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Amagasaki Castle - A Family-Friendly Culture Experience Near Osaka

Amagasaki Castle - A Family-Friendly Culture Experience Near Osaka

Hyogo 2019.11.16 Bookmark

Amagasaki Castle in Hyogo Prefecture, near Osaka, is a replica of a 17th-century castle. With audio guides in several languages, the castle is a great place to learn about local history. This article covers the best ways to enjoy the castle with family or a group of friends.

Translated by Ken

Written by Osawa Kumi

Amagasaki Castle: The City's Beloved Replica

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Amagasaki is a commercial and industrial city in Hyogo Prefecture on the border with Osaka Prefecture. During the Edo Period, the city was the center of the Amagasaki Domain.

Built in the early 17th century, the Amagasaki Castle (Japanese) was an important fortress west of Osaka for 250 years. The dawn of the Meiji Period brought down the samurai class and, with it, the Amagasaki Castle.

However, in recent years, support rose for the reconstruction of the castle as the city's symbol. The rebuilt Amagasaki Castle was unveiled in March 2019.

Instead of using the citizens' tax money, the funds for the castle's construction and the displays inside were raised by locals and philanthropists. Amagasaki Castle presently stands because of the community's cooperation.

Easy Access from Osaka

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Amagasaki Castle is a convenient travel destination. It is located 5 minutes south of the Hanshin Electric Railway's Amagasaki Station. Moreover, the castle is a seven-minute ride from Osaka Umeda Station using the special express train and a fourteen-minute ride from Osaka Namba Station using the rapid express train.

This article will explore the fun ways you can experience the Amagasaki Castle.

Table of Contents

Free Rentals! State-of-the-Art Audio Guide

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Purchase your ticket at the ticket machine next to the information desk. The entrance fee (including tax) is 500 yen for adults, 250 yen for elementary/middle/high school students, and free for children younger than elementary school age.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Before exploring the castle, rent your own audio guidance pen at the information desk. Register your name and phone number (contact information), and write down the number of pens you want to borrow. The pens are free of charge and require no prior reservation.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

There are 19 guide points at various locations within the castle. Use the pen to select your preferred language and press the corresponding number to listen to the audio explanation.

You can choose from Japanese, English, Korean, and either traditional or simplified Chinese.

5th Floor: Admire the City from the Observatory Zone

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

The fragrance of hinoki (Japanese cypress) will greet you as you enter the observatory zone on the 5th floor. From here, you can enjoy a stunning view of Amagasaki City.

Hinoki cypress is a type of wood used in many traditional Japanese structures. It is a costly wood noted for its fragrance.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!
Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

At the tenshu (castle keep), not only do you get an expansive view of the city, but you can also use the installed tablet device to see what Amagasaki looked like during the Edo Period. Take note of the differences between the two periods.

3rd Floor: Become a Ninja or Samurai

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Picture courtesy of Amagasaki Tourism Bureau

In the tatami-installed great hall on the 3rd floor, you can dress up as a ninja, samurai, feudal lord, or princess with a golden fusuma as the backdrop. The cosplay experience is free of charge.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Picture courtesy of Amagasaki Tourism Bureau

The elaborate garment for a princess, known as an uchikake, is also used as a wedding dress in traditional Japanese ceremonies. Since every costume comes in sizes for both kids and adults, the whole family can have fun dressing up.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!
Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

A staff member in a happi (*) will help you dress into ninja clothes or your desired outfit. Everyone is extremely friendly, so don't hesitate to ask for a photo.

*Happi: A traditional straight-sleeved Japanese coat worn primarily for festivals. The coat, which extends below the waist, is wrapped in front of the body like a kimono.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

You can also try on a samurai's helmet and jinbaori (battle surcoat). These items are popular, so pass them around when a large number of people are present.

Samurai helmets were traditionally made of metal or animal hide, mainly covered just the top of the head. A jinbaori was a sleeveless, vest-like coat worn into battle.

2nd Floor: Enjoy Games and VR at the Amagasaki Castle Zone

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Picture courtesy of Amagasaki Tourism Bureau

You will find a large selection of history games on the 2nd floor. The photo above is the swordsmanship game.

Cut as many bamboos and bundled straws while gripping onto the katana sword on-screen. The game speeds up as you progress through the levels.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Picture courtesy of Amagasaki Tourism Bureau

Guns were introduced to Japan in the mid-16th century. During the Edo Period, samurai warriors used guns alongside katanas in battle.

In the rifle game, you answer quiz questions and shoot at on-screen targets at 15-second intervals.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Use the touch screen to complete castle puzzles. You can choose among six different castles.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

You can also hold a realistic rifle replica. While feeling its weight and size, experience what it was like to handle a rifle during the Edo Period. It is surprisingly heavy!

You can tell that the warriors were hard laborers. Besides rifles, you can also try out a spear, katana, and a bow and arrow.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

On the VR (virtual reality) theater's 10-meter-wide screen, you can see how the Amagasaki Castle and its castle town existed during the Edo Period.

While the narration is in Japanese, you can receive a print-out in English, Korean, and either traditional or simplified Chinese. Just let the staff know when you walk in.

1st Floor: Shop for Unique Gifts

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Once you've explored the castle, it is now time to look for souvenirs at the gift shop on the first floor.

The sake bottles pictured above cost 210 yen (with tax) for the small size and 660 yen (with tax) for the large size. The Amagasaki Castle is depicted on the bottle's label.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

These cute key chains are 610 yen (with tax) each.

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

Another popular souvenir is a handkerchief adorned with the castle's design. It costs 1,100 yen (with tax). The gift shop is stocked with many unique mementos.

Amagasaki Castle

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Stop by the Visitor Information Center North of the Station

Amagasaki Castle - An Interactive Culture Experience For The Whole Family!

You will find the Amagasaki Tourist Information Center on the north side of Amagasaki Station. It offers various sightseeing information and suggestions on local gifts in numerous languages.

Easily accessible from Osaka and Kobe, Amagasaki Castle is loved by the local community and is a fun place to learn history. We highly recommend considering Amagasaki Castle for your next trip!

Amagasaki Information Center

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Main image courtesy of Amagasaki Tourism Bureau
In cooperation with Amagasaki Tourism Bureau

The information presented in this article is based on the time it was written. Note that there may be changes in the merchandise, services, and prices that have occurred after this article was published. Please contact the facility or facilities in this article directly before visiting.

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