Kaijo Park is located on the site of Yamagata Castle, in Yamagata. Recently, strong efforts have been made to complete renovation of the castle. On the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamagata City, the Ote gateway to the castle was renovated and is being exhibited twice a year.
In 1356, Shiba Kaneyori built defensive stockades, which became the foundations of Yamagata Castle. From 1592, Mogami Yoshiaki, his descendant, remodeled it over 13 years and completed the present castle's form. After he started ruling his territory of 570,000 goku (a unit of land that can produce enough rice for one person per year), 12 custodians took over from him.
The remaining stone walls and moats give an indication of the original castle. Within the castle grounds is a structure called Saisei-kan that shows a Western style different to the other buildings.
Now, the park is famous as a place to view cherry blossoms and enjoy hanami parties in spring.
Sendai Castle is located on Mt Aoba in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Constructed in 1601, the castle is also known as Aoba Castle. Date Masamune established the castle during the Keicho years. For 270 years it was the home of the Date family and the Sendai clan's seat of government. Due to its inconvenient setting on a mountain, the Date family moved from Sendai Castle to Wakabayashi-yakata.
Sendai Castle is constructed in a circular enclosure system with Hon-no-maru in the center and Ni-no-maru, Higashi-no-maru and San-no-maru on the outer sides. The buildings are protected by Hirose River, and to the south by Ryu-no-guchi Valley.
After crossing Hirose bridge and climbing the gentle hill, one sees the ruins of the Ote Gate, which was said to resemble a reconstruction of Hizen Nagoya Castle. Ote Gate was destroyed by war, but today the restored gate and fortress give a a feel of the old atmosphere of the castle in former times.
Ohara-tei is a mansion that belonged to the Ohara clan, the high-ranking chief retainers of the Kitsuki Domain. It is one of the best samurai buildings of Kitadai, Oita Prefecture.
The oldest record of Ohara-tei mentions that Aikawa Tozo lived here in the Horeki period (1751~1764). Later, Oka Saburozaemon named this building 'Keikaro' but he left, then the building was used for samurais. After the Bunsei period (1818~1830), the Ohara clan lived here.
Ohara-tei is valued as the most formal mansion of its kind in Kitsuki. It is distinguished by the dignified gate with row houses on both sides, subtle entrances, thatched roofs, a separation between the drawing room and living room; as well as a shikidai, an entrance for high-ranking persons.
Its neat garden and big pond make us feel that this is an unusual samurai dwelling.
The ruins of the medieval Tsunomure Castle are sited on Mt Tsunomure (577m) in Kusu, Oita Prefecture. The castle was built by Mori Tomomichi in the Koan period (1280).
During Japan's period of civil war, Tsunomore held a key position between various states and was fortified by the people of Kusu. In the 14th year of the Tensei period (1586), the castle withstood an attack by Shimazu Yoshihiro.
Today, stone walling some 7m high and 100m long still remains. Moreover, excavation since 1993 has found traces of a watchtower and a gateway dating to the period of Mori Takamasa, who ruled from the castle in the Toyotomi period. There are also remains of another stone gateway and a stone building measuring 10m by 6m. In 2004, Tsunomure Castle Ruin was designated a national historic site.