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The Unique Ne Castle in Hachinohe

Posted By on Aug 22, 2014

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Located in Hachinohe, the southeastern area of Aomori Prefecture, Ne Castle is certainly not well known by tourists. Right outside the JR station, you’ll find a bus that will take your directly to the castle within 15 minutes.

Ne Castle is unique and unlike any other, so I really recommend a visit if you’re already out that way.

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Built in 1334 by Moroyuki Nanbu, Ne Castle was established as the center of imperial government in the area. However, a few years later Hachinohe Castle was erect just to the east of Ne Castle on the coast, which became the actual center of imperial government.

At Ne Castle there is no keep or turret, and not even stonewalls or motes to see. But maps suggest where these features were most likely to stand. Honestly, the grounds don’t seem much like a castle at all, and instead looks like a series of tiny triangular buildings, but that’s what makes Ne Castle interesting.

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This castle is not original, but the reconstruction was done very well using only the original materials. There are many photos and illustrations showing how the castle could have previously looked, but no one knows for sure.

What they do know, is that the roof types were typical at that point in time, and that’s the feature that makes these castles unique.

The buildings were all discovered through archeological excavations, which have been marked with little wooden pillars around the premises.

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Even though they may not know exactly how the buildings looked, they do have enough evidence to know what each building was for.

Explanations are unfortunately only in Japanese, but with the different pictures and diagrams it is easy enough to figure out what it is trying to show.

Most of the reconstructed ones are open to the public, so make sure to spend some time walking through a couple as they are quite interesting. Be aware of your surroundings and head though, as the spaces are pretty small and the ceilings are very low!

Inside the various houses are displays of items used back then. Seeing the types of items and equipment in each shows the function of the house.

It’s an interesting way to spend a few hours if you’re ever in the Tohoku region!

Address: Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan

[post by Beth]

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Beth Williams

Originally from Chicago, Beth got her first true taste of travel when she studied abroad in Japan during her final year of university. She ended up loving Asia so much, she found herself moving right back upon graduating and is currently teaching English full-time in Hong Kong. Armed with her camera and a passion for travel, she is currently on a mission to photograph the world-- proving that you can work the normal “9-5” and still find time to travel on her blog Besudesu Abroad.

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