Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the coastal plains of Shizuoka, the city of Kakegawa is famed for its striking castle. It’s also home to a unique stained-glass museum, bird-filled amusement park and historic shrine said to bring good luck.
Things to do in Kakegawa
Don’t miss seeing the rebuilt Kakegawa Castle, which was originally constructed in the 15th century and exhibits Hirayama-style architecture. Admire the recreated tenshu (keep) and wander amidst the original moats and stone walls, where regular exhibitions showcase the cultural heritage of the city in the castle grounds.
Art enthusiasts should visit the Kakegawa Stained Glass Museum, the first of its kind in Japan. Admire 19th-century stained glass pieces from Victorian-era England, as well as stunning rose windows created by some of Europe’s most prestigious stained-glass manufacturers.
Bird lovers will enjoy Kakegawa Kachouen, a bird-themed amusement park home to friendly penguins and impressive birds of prey. Get up close to these feathered creatures during feeding sessions and see them in action at the daily shows, then explore the landscaped gardens with seasonal flowers.
In need of some good luck? Visit the Tatsuo Shrine, one of the oldest shrines in Japan specifically dedicated to driving away evil and bringing good luck. It’s adjacent to a magnificent flower garden planted with Shidare plum trees that ignite in red, pink and white during spring.
Getting around Kakegawa
Kakegawa is around two hours by train from Nagoya Airport and 2.5 hours from Haneda Airport. Buses travel throughout Kakegawa, but many of the city’s sights are within walking distance of the main train station.