Takashima Castle

Takashima Castle was built by Lord Hineno in 1592 and is the highest elevated castle ever constructed in Japan. Known as the “Floating Castle”, Takashima was built on a small island in Lake Suwa that was connected to the shore by only a single piece of land. Today, the lakeshore no longer reaches the sides of the castle, but the gardens and moat still exist. The Suwa clan ruled the area around Lake Suwa until 1869. In the 1870s, the castle was dismantled by order of the Meiji government, but has since been restored to its original form. The castle is best viewed and photographed in the morning hours and there are English materials available. It’s open from 9:00 to 4:30pm (5:30pm from April to September). The 1st and 2nd floors serve as a museum and the third floor is an observation deck to view the surroundings.