The 7th century mountain castle, Kikuchijo in Kumamoto was built by the Yamato Imperial Court in reaction to the growing strength of the mainland China and Korea. The castle was part of many defenses and fortifications built in the period to thwart any invasion attempt from the mainland.
Kikuchijo, standing atop a 50 meter high rocky plateau, served both as a warning fortification and as a supply base (the latter due to its proximity to Kikuka Basin which, thanks largely to its good water and flat terrain, was among the most popular rice farming areas of Kyushu).
In the succeeding centuries, as the threat from the mainland gradually waned, these castles accordingly fell into a state of disrepair and were eventually abandoned. Recently in 1997, the barracks and the grain storehouse of the original castle were reconstructed and shortly after, in 1999, the octagonal tower of the castle was rebuilt from the old drawings and sketches of the castle still available.
In 2004, the castle earned the distinction of being designated as a National Historical Site.Places nearby:
Kumamoto Castle: One of the most impressive castles in Japan 23 km / 14 mi
Sakuranobaba Josaien: An opportunity to live the atmosphere of 17th century Japan 23 km / 14 mi
Canal City Hakata: Bustling Heart of the City of Fukuoka 74 km / 46 mi
Kushida Shrine: The 1300-year old Shrine of Fukuoka 74 km / 46 mi
The Kintai-Kyo Bridge: Iwakuni's National Treasure 182 km / 113 mi