July 16, 2016
Marugame Castle and Takamatsu Castle
This is the last update from my 3 day castle trip in Shikoku: Takamatsu Castle and Marugame. With this I've finally visited all 12 of the original main keeps.
Takamatsu Castle would have been really interesting to visit in the Edo Period before much of the ocean front was filled in to make more real estate. At high tide it would have looked like it was literally a floating fortress. If you visit today the only vestige of those times is the Mizunotegomon Gate next to the Tsukimi Yagura. At high tide water should come right up to the edge of the gate doors. I did lookup high tide times in advance but I decided to spend my afternoon at Marugame Castle instead which was a good choice because I needed much more time than I expected at Marugame. Otherwise, this is a beautiful castle with a lot more stonework and nicely water filled moats than I had expected. I'll have to visit again one all the construction is done.
Marugame is an amazing castle. I spent much more time here than I had anticipated. I don't think I've seen any book or website that really does justice to the size of this castle nor the magnificent stone walls. One of the great things about Marugame Castle is how close you can get to all of the walls. If you think about the big Edo Period castles like Edo, Osaka, Nagoya, etc their great stone walls are across a moat so you can't physically get right up next to most of them to be really awed by their scale. The main keep at the top is the smallest in Japan, but when you have such a commanding view from the only mountain in sight, you don't need a big keep.Comment
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