Chiba Castle (Chiba Folk Museum)
A picturesque castle on a hilltop in downtown Chiba, presently the home of the Chiba City Folk Museum.
The present castle is a reconstruction designed to house the museum in 1967, built on the site where Chiba’s namesake Chiba Clan once ruled from their own fortification, Inohana Castle.
The Chiba were an eastern branch family of the Taira Clan that sided with Minamoto Yoritomo when he rose up to become the first shogun of Japan. They remained important allies of the Kamakura Shogunate (12th ~ 14th c.) then declined in influence in the following Muromachi and Sengoku periods (together 14th ~ 16th c.).
The small hilltop park around the castle is particularly nice when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
~Take the Chiba Urban Monorail from Chiba Station to Kenchomae Station (5 mins), then walk 5 mins. (The castle should be visible in the distance from the station. Exit the station putting the small park on your left and the large Chiba central police hq on your right, then turn right at the 2nd traffic light - you should quickly see the cobblestone road that leads to the castle.)
~Alternately, it is possible to walk from Chiba Station itself (about 25 mins - see map below).