絶景×Ground | 竹田城跡

ZEKKEI × Ground | Takeda Castle Ruins

2021年12月3日 国の史跡に指定されている竹田城跡にGroundさんをお迎えし撮影を行ってきました。竹田城跡は、城下町から見上げるような山頂にあり、天候や気温によって城下を流れる円山川に発生する川霧の雲海に浮かぶ様子から「天空の城」「日本のマチュピチュ」などと言われ広く知られる山城跡です。

On December 3, 2021, we welcomed Ground to Takeda Castle Ruins, which has been registered as a national historic site, for a video shoot. Takeda Castle Ruins is a mountain castle ruins located on a mountaintop looking up from the castle town, and is widely known as “castle in the sky” or “Machu Picchu in Japan” because of the way it floats in a sea of clouds created by river fog that forms in the Maruyama River flowing under the castle depending on the weather and temperature.


It would be great if we could shoot a DJ at Takeda Castle floating in a sea of clouds! So, after consulting with the Asago City Tourist Association and receiving their consent, we first visited the site for location scouting on April 15, 2021. We met up with the tourism association at Yamashiro no Sato, a roadside station located at the foot of the Takeda Castle Ruins, and walked around the castle ruins while being guided around.


The castle ruins are quite large when you go up to the top, and the stone walls are still solid and imposing today.
The castle town spreads out far below you, and the considerable difference in elevation (about 250 meters!) is overwhelming. I have seen images of it on TV and other media, but my impression when I went there was much more grandiose. I can imagine how the lord must have felt from the viewpoint of the castle when it was built. I am sure it would have been a pleasant experience for the DJ to stand there and perform.


While looking around the castle ruins, we will discuss where to set up the booth, the procedure for unloading the equipment, and how to power the booth. We were guided to the parking lot, which is normally inaccessible to regular vehicles, and from there we would need to use a forestry trolley to further unload the equipment. Hmmm, this is going to be a tough shoot…


But the more demanding the conditions, the better the work has been in the past… After chatting among the staff, we decided to shoot here at the best time of the year. Now if we can get a sea of clouds, it will be perfect!


About Takeda Castle Ruins


Takeda Castle was located in Takeda, Wadayama-cho, Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture, and is also known as Torafusujo (lying-in-torah castle), because the castle looks like a tiger lying down when seen from a distance. It was built on the top of Mt. Torafusuyama, 353.7 m above sea level, and spans approximately 100 m east to west and 400 m north to south. Even after more than 400 years, the stonewalls remain almost unchanged, making it one of the largest surviving mountain castles in Japan.

秋から初冬にかけたよく晴れた早朝に濃い霧が発生すると、竹田城跡が雲海に浮かぶように見える (写真提供:吉田 利栄)
When dense fog forms early in the morning on clear days in autumn and early winter, the Takeda Castle Ruins appear to float in a sea of clouds. (Photo credit : Toshihisa Yoshida)


There are many unknowns regarding the construction of the castle. According to the “Wadakandachishi Nikki (Diary of Wadakandachishi)”, a compilation of old folklore established at the end of the Edo period, “Yasuino Castle” was built in Takeda around 1441-1443 AD, which is believed to refer to Takeda Castle.
According to the “Historic Site, Takeda Castle,” “only an oral inscription remains stating that the castle was built by Yamana Mochitoyo in 1443 and that Otagaki Mitsukage was appointed the first lord of the castle. It is said that the only historical document that describes the construction of the castle is the Diary of Wadakandachishi mentioned above.


When the last lord of the castle, Masahiro Saimura, committed seppuku in 1600, the castle was temporarily taken over by Toyokuni Yamana under the order of Ieyasu Tokugawa, who ordered the castle to be abandoned by the Edo shogunate.

2006年に日本城郭協会が創立40周年事業として「日本100名城」を選定、竹田城跡もここに選ばれたことで、歴史愛好家の中では広く知られるようになったそうです。さらに翌年、同団体が発行した「日本100名城公式ガイドブック」に、「天空の城 竹田城跡」ブームの火付け役となった写真家 吉田利栄よしだとしひさ氏が撮影した雲海に浮かぶ竹田城跡の写真が見開きで掲載され、朝日新聞の全国版一面でも紹介されたことでさらに広く知られる様になり、その後TVCMなどにも登場する様になりました。

In 1945, it was registered as a national historic site, and in 1994, the first National Summit of Mountain Castles was held in Wadayama-cho.
In 2006, the Japan Castle Association selected the “100 Greatest Castles of Japan” as its 40th anniversary project, and Takeda Castle Ruins was selected as one of these castles, which made it widely known among history buffs. The following year, the “Official Guidebook of the 100 Greatest Castles of Japan” published by the association featured a photo spread of the Takeda Castle Ruins floating in a sea of clouds taken by photographer Toshihisa Yoshida, who helped spark the “Castle in the Sky: Takeda Castle Ruins” boom, and the front-page story in the national edition of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper made the site even more widely known. After that, it began to appear in TV commercials and other media.


The sea of clouds that has made the Takeda Castle Ruins so famous is caused by evaporating fog that forms in the morning from the nearby Maruyama River, and is thought to be more likely to occur the more intense the temperature difference between daytime and nighttime is. However, in addition to this, various other conditions must also be met for it to be perfect, such as good weather and the wind not blowing strongly, which means that it is very difficult even for locals to predict when it will occur.

撮影の時に『雲海』見ることができるかな? まあ、これまでも数々の奇跡的なシーンを捉えてきたTHAT IS GOODスタッフですから、今回も奇跡を起こしてくれるでしょう…

Is it possible to see a “sea of clouds” during the shoot? Well, THAT IS GOOD crew has captured many miraculous scenes in the past, so I am sure they will create another miracle this time…


Finally, the shoot!


On December 1, in the afternoon of the day before the shoot, we arrived at the site. Since we would be shooting early in the morning, we went directly to the Takeda Castle Ruins to unpack some of our equipment the day before. It was quite cold, but we brought our equipment up to the top of the castle and put it all together in a safe place.

宿に戻って現地に詳しいスタッフさんオススメのお店「izakaya tanigaki」に食事に行きました。とってもおしゃれなお店で、なおかつ地元の食材で美味しいお料理を頂けます。

After returning to the lodge, we went to eat at “izakaya tanigaki,” a restaurant recommended by one of the staff members who was familiar with the area. It is a very nice and stylish restaurant, and serves delicious food made with local ingredients.

食事を終えて店を出ると雨が降ってきていました。明日の朝には止むだろうか… 雪になるのだろうか… 雲海を狙うには雲があったほうがいいけど雨だと撮影できないし… 心配しながらこの日は宿に戻りました。

First, cheers! What will the weather be like? And if it’s snowing, isn’t it snowing and isn’t that beautiful too? Despite these concerns, we had a good time with good conversation and delicious food.
When we left the restaurant after the meal, it was raining. I wondered if it would stop by tomorrow morning… or if it would snow… it would be better to have clouds to capture the sea of clouds, but we couldn’t film if it was raining… We returned to the inn that day with worries.

Staff consulting with a tourism association representative while looking at the weather forecast on their phones.


In fact, unfortunately, due to rain, the next day’s shooting was cancelled. We gathered early in the morning at the roadside station “Yamashiro no Sato,” where the decision was made to cancel shoot, thanks to the tourism association who came all morning to be present!

日が昇るにつれて少しづつ天候が回復してきて同時に暖かくもなり、昼と夜の気温差が大きいと雲海が出やすい… ということで、期待をしながら翌日に備えます。

As the sun rises, the weather improves a little bit and it gets warmer at the same time, and the large temperature difference between day and night makes it easier to see a sea of clouds… We prepared for the next day with high expectations.
We headed for the castle town and Ritsunkyo area to shoot B-roll. With the attendance of the Tourist Association, we shot from before noon until the evening.


That evening, we went to “Silk Onsen Yamabiko,” a hot spring recommended by Mr. Ground, and had a bath and dinner there, even though it was a bit far. We will get a good rest and shoot tomorrow!


The day of the shoot, the beautiful morning sun, the temperature of the air and the music


The next day the weather was fine! Of course, we head for the shooting location while it is still dark and start preparing to shoot before it gets light.

雲海は…う〜ん、これから出てくるのかなぁ?準備中にはまだ雲海らしきものはほとんど確認できません。遠くにうっすらと見えるのがそうかな?これから増えてくるのかな?? わずかな可能性に期待しながら準備を行いました。

The sea of clouds…hmmm, I wonder if it will appear soon? During the preparation, we can hardly see anything that looks like a sea of clouds yet. Is that what you see faintly in the distance? Will it increase from now on? We prepared for the event, hoping for the slightest possibility.
(Because of the shooting schedule, we had decided that we would carry out the shooting on this day, weather permitting.)


As you can already see, unfortunately, we were not able to shoot in the sea of clouds… However, as soon as we started rolling the camera, the dawn gradually began to break, and at around the 13-minute mark, the beautiful morning sun shone over the mountains across the street.
The morning sun shines on the mountainside, and around the 15-minute mark, just as the sun is about to hit the stone walls, the music gradually begins to pick up steam.
As the temperature of the air rises, Ground’s sound also rises in temperature, lifting our spirits as we wait in the cold air.


As a result, we could not shoot in the sea of clouds, but we were able to capture the beautiful morning sun, the still-remaining autumn leaves, and other spectacular scenery of the Takeda Castle Ruins and its surroundings in the dignified winter air, along with Ground’s excellent music!
I hope you all enjoy the show!
Will we try again someday to shoot in the sea of clouds…?


By the way, after the shoot, we tidied up, returned to the hotel, packed our bags, and had a late lunch. From there we got to see Takeda Castle Ruins from a different angle!

We also use a trolley to tidy up afterwards
Takeda Castle Ruins as seen from the restaurant where we had lunch

文:THAT IS GOOD編集部 中村
TEXT : THAT IS GOOD editorial department, Nakamura
PHOTO : Yoshiaki Hirokawa


■Access to Takeda Castle Ruins



◇By car
The Wadayama IC on the Kita-Kinki Toyooka Expressway and Bantan Interchange Expressway is the nearest IC.
After getting off at the IC, turn left at the “Wadayama IC-mae” traffic light. It takes about 10 minutes to reach the parking lots.


JR Takeda Station is the nearest station. From there, take a taxi or walk to the trail. From Takeda Station to Takeda Castle Ruins, 15 minutes by taxi + 20 minutes on foot. 40~60 minutes on foot from Takeda Station to Takeda Castle Ruins.

竹田城跡 公式ホームページ

■食事処 紹介

■Restaurant information

◇居酒屋 tanigaki

◇Izakaya tanigaki

You can enjoy dishes and drinks made with delicious local ingredients.


Adress:1645-1, Yoka, Yoka-cho, Yabu-shi, Hyogo, Japan

Google map


◇Silk Onsen Yamabiko

In addition to the day spa, there is also a hotel where visitors can stay overnight.


Adress : 165 Shoboji, Tanto Town, Toyooka City, Hyogo Prefecture
TEL : 0796-54-0141




The soba noodles, handmade every morning, are so good!
Surprised at the size of the sea eel tempura bowl!

Adress:825-1 Aza uemongoro, Sakoma, Santo-cho, Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture
TEL : 079-670-7888