The Natural Fortress, Takato Castle, and Samurai Lifestyle

4.5 hours

Late-April ~ Mid-November

Price: ¥ 11,800 above
(tax included)

Guided / Self-guided

Start / Finish
Nagano / Nagano

4.5 hours

Activity Level

Technical Level


  • VR experience of the tragic history of Takato Castle and the fighting samurai.
  • Learn how natural features were used to build the castle.
  • Stamp of Takato Castle scarlet seal (go-jyo-in).
  • Visit museums and learn about samurai lifestyle, education, medicine, and more.
  • Feel the sense of “wabi-sabi” from Buddhist statues made by Takato’s Edo-era stone masons.
  • Lunch: a healthy lunch made from local ingredients in an old, traditional Japanese house.


Takato Castle, one of Japan’s top 100 castles, no longer has any castle buildings. It is a natural fortress chosen because of its topography and location on a river terrace between two tributaries of the Tenryu River. The castle is also known for a renowned battle in 1582, during the warring state period, when samurai were battling over territories. It was a bloody conflict fought in vain, as the defenders were outnumbered 3,000 to 50,000 and the castle was overtaken. The tour looks at the castle from the perspective of its geographical features, such as the steep cliff that protects the castle, and the valley that is used as a moat. Enjoy learning about the castle’s physical features while hearing how it was built by samurais. You will also visit museums that tell tales of the samurai lifestyle, such as their schooling and medical practices.

Activity Level

  • The course is about 4.6km in total (about 60 minutes of walking). From Takato Station to the history museum (about 20 minutes), the path is slightly uphill.

Technical Level

  • Please be careful on the stairs.

Clothing/What to Bring

  • Rain gear
  • Soft drink (optional)

Customer Review

Although Takato Castle has no remaining buildings (unlike other well-known sites such as Osaka Castle), learning about a ‘real’ aspect of Japanese history was a surprisingly enjoyable experience!

Price Per Person

Adult (16yrs and above): 11,800 JPY
Children (6 to 15yrs): 11,000 JPY

Included in the fee

  • VR viewing activity
  • Entrance fees of visited facilities
  • Takato Castle go-jyo-in (a scarlet seal)
  • Guide (English language)
  • Lunch

Not included in the fee

  • Ordered drinks at lunch.
  • Transportation to/from the meeting point.
  • Insurance (please purchase travel insurance in your own country).
  • Anything else not specified.
    (The bank transaction fee shall be covered by the customer.)



Event Duration

About 4.5 hours

Age / Height:

6 yrs and above

Meeting Point

Takato Station (JR Bus)
30 mins by bus from JR Inashi Station

Disbanding Point

Takato Station (JR Bus)

Program Availability

Late-April ~ Mid-November

Minimum Participants

4 – 10 people

Application Deadline

14 days in advance


9:30Meet at JR Bus Takato Station
9:30~9:40Tour briefing
9:40~10:00Walk to Takato Town History Musuem / valley view from a bridge
10:00~11:00Takato Town History Museum with VR experience
11:00~11:10Walk to Takato Castle Ruins Park
11:10~12:00Explore the castle ruins
12:00~12:05Walk to the samurai school, Shintokukan
12:20~12:30Walk the samurai route towards the castle
12:30~13:00Visit the historical house of an eye doctor for samurai
12:50~13:00Walk to Kenpukuji Temple
13:00~13:30Observe the stone Buddhist statues
13:30~13:35Walk to Tamakiya (for lunch)
13:35~14:20Lunch at Tamakiya
14:20~14:50Shopping time in Takato Castle Town
14:50Finish at JR Bus Takato Station

* Schedule may change depending on the number of participants.

Cancellation Policy

■ Cancelation by the participant

  • 3 or more days prior 20%
  • Day before 50%
  • Same day/No show 100%

■ Cancelation based on provider’s decisions

  • If stormy weather is forecasted, the activity may be canceled. In this case, contact will be made by the evening of the day before and there will be no cancelation fees.
  • If weather becomes bad after the activity starts and it is determined that the activity cannot continue, the activity will be changed or canceled. In this case, no refund will be given.


  • Tour cannot take place on Mondays and other days (please inquire for the details).

Interested in our tour?
No second thoughts, contact us.

We have been having many requests from agents overseas, mentioning that they are trying to expand their destinations in/to Japan or they have already but need help creating the itineraries for their clients to keep up with the demand.

Heartland Japan has increased the number of staff to accommodate these requests. If you are hand-full and need some advice, we are here to help.

For more information about this experience program, We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program. We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program and provide the program to you.

Please contact us for more information. We look forward to providing you with a unique and immersive experience in the region!

For this experience program, please inquire with our company each time. We will coordinate with local suppliers to arrange the schedule, fees, and detailed content for you. Please start by contacting us.

Look forward to a unique, immersive local experience!

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