Kokura Castle

The splendidly reconstructed Kokura Castle is a hands-on facility to learn about its history

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A symbol of Kokura City that was restored after the war, the castle is a facility to learn of the history of Kokura and the customs of the Edo Era for children and adults to enjoy.
Business Hours

April〜October 9:00am〜6:00pm November〜March 9:00am〜5:00pm
Adult: 350 YEN
Children: 200 YEN
2-1 Jonai, Kokurakita-ku Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka
(093) 561-1210

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A castle town facing the Kanmon Strait which flourished for its foreign trading

In 1602, Tadaoki Hosokawa, the first lord of the Buzen-Kokura clan, established the famous Kokura Castle after 7 years of construction. At the time, it stood out for not having any eaves between the 4th and 5th floors and that the 5th floor was actually bigger than the 4th floor, a style that was called kara-zukuri. The castle’s stone walls didn’t use cut stones but utilized natural stones stacked upon each other in the nomen-zumi style for a dynamic yet simple atmosphere. The castle was heavily damaged in 1866 due to war with the Choshu clan, and during the Second World War, an army facility was based at the castle. The current castle was rebuilt in 1959 and was then refurbished in 1990. Within the castle moat area, there is Kita-Kyushu City Hall, Kokura Castle Garden, Seicho Matsumoto Memorial Museum named after the famed author born in Kita-Kyushu City, and the 400-year-old Yasaka Shrine.

An interactive facility to have fun and learn about the history of Kokura

The 5th floor of the castle is an interactive area to look back upon the history of Kokura with the 1st-floor History Zone introducing the history and culture of the castle town of Kokura. The History Zone has a diorama which contains the recreation of the town as seen from a trading ship and 1,500 tiny paper dolls, and the 4.7m-high paintings of Mukae-no-Tora (Greeting Tiger) and Okuri-no-Tora (Sending Tiger) which were completed to commemorate the Year of the Tiger in 1866 when Kokura Castle was burned down. In the 2nd-floor Interactive Zone, you can actually take a ride in the daimyo kago (feudal lord’s palanquin) which shakes from front to back so that you can feel how the daimyo felt. Also, in the same zone, there is the area which shows the war council on the eve of the Shimabara Rebellion as depicted by realistic automatons, cutout panels of the lord and townspeople of the Edo Era for souvenir photographs, and yamaboko floats for the Kokura Gion Festival. The 3rd-floor Video Zone has a widescreen presentation with commentary on the history of Kokura Castle, and the 5th floor is an observation area from which you can get a full view of the city of Kokura.

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