Uwajima Castle 宇和島城
Founder Todo Takatora
Year 1596
Type Hilltop
Condition Original
Alternate Name Tsurushima-jo
Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Location Uwajima, Ehime Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Uwajima Sta. (Yosan Line), 10 minutes walk.
Website Uwajima Castle
Visited Feb 27, 2016
Visitor Info. Park opens 6am-6:30pm. The museum and main keep are open 9am-4pm. The museum is closed on Mondays (Tuesday when Monday is a holiday) and Dec. 29 - Jan. 3 | Time Required: 2.5 hours
Notes This castle far exceeded my expectations. You tend to see mostly pictures of the main keep and there is not much around it, but I was really impressed by all the stonework here. Once the Daiemon Bailey restoration is complete this castle will be even more impressive. Nearby there is also a Date Museum, but I was not very impressed with it. There were not so many castle related artifacts.
History Todo Takatora built this castle after being granted the small fiefdom around it by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1595. After the battle of Sekigahara (1600), Todo Takatora moved to Imabari leaving it in the hands of Tomita Nobutaka. From 1615 until the Meiji Restoration Uwajima Castle was ruled by Date Hidemune and his descendents. The basic territory and layout of the castle did not change from the time of Takatora, but the Date completed the fortifications with yagura, gates and stone walls.
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  • ART    October 27, 2016 at 11:10 PM
    In Shikoku’s south west, and furthest south I’ve been in Japan so far, is Uwajima Castle, containing one of 12 of the nation’s original castle keeps. The Tenshukaku (donjon) of Uwajimajō dates to 1666. The eves of this darling tower seem to be tempered in their curvature with the interceding centuries, age-laden and bending beneath ceramic tiles. Today Uwajimajō is also loved for the beauty of its moss-covered ishigaki (stonewalls), which seem so well integrated into the surrounding greenery that they appear to have sprang from the ground naturally. There are several other original structures at the site. Firstly, Noboritachimon is the oldest (built sometime after 1596 and before 1615) and one of the largest extant Yakuimon-style gates. Yamazato-soko is a storehouse built for weapons in 1845. Storehouses like this one seem to be the first buildings to go at many castle sites so it’s nice to see one still standing. “Hanro Kōri-shi Bukenagayamon,” or the Gate of Chief Vassal Lord Kōri’s Estate, has been moved to the castle site from the surrounding castle town. It’s a gate house with adjoining enclosed spaces the like of which one often sees at fortified residences.
  • Gary    July 21, 2015 at 09:46 AM
    Great castle, it is small but I really enjoyed. Well played out, and a lot of historical info
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    April 04, 2014 at 10:46 PM
    Could not believe how well this was reproduced , along with the static displays this was a great day out , then there was the backstreets and the houses to photograph.
  • RaymondW on My Page    August 22, 2013 at 05:00 PM
    I went to this castle in mid-August and was pleasantly surprised by how much there is to see at this original castle. The only original structures left at Uwajima Castle are the castle keep, the Yamazato Weapons Storehouse, the Noburitachi Gate, and the Hanro Koorishi Bukenagaya Gate, but it has many more stone walls (ishigaki) than are shown in most books and magazines. Most castle publications tend to show just the castle keep, the Noburitachi Gate, and some of the main bailey’s stone walls. However, there are also extensive ishigaki around the Ido Bailey, Nagato Bailey, Third Bailey, Toubei Bailey, Daiuemon Bailey, and Shikibu Bailey. The latter two baileys along with the Obi Bailey on the southwestern side of the castle complex are off-limits to visitors as the stone walls are being restored. The Noburitachi Gate is a yakuinmon-style gate and claims to be biggest and oldest one in Japan, built during the Keicho Period (1596-1615). This is a fabulous original castle to visit. My wife and I took 2.5 hours to get around to all the baileys. If you don’t take a lot of photos, it is possible to do the whole site in around 2 hours. This is definitely a solid 4-star castle site because it has an original castle keep, three original structures, and lots of well preserved stone walls.
  • furinkazan on My Page    April 22, 2012 at 05:04 PM
    After Ozu-jo i visited this one in the afternoon. Being one of the originals it is an interesting keep to go for. It's easy accessible, even when it rains. You can walk a fair distance under the shopping arcades. At the information point in the station they'll gladly indicate you the way to go. The keep is very small compared to others, but the inside structure is worth the visit.
  • Rheagan_Greene    April 16, 2010 at 10:02 PM
    Visited 7th April 2010 This is a small Castle on top of a little hill (nothing too serious). It’s well worth visiting despite its small size; plenty of atmosphere, original condition and some displays. Furthermore, you’re unlikely to be caught in a tourist rush to get to the top! It’s easy to find, about 20 minutes walk from the JR station. Follow the tourist map; through the shopping arcade, turn right and you can’t miss it. There’s a museum on one of the routes down and plenty of places to have a quick lunch in town too. If you’re in Matsuyama, it makes a very nice day to nip down to Uwajima (about 90 minutes on JR), then stop off at Iyo Ozu on the way back.
  • Admin    April 05, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    see here: http://www.castlefan.com/data01/uwajima/index_2.html
  • Anonymous    April 03, 2010 at 06:21 AM
    does anyone know of any websites that have pictures of the inside of uwajjima castle on them? More importantly,do you know of any such websites in english? i dont speak japanese. anyway, if you do,can you write 'em down on this forum?
  • Anonymous    March 16, 2008 at 02:46 PM
    I just love this castle. It doesn't have everything but it's original and not touristy; you can really get a feel for what might have been.
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Uwajima, Ehime Pref.
Uwajima Castle views
Main keep Koori Residence Nagayamon Gate
Path through the Sannomaru Bailey Road up through the Sannomaru Bailey
Sannomaru Stone Walls Idomaru Stone gate ruins and stone walls
Idomaru Bailey stone walls Idomaru Bailey stone walls
Idomaru Bailey stone walls main keep
Honmaru Obikuruwa Bailey Stone walls and stairs to the Ninomaru
Honmaru stone walls Ninomaru Bailey
Kushigatamon Gate to the Honmaru Bailey Main keep
Main keep. Roof tiles of the main keep
Roof tiles of the main keep Inside the main keep
Inside the main keep Inside the main keep
Kushigatamon Gate and Ninomaru. Sannomon Gate ruins
Kaminarimon Gate Road to the Kaminarimon gate
Toube Bailey Nagaymon Gate
Stone walls of the Toube Bailey Yamazato Warehouse.
Inside the Yamazato Warehouse View of the Honmaru and Ninomaru
Stone walls of the Nagato Bailey Stone walls of the Nagato Bailey
Stone walls of the Nagato Bailey Stone walls of the Nagato Bailey
Daiemon Bailey Stone Walls Daiemon Bailey Stone Walls
Daiemon Bailey Stone Walls Daiemon Bailey Stone Walls
Shikibu Bailey stone walls Shikibu Bailey stone walls
Noboritachimon Gate Noboritachimon Gate
Noboritachimon Gate Old map of the castle area
Castle grounds