Kamioka Castle is located on the grounds of the Takahara Folk Museum upon a hilltop overlooking the streets of Kamioka.
The castle’s story started in the 16th century during the Sengoku Period when Shingen Takeda, a feudal lord, ordered its construction to Ema Tokimori. Later, the castle was used as a base by samurai, Kanamori Nagachika, and in 1615 it was decommissioned and demolished by the Edo government. The castle that stands today was built in 1970 by Mitsui Mining Co., Ltd to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the local Kamioka Mining company.
Although a reconstruction, the castle’s traditional Japanese architecture speaks to its turbulent history. Visitors can also still see shadows of the past in the moat and stone walls, which are remains from the original castle. The castle’s beautifully landscaped grounds and mountainous backdrop create a mesmerizing visual, which is only enhanced during springtime when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. On the castle’s top floor there is an observation deck that offers visitors stunning panoramic views of Kamioka and the surrounding nature.
The Takahara Folk Museum itself comprises Kamioka Castle, the Former Matsuba Family home, and a Mining Museum, which explores the former Kamioka Mine’s past, which used to be a leading zinc mine for Japan whose technology also part-contributed to the creation of the neutrino observatory, Kamioka Observatory.