Fukuoka Castle 福岡城
Founder Kuroda Nagamasa
Kuroda
Year 1601
Type Hilltop
Condition Other Buildings
Alternate Name Maizuru-jo, Seki-jo
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Minami Maru Tamon Yagura
Location Fukuoka, Fukuoka Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Hakata Sta. (Kagoshima Line)
Website Fukuoka City
Notes not personally visited. The above picture is of the extant Minami Tamon Yagura, an Important Cutural Property. The picture was donated by Japanese Castle Explorer
History Kuroda Nagamasa received lands around present day Fukuoka for his service in the Battle of Sekigahara. Nagamasa came to Fukuoka in 1601 and began building Fukuoka Castle. In its time, Fukuoka Castle was the largest castle in Kyushu and boasted 47 yagura. Even though there is a foundation for a main keep, there is no evidence that a main keep was ever built. Noguchi Kazushige, who also assisted with Osaka and Edo Castles, built the stone walls of the castle. It is said Kato Kiyomasa was so impressed with the scale and workmanship, he nicknamed it the Stone Castle (Seki-jo).

The Kuroda family ruled for 12 generations and over 270 years. In 1871, the castle was decommissioned and most of the buildings were disassembled or moved.

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  • lidiamq on My Page    June 01, 2016 at 07:53 PM
    Ruins
  • DiegoDeManila    November 22, 2015 at 07:14 AM
    Visited for a second time in March 2015 (https://withinstrikingdistance.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/field-report-fukuoka-castle-and-korokan-fukuoka-japan-23-march-2015/). Not much left of the castle itself, but there's an excellent view of the city to be had from the tenshu base. The remains of the Asuka/Heian-era kōrokan that have been excavated on the castle grounds are a highlight of the experience.
  • Yoko-chan90 on My Page    May 20, 2014 at 09:09 AM
    Visited: 11 April 2014 ☆ Unfortunately only a view buildings left, but wonderful view from upthere.
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    May 17, 2014 at 10:11 PM
    Liked this immensely, huge area which would have looked impressive in its day.
  • furinkazan on My Page    April 11, 2013 at 08:19 PM
    I arrived today in Japan and landed directly in Fukuoka. After visiting some temples and shrines i went to this site. Since it was raining this morning i took the subway to Asakasa-station. From there it is a small walk to the site. There are now very big excavations fo the diplomatic center Kôrokan of the Heian period. The first building entering the site of the castle is the information center. Don't miss it, they'll provide you with a map of the site in english. Look at the explanation-movie. You will see some 3d rendering of the castle. Go then to the Kôrokan where you can obtain the nihon 100 meijô-stamp. From there follow the route on the map. You will go to every interesting place and building. There are lots of information panels(with english). The buildings and ishigaki are interesting.
  • RaymondW on My Page    March 12, 2012 at 09:34 PM
    Prior to the construction of Fukuoka Castle, there was another castle nearby. Najima Castle, which was built by Kobayakawa Takakage in 1587, was about 5km away from Fukuoka Castle. However, the terrain restricted the expansion of the Najima Castle, so Kuroda Yoshitaka and his son, Kuroda Nagamasa, relocated to a new location and built Fukuoka Castle over a seven-period, starting in 1601. This was one of the largest castles built in the early Edo Period. It covered 2.46 million square metres and had 47 yaguras (turrets). According to one sign at the castle site, the experts still could not decide if a castle keep was actually built, but based on the size of the stone foundation, they estimated that it had a five-storey main castle tower with other lesser castle towers attached to form a multi-towered castle keep. This castle ruin has a couple of original yaguras left: the Tamon Yagura in the Minaminomaru (Southern Bailey) and the Kinen Yagura (Prayer Turret), located on the northeastern corner of the Honmaru (Main Bailey). There is also one original Honmaru gate, the Omote-Gomon, which was moved to Sofuji Temple in 1918 and is now the Sofuji Sanmon Gate. One of Najima Castle’s original gates, a side gate, can also be found at Fukuoka Castle. It is a very easy castle site to visit as it is just a short subway ride from Hakata Station to Ohori-koen Station, which is just a few hundred metres from the restored Shimonohashi Otemon (damaged in a fire in 2000.) For castle fans who want to get their 100 Meijo Stamp, you will have to go to the Korokan. Entry is free, and it is a museum about a diplomatic embassy between China and Japan. The Korokan stood near Hakata Bay from the second half of the 7th century until the 11th century. Also, if you are interested in learning more about the two Mongol Invasions of Japan in the 13th century, there is the small but interesting Museum of Mongol Invasions near Maidashikyudaibyoinmae Station on the subway. It is only open on Saturdays and Sundays, but if you call ahead and make an appointment, they can open up the museum for you on a weekday. Since my previous visit to Fukuoka Castle in 2008, the local authorities have put up some new signs giving more detailed information about the castle and its history. Combined with the Korokan, this castle site is worth three stars as it has some original structures and good detailed signs in four languages including English.
  • Frank T. on My Page    October 08, 2011 at 11:15 PM
    There is no keep, but the grounds are extensive, and there's enough to make it interesting and worth a visit. Besides, Fukuoka is a great town.
  • Anonymous    March 22, 2011 at 08:47 AM
    I've been to this castle and it is breathtaking. I hate how the other commenters are saying it is boring and not exciting at all. You just have to keep in mind that this is one of the first castles to be built in Japan (well one of the oldest remenants) and that it was built in the 1600s. Plus, it is beautiful with the multiple cherry blossoms around the castle.
  • Julian (from Canada)    October 23, 2009 at 09:22 AM
    This was the most disappointing castle I've seen in Japan. I was there six years ago, and it looked like a fancy wall around a vacant lot.
  • Anonymous    May 02, 2009 at 06:22 PM
    I spent 3 days traveling around Northern Kyushu and visited 10 different castles/ruins. Fukuoka was the most disappointing. The 4 star rating is extremely generous. A visit to Saga Castle ruins is definitely more enjoyable. It has the original main gate and a reconstructed palace. It is also very English friendly with free audio deffices......If only I knew about Yoshinogari when I was in Saga, as this is apparently a fantastic reconstructed fortified Yayoi site.
  • Anonymous    March 28, 2009 at 08:50 AM
    I just spent a nice afternoon here with the cherry blossoms in full bloom. The Shimonohashi Otemon gate, which was completed late 2008, looked great.
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Fukuoka, Fukuoka Pref.
Fukuoka Castle views
Minami tamon yagura
Omotemon Gate Kinen Yagura
shimonohashi otemon gate shimonohashi otemon gate
stone walls stone walls
stone walls stone walls
stone walls stone walls
Fukuoka Castle map