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Hidden Wonders

Hidden Wonders | A 'Phantom Castle Keep' Glows in the Night Sky

Fukuoka City has sparked imagination by combining lights and an iron framework to "recreate" a castle keep in Maizuru Park that may or may not have existed.



The 'phantom castle keep' at Fukuoka Castle ruins on March 27. (©Kyodo)

In the quiet of the night, a mesmerizing sight emerges at Maizuru Park in Fukuoka City's Chuo Ward. A "phantom castle keep" casts its glow atop the tower base (tenshudai) of the Fukuoka Castle ruins. The city built this temporary structure to draw tourists and reignite public interest in the castle's history.

Whether a castle keep existed on the tenshudai remains a matter of debate, but this display certainly ignites the imagination. Until the end of May, LED lights in seven colors illuminate the structure from 6 to 10 pm daily.

The 'phantom castle keep' lights up in different colors. (©Kyodo)

History and Imagination

Fukuoka Castle is a nationally designated historic site. It was constructed by the warlord Kuroda Nagamasa over seven years from 1601. Remnants like the main enclosure and stone walls remain at the heart of the castle. However, evidence of the castle keep's existence, such as architectural plans, remains elusive, shrouding its history in uncertainty.

For this special light-up, a framework resembling a castle keep was erected atop the tenshudai using iron pipes. The contours of the roof and windows were accentuated with LED lights, bringing to life a stunning representation of a castle keep standing at approximately 14 meters.

The LED lights and iron framework combine to create a mysterious castle keep. (©Kyodo)

Nestled within Maizuru Park, the Fukuoka Castle ruins are surrounded by the beauty of nature. The park boasts around 1,000 sakura trees adorning the landscape, including the renowned Somei Yoshino variety.


(Read the article in Japanese.)

Author: The Sankei Shimbun