Kiyosu Castle 清洲城
Founder Shiba Yoshishige
Year 1394-1427?
Type Flatland
Condition Reconstructed
Reconstructed 1989 (concrete)
Structure 3 levels, 4 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Location Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture
Map Google Map
Access Kiyosu Station (Tokaido Honsen) or Shin Kiyosu Station (Meitetsu Nagoya Honsen), walk 15 minutes.
Website Kiyosu Township Site
Visited several times in 1995-1996
Notes Kiyosu-jo has always been a little special for me. When I lived in Nagoya I lived just a short walk from this castle. I went to the festival held here and often took walks around the castle area. It is also a rather aesthetically pleasing reconstructed castle. You can also see it frm the Shinkansen on the way into Nagoya.

Who first built this castle and when are completely unknown. One theory states that it may have been built by Shiba Yoshishige between 1394 and 1427. Other theories say that it was built later around 1478.

Oda Nobunaga, in his efforts to unite all of Owari (Nagoya and vicinity), killed Oda Nobutomo from a rival faction of the same Oda family in 1555 and took Kiyosu-jo by force. Nobunaga completed the unification of Owari with the capture of Iwakura-jo in 1559. Nobunaga remained in Kiyosu-jo until he moved to Komaki-jo in 1563. Tokugawa's ninth son Yoshinao was the last occupant of Kiyosu-jo. It was torn down in 1610 after Yoshinao moved to the newly completed Nagoya-jo.

Many interesting stories surround the history of Kiyosu-jo. Once Oda Nobunaga pardoned his younger brother Nobuyuki for acts of treason. Nobuyuki did not learn his lesson and again Nobunaga discovered his treasonous activities. This time Nobunaga feigned illness and when his brother came to visit him Nobunaga had him executed.

Another story involves Nobunaga's successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Once a 180 meter section of a moat around the castle collapsed. Hideyoshi divided the collapsed section into 10 parts and offered a reward to the team that finished rebuilding their section first. The collapsed moat was rebuilt in less than a day. It is said that this incident is what made Nobunaga first take notice of the abilities in his lieutenant, Hideyoshi.

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  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    May 23, 2016 at 10:04 PM
    Spotted this castle only because of the large groups of walkers turning off , so I followed and found a lovely (for a new) castle , even had some celebrities dressed as a Daimyo and wife for free photo ops. Ended the day at Ogaki castle.
  • hikarisailorcat    April 05, 2016 at 11:10 AM
    I went whilst the Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom. There was a beautiful view from the top of the caslte and all along the river were Cherry Blossom trees. The hanami festival was also on, so I sat under the trees and ate some food whilst looking at the castle. A beautiful and peaceful day.
  • furinkazan on My Page    May 04, 2014 at 06:24 PM
    I went this morning to this castle. The park with the statue of Oda Nobunaga is easy to reach from the JR Kiyosustation. Outside the station turn right and follow the tracks as much as possible. Just before the red brigde leading to the castle go right under the railroadtracks and it is just on the right side. The castle itself was a little disappointing. Being such an historical important place i tought there would have been explanations in english. But nope, everything in japanese and mine is not that good. There were more apparatus of Taiga Dorama and replicas on show than really interesting artifacts. It was confusing to see some replicas and real stuff almost together.
  • RaymondW    August 18, 2011 at 05:24 PM
    Just lowered my rating of this castle from three stars to two stars due to its new amusement park atmosphere now.
  • RaymondW on My Page    August 18, 2011 at 05:23 PM
    This place is really trying to cash in on the current NHK “Gou” drama series. Where there used to be just a small dirt field at the back of the castle last autumn, a visitor can now see a “Gou Drama Museum”, a souvenir shop, and several food stands. This has a very distinct commercial amusement park feel to it. In addition to the stand alone castle ticket (300yen), you can now get the combo ticket for both the castle and the drama museum (700yen). Good for fans of the drama series, but I passed on the combo ticket.
  • Eric    May 07, 2011 at 07:23 PM
    No, it was dismantled in 1610 as it says above. Some of the materials from here were also reused in the construction of Nagoya Castle.
  • Fareeda (Malaysia)    May 07, 2011 at 12:39 PM
    Enjoyed the Kiyuso castle visit during Golden Week 2011. Was this castle destroyed during WW11?
  • RaymondW    November 05, 2010 at 08:26 PM
    I visited this castle two winters ago before the renovation mentioned by Anonymous below. I went again just a couple of days ago. The outside hasn’t changed, but the inside has changed a lot. There are now more audio-visual displays plus more mannequins dressed in period clothes and armour on display. At one of the rock chutes, there is now a mannequin in armour holding a rock ready to be dropped with a pile of rocks next to him. Also, you can no longer take photos inside the castle as there are plenty of no photos signs up now. Two years ago, it was fine to take photos inside, and I did ask before taking photos inside the keep. There is now a 7-minute mini-documentary about the castle and its history in a small room with a model of the castle and surrounding castle town. Entry is 300yen but with the new additional displays, it is worth the price of admission. The inside is all wood-panelled. The access stairs are still like one in a concrete building, but this is one concrete reconstruction that has made the effort to make its interior appear like an authentic wooden castle.
  • Anonymous    February 11, 2010 at 03:20 PM
    I want to warn everyone that this castle is closed untill march 20th for renovations. I went there today but ended up at a closed gate.
  • Julian (from Canada)    October 26, 2009 at 11:13 PM
    I feel like such an idiot. I have seen that castle many times from the Shinkansen and I lived in Nagoya twice, but I've never been inside Kiyosu-jo. I've been back to Nagoya once since I lived there, but didn't have time. One day, I'm promising myself. Thank you for the great description Raymond, and I'm surprised photos are allowed inside, eh?
  • Raymond    December 30, 2008 at 04:48 PM
    I went to this castle on the weekend before Christmas. The time to visit this castle is in the late afternoon as the winter sun casts some soft orangey light on the castle and the red bridge leading towards it. Having read on this website that it is a concrete reconstruction, I did not expect much, but boy, was I surprised by the interior! It is all wood inside with a very good museum which includes displays of samurai armour and a scene in a tatami room with realistic dummies of Oda Nobunaga and his generals / servants. The interior of Kiyosu Castle feels like that of the Gojikkennagaya Storehouse at Kanazawa Castle. You can take photos inside. I checked with the attendant first, and she said it was okay. If you are in Nagoya City and have time to spare after visiting Nagoya Castle, I do recommend seeing this castle. It certainly lacks the crowds at Nagoya Castle, and that is a good thing in my book.
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Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture
Kiyosu Castle views
donjon and red bridge main keep
donjon, gate, bridge