Yamato Koriyama Castle 大和郡山城
Founder Tsutsui Junkei
Tsutsui
Year 1580
Type Mountaintop
Condition Other Buildings
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site Prefectural Historic Site
Location Yamato Koriyama, Nara Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Yamato Koriyama Sta. (Kintetsu Nara Line); 7 min. walk
Website Yamato Koriyama City
Visited Dec 24, 2016
Visitor Info. Open anytime. I hear that the reconstructed yagura and gate are open during certain times like the cherry blossom festival. | Time Required: 90 mins
Notes This site was much better than I expected. The reconstructed buildings and many remaining moats and stone walls make this a great location to visit.
History After Tsutsui Junkei defeated his long time enemy Matsunaga Hisahide in 1580 he moved to Koriyama strengthening the fortifications that were there and building Koriyama Castle. In 1585 Hideyoshi's brother Hidenaga moved into Koriyama Castle and conducted many improvements making it into a large scale modern castle. He also confiscated many stones from nearby temple gardens and even religious statues for use in the walls. Mashita Nagamori moved into the castle in 1595 but abandoned it when he lost at the Battle of Sekigahara. The castle fell into disrepair for a time until Ieyasu stationed Mizuno Katsushige here in 1615 and commissioned him to reconstruct the castle. Yanagisawa Yoshisato became lord of the castle in 1724. The Yanagisawa continued to rule until the Meiji Restoration when the castle was abandoned.
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  • suupaahiiroo    March 10, 2017 at 07:33 PM
    The viewing platform at the tenshu-dai will open to the public starting from March 26th, 13 o'clock. http://www.city.yamatokoriyama.nara.jp/kankou/kanko/info/004503.html
  • Eric    January 21, 2017 at 10:29 PM
    suupaahiiro, I visited recently as well and was very surprised and pleased at how nice it was. You'll probably see all new pictures up here since you last visited this page including the drawing of the reconstructed image of the Gokuraku Bridge and gate.
  • suupaahiiroo    January 20, 2017 at 10:07 PM
    I enjoyed this castle site immensely. The ishigaki are impressive and the reconstructed yagura are very nicely done. I personally think the train line makes for an interesting juxtaposition and good photo opportunities, but I can understand other people don't like it. The observation platform at the tenshukakudai seems to be almost finished. There are concrete plans to rebuild one of the bridges. They received a donation of 300 million yen to build it and plan to finish by 2020, in time for the Olympics (source: http://mainichi.jp/articles/20160818/ddl/k29/040/433000c). Take a look at the sign I photographed, it includes an artist's impression (I hope the reconstruction includes the gate as well!). http://imgur.com/a/2mIKm Rent a bicycle at Yamato-Saidaiji station and visit Unesco World Heritage sites Yakushi-ji and Tōshōdai-ji along the way tp the castle. It makes for very nice daytrip.
  • joysakh    September 15, 2016 at 05:11 PM
    Administrative building on the grounds of the castle actually is former Public Library of the Nara Prefecture and was erected in 1908
  • ART    March 27, 2016 at 04:32 PM
    Little paths take you around the moats. Blossoming trees make the yagura more photogenic. From April you may access the tenshukakudai. The view from thEre should be good. The otemon has a pottery exhibit and the yagura and wall corridor are a photo gallery. I only had eyes for the castle though. The nearby building, built in the meiji or taisho is actually where the committee to rebuild the castle operate from. They have a model of the castle in Edo and lots of leaflets. Visit them and say you wish to learn about the castle.
  • RaymondW    April 28, 2012 at 09:34 PM
    I went to this castle again today. It's the first time that I have been to Yamato-Koriyama Castle outside of the winter months. This place gets overgrown pretty quickly for some of its moats and stone walls. There are lots of cherry trees here, but they have since shed their pink blossoms for lots of green leaves, so the leaves also pretty much prevent a clear view of the ishigaki, particularly the tenshudai (stone base of the former castle keep). However, the trip to this castle ruin was just a warm-up for the arvo trip to Kizu, Kyoto to suss out Kaseyama Castle Ruin, a mountaintop castle that slips under the radar of most Japanese castle and castle ruin books. It is easy to visit both Koriyama Castle and Kaseyama Castle in one day as JR Koriyama and Kizu Stations are only around 15 minutes apart.
  • RaymondW    March 05, 2011 at 10:40 PM
    I went to Yamato-Koriyama Castle again today. The inside of the main gate (Outemon) and the turret (Outemukai Yagura) that you see in the first photo are definitely wooden reconstructions. They are open to the public until 11th March when the Bonsai Plum Blossom Exhibition ends. I think it is the 8th one, so they may have one of these exhibition every year.
  • RaymondW    February 04, 2011 at 02:47 PM
    As Furinkazan commented below, the ishigaki of Japanese castles can be (and often are) overgrown with weeds and undergrowth during the warmer months of the year. My visits to this castle has always been in the winter, so no problem with any plant growth obstructing a clear view of all the stonework. BTW, I was at this castle earlier in the week. There is going to be a plum blossom bonsai exhibition here from 5th February to 11th March, 2011. During that time, the interior of the main gate and the turrets will be open to the public. Entry is 450 yen. 9:30 - 4:30 weekdays and 9:30 - 5:00 weekends and public holidays. I will be going back to suss out the interior which is usually closed to the public. I had a closer look at the reconstruction of the yaguras from the outside, and I reckon they are probably rebuilt from wood and not the horrible ferroconcrete stuff.
  • RaymondW on My Page    February 04, 2011 at 02:45 PM
    There aren't many reconstructed fortifications at this castle ruin site, but the ishigaki, dry and water moats are pretty nice. The castle is also concentrically ringed by moats. Unfortunately, the Kintetsu train line runs right through one of the baileys of this castle ruin. Access is very easy from Kintetsu Koriyama Station, almost an hour by train from Kyoto Station if you take the ones with limited stops. There are also lots of cherry trees here, so it will be quite pretty during cherry blossom season.
  • furinkazan on My Page    October 10, 2010 at 05:32 PM
    I got to this castle today. There is not a lot to see apart from the 2 yagura and the gate. The walls of the baileys are covered with brush and trees. I encountered a group making a film. They took a picture of me surrounded by a samurai and a shinobi. I would not go to this castle if i was not in Nara for 2 days(4min with the local train).
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Yamato Koriyama, Nara Pref.
Yamato Koriyama Castle views
Otemon Gate Ote East Corner Yagura
Yanagi Gate stone walls Sakuramon Gate stone walls
Stone walls of the Kuroganemon Gate Honmaru moat and stone walls
Honmaru moat and stone walls Ote Mukai Yagura
Otemon Otemon
Ote Mukai Yagura Back of the Otemon Gate
Ote East Corner Yagura Ote East Corner Yagura
Ote East Corner Yagura Tamon Yagura or the Otemon Gate
Honmaru moat Main keep foundation
Main keep foundation Stone walls of the Gokuraku Bridge and Hakutaku Gate
Gokuraku Bridge and Hakutaku Gate Stone walls of the Chikurin Bridge and gate
Stone walls of the Chikurin Gate Stone walls of the Chikurin Gate
Stone walls of the Shoin Gate Shoin Ike Moat
Stone walls near the Shoin Gate Unagibori Ike Stone walls
Unagibori Ike Moat Map