The Kanayama Castle in Ota-shi, Gunma Prefecture was built in 1469 by the Iwamatsu Clan. It was used for a little over 100 years, staving off attacks from many powerful clans in the area, before it was abandoned and left to the elements. What remains is a reconstruction of key buildings and structures to give visitors an idea of what it looked like during its use. While some people get upset that it’s not technically castle “ruins,” as the old castle decayed long ago, I’m simply glad that the city of Ota decided to excavate and rebuild parts of the old layout. There is also a beautiful shrine if you continue past the ruins, and lots of other places to walk and explore if you want!