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Tanabe Castle

Maizuru (舞鶴) surrounds an inlet of the Sea of Japan, along the northeastern coast of Kyoto Prefecture. Maizuru in Japanese means 'dancing crane'.


One of the main port cities in Kyoto Prefecture. Ferries to Niigata and on to Tomakomai in Hokkaido leave from here. Maizuru consists of two parts: Nishi-Maizuru and Higashi-Maizuru. Maizuru is a key district headquarters for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

Higashi-Maizuru Station (東舞鶴) is served by eight limited express trains daily from Kyoto Station, six under the name Maizuru and two as Tango Discovery. Fares for the 96-minute journey range from ¥3,250 for an unreserved seat to ¥3,960 for a reserved seat in peak season. It is also possible to use local trains when traveling from Kyoto station for ¥1,890. The journey takes around 2 hours and you need to change trains at Sonobe and Ayabe.

By car[edit]

A trip by car takes around 1 hour 10-20 min from Kobe-Sando. The ride from Itami airport takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to get to Maizuru from Kyoto city.

By bus[edit]

The bus company Kyoto Kotsu has buses running from Kyoto Station to Higashi-Maizuru Station for ¥2,300. The journey takes around 2 hours. The same bus company has buses going to Maizuru from Kobe and Osaka.

By boat[edit]

Shin-Nihonkai Ferry (新日本海フェリー) This company has lines connecting daily to Otaru port at Hokkaido (21 h).

Get around[edit]

The city occupies a vast territory but loop buses running between Nishi-Maizuru and Higashi-Maizuru Stations provide convenient connections to the city's most popular attractions, including those in the Naka-Maizuru area that are not near any train stations. The price of the loop bus starts at ¥150 and caps off at ¥300 for the longest distances. It is also possible to arrange a taxi tour for around ¥5,000. Inquire about arranging a tour at the Maizuru Tourist Information Center at Higashi-Maizuru Station.


There is a nice view of the Maizuru bay from the quay which is a 10-15 minutes walk from Higashi-Maizuru train station.

Maizuru has many buildings made of red brick around town. Some of them used to be military buildings, others warehouses, tunnels and even temples. Maizuru also has a museum of red bricks.

  • 1 Maizuru World Brick Museum (赤れんが博物館). Daily 09:00-17:00. The museum displays bricks from all over the world and all over Japan, as well as ancient ones from Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Greece. ¥300.
  • 2 Tanabe Castle (田辺城) (A 5 minute walk north of the west exit of Nishi-Maizuru Station). The castle gate and a turret have been reconstructed and operate as small museums with information about the castle and a small collection of artifacts. The grounds have a few preserved stone walls and a garden that's worth a look if you're here. While the leader of the castle Tadaoki Fujitaka was off preparing to fight in the Battle of Sekigahara, the castle was left to his father, the retired leader Hosokawa Fujitaka. Although Fujitaka was greatly outnumbered, Fujitaka Hosokawa was so revered that the emperor intervened in order to ensure the battle would end with him unharmed. He possessed knowledge and a book of ancient poetry that were considered so precious that conquering the castle wasn't worth the risk of killing him. This is also why the invading army did not quickly overtake the castle in spite of having 30 times the manpower. Many of the combatants, including the leader, were former students with a high respect for Fujitaka, so their attacks were purposefully inneffectual, such as shooting guns loaded with gunpowder but not ammunition. ¥200 to enter castle buildings, park grounds are free.
  • Admiral Togo's Office (東郷邸). Heihachiro Togo was the first admiral of Maizuru's naval base. He famously commanded the Japanese Naval Fleet to victory over Russia at the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War. This was considered to be the first time a non-Western nation won a war against a Western nation and ended Russia's naval dominance in East Asia. He was awarded the Order of the Chrysanthemum and featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1926. When he died in 1934, naval representatives from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, and China were sent to his funeral.


Visit Japanese self-defence force base, Russo-Japanese War Museum including Admiral Togo museum, repatriation museum, brick museum.


The main shopping place in Maizuru is department store LaPort which is behind Higashi-Maizuru train station.



There is a very good yakitori close to train station Higashi-Maizuru on Sanjo-dori owned by an ex-self-defense sailor Daikichi who speaks some English.



Go next[edit]

Maizuru Port offers ferry services along the Sea of Japan up to Hokkaido.

Routes through Maizuru
Miyazu Aanohashidate  N  S  Kutsukakein to
in to Fukuchiyama  W  E  ObamaTsurugain to

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