Before leaving Takayama I hiked up the hill where the ruins of the city’s old castle is located. Today the area where Takayama Castle once stood is now a public park with several walking trails running through it and there are a few monuments and small temples scattered around the former castle grounds. I noticed a sign warning visitors to be on the lookout for bears and wild boars but I didn’t see any while I was at the castle.
Construction of Takayama Castle began in the late 1500s and was completed in 1606 but in 1695 it was demolished by order of the national government. While there’s little to see of the castle itself, the trees on the castle grounds were in full autumn colors when I visited and all around me were explosions of red and yellow. This was probably the best display of autumn colors that I saw in Japan.
After exploring the middle part of the castle grounds I followed a trail that worked around the perimeter. Along the way I came across an old gate and also got a view of the city below. While it would have been nice if Takayama Castle were still standing I had a very enjoyable experience walking around the ruins and taking in the changing colors of all the trees. When I got back to the start of the trail loop I headed down into the city to grab my backpack and continue my journey across Japan. My next stop would be Nagoya, though I’d be using Nagoya mainly as a base for a pair of trips outside the city.