Kodama Tokaido Shinkansen slides smoothly into Kakegawa station. Out the window, the white walls of the castle atop a hill-top grab attention. Kakegawa Castle is important in Japanese history, being part of the story of the growing power-base of Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japan’s most famous Shogun who started the Edo Period and set up a new capital in what is now modern-day Tokyo. Also in the castle you can see the 3 leaf ensign of Yamauchi, the local lord assigned to Kakegawa Castle by Tokugawa. The ensign looks vaguely familiar for a reason – it is the base for Mitsubishi’s three-diamond brand.
Yamauchi family crest, became the basis for Mitsubishi’s 3 diamond logo.
First and third Sundays of the month you can enjoy being attacked by Ninja at the castle, playfully of course.
Regrettably the castle itself is a reconstruction on the original foundation stones, but just below is the original centuries-old Yamauchi residence, a protected cultural property of Japan. Enjoy the displays of original samurai suits of armour inside. You can also try on kimono.
After your day of walking around the castle precinct, take dinner at Honjin Dori, an eclectic collection of little traditional Japanese eateries.
Kakegawa is just one stop by local Tokaido train from Aino (in neighbouring Fukuroi City), host to several Rugby World Cup matches in 2019. Accommodation in Fukuroi will probably be tight around game time, so nearby Kakegawa is another option.
Kakegawa is not included in the Hakone Hachiri Tour, however customised tours can be arranged on request. firstname.lastname@example.org