushi (ancient name for the North of Kyushu) has been recognised as its ruin and designated as a national historic site.
The discovery of the remains during the refurbishment of the Heiwadai Baseball Stadium in 1987 led to a full-scale survey, which was later opened to the public as a historical museum. Built on top of the remains, the museum allows visitors to see the real remains up close, and also displays excavated artifacts and documents that show the exchange with foreign countries. There is much that remains to be discovered, so why not let your imagination run wild and explore the romance of history?
❖Korokan Historical Museum
Address: 1 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City
Official website: https://fukuokajyo.com/kourokan/
Korokan, an ancient guesthouse, and Fukuoka Castle which gave its name to our city, are two historically important facilities built on the same site over time. Knowing about these two sites not only unravels the history of Fukuoka but also opens the door to the future.
Sannomaru Square has an exhibition designing layers of time like strata that shows highlights of the history of Korokan and Fukuoka Castle. Visitors can also learn about the future with a focus on the Central Park Project.
❖Sannomaru Square Information
Address: 2-5 Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City (the former site of Maizuru Junior High School)
Official website: https://fukuokajyo.com/facility/sannomaru-square/
Fukuoka Castle Recommended Photo Spots
❖Honmaru Omote-Gomon Gate (front gate of main circle)
This is the location of the Omote-Gomon Gate, which was used to enter the Honmaru from the north side of Ninomaru (second circle). Today, the stone walls and stairs that formed the turret tower remain as it was those days. In 1918, the Omote-Gomon Gate was relocated at Sofukuji Temple, the family temple of the Kuroda family, and is now designated as a cultural asset of Fukuoka Prefecture as the Sofukuji Temple Gate.
Looking back from the top of the stairs, you can see Fukuoka Tower between the stone walls, making it a great spot to take photos of Fukuoka, both old and new.
❖Base of Castle Keep
The Base of Castle Keep is the stone wall that serves as the foundation for the castle tower. Fukuoka Castle has a large, medium and small castle tower. The large tower, which appears after climbing up the Kurogane-Gomon Gate, has a row of foundation stones measuring 25m from east to west and 22m from north to south.
It is not known whether the castle tower was ever built, and there are theories that it was never built, or that it was built but demolished after only ten years. The castle is now an observatory and offers a panoramic view of Fukuoka City and Hakata Bay.
The Tamon-Yagura Turret located in the Minami-Maru (South Ninomaru), is the only turret that has existed in its present location since the Edo period and has been designated a National Important Cultural Property. The present Tamon-Yagura Turret was rebuilt between 1853 and the following year.
It was built on top of a high stone wall to protect the castle with defensive features such as machicolation and gun slit. The view from underneath the stonewall is also a popular spot for photography.