Overlooking an island-dotted bay, Maizuru translates to “dancing crane” and is one of Kyoto’s most popular destinations for viewing the changing autumn leaves. In addition to the Tanabe Castle and Kongō-in Temple, it’s home to a brick museum that celebrates this humble material around the world.
Things to do in Maizuru
Travel to the top of the Goro Sky Tower for sweeping panoramas of Maizuru and the forested islands of Maizuru Bay from its 300-metre-high observation deck. Magnificent bay views are also on offer while strolling along the harbour or from the golden sands of Ryuguhama Beach.
Witness ancient bricks from great civilisations around the world at the World Brick Museum, which is located within a group of Meiji-era brick warehouses built by the Navy. Get up close to bricks from the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and discover how Japan utilised brick-building techniques during the Meiji and Taisho periods.
Escape the bustle of the city in the leafy surrounds of Maizuru Park, which encompasses the ruins and reconstructed walls of the 16th-century Tanabe Castle. Visit the small museum detailing a historic battle that took place here and photograph the cherry blossoms and changing leaves in the waters of the inner moat.
Another landmark known for its autumn colours is the Kongō-in Temple, believed to have been founded by monk Takaoka Shinno in the Heian period. Admire the ornate three-storey pagoda and striking Unzankaku hall, then browse the temple artefacts and cultural treasures.
Getting around Maizuru
Maizuru is around two hours by train from Kyoto and three hours from Osaka International Airport. Buses travel around the city, but having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of exploring.