Lockheart Castle: A Piece of European History in Japan
Located two hours drive from Tokyo in the Gunma Prefecture sits Lockheart Castle. This famous castle has been featured in numerous Japanese movies and dramas, including the loved “Kaibutsu-kun” and “Atashinchi no Danshi”.
While the castle complex is reachable by public transportation, it is a bit more difficult as you’ll need to take a train followed by a bus or a taxi.
Once you arrive, you’ll have a sprawling 25 acres to explore for the day. Inside the premises, known as Marble Village, you’ll find a jewelry museum, the World Santa Museum, Lover’s Hill, Bridal Dress Gallery and much more.
You may wonder why many of attractions inside Marble Village have to do with love or weddings, but that’s because it is the only place in Northern Kanto that’s known as a sacred ground for lovers.
So bring your significant other, and go explore the many couples activities together. One you won’t want to miss is the “Spring Bell”. You’ll have to climb to the top floor of a tower in order to ring this bell—but they say those who do will be granted eternal love.
Lockheart Castle is an interest bit of European history in Japan. The castle was originally constructed in Scotland, outside of Edinburgh in the early 1800s. However, in the 1980s, the castle was transported from Scotland all the way to Japan via the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Once the castle was restored in 1993, it became the first European castle to be restored in Japan.
Due to all the attractions inside the Marble Village, a full day is really recommended there. They have multiple museums to check out, including the Stone Academy/Museum, the Teddy Bear Museum and A Bridal Dress Museum, featuring wedding dresses from around the world.
However, the most famous museum would have to be the Santa Museum. One may think it’s weird that there’s a permanent Santa Museum, but that’s because originally, the Marble Village was supposed to be a Santa Claus theme park. The museum now displays dolls from all over the world.
However, if lover’s attractions and Santa Claus’s are not your thing, Marble Village is also one of the best places in Japan to eat European food. Their restaurant “Big Heart” serves up sausages, beer, and lots of other popular European dishes.
Address: 5583-1, Takayama Village, Agatsuma County, Gunma Prefecture 377-0702
[post by Beth]
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