Originally a small castle was built on the same site by the Saito in the 1400s, but it was abandoned by 1538. One source says it was not even completed.
After the Battle of Sekigahara, Okudaira Nobumasa was initially put in control of Gifu Castle. Gifu Castle was inconvenient and inappropriate for the new era of Tokugawa defenses so he had Okudaira build a new flatland castle south of Gifu Castle. Kano Castle would become one of the 12 major "tenkabushin" castles built by the Tokugawa.It is said that the layout of the castle was designed by Ieyasu himself and the Tokugawa's Kano Castle utilized materials from Gifu Castle including stones from the stone walls and the 3 story yagura in the Ninomaru Bailey was actually the tower moved from Gifu Castle atop the Kinkazan mountain. The commander of the castle changed several times until 1755 when Nagai Naonobu became lord of the castle. Nagai's descendents ruled until the Meiji Restoration.
Kano Castle was a vast castle, but only the Honmaru is preserved as the Kano Park today. The moat around the honmaru is long gone now but that does allow you to get up close to the impressive castle walls. From the inside of the honmaru you can see the nicely preserved high earthen embankments.
Kano Castle is best visited in combination with Gifu Castle. Historically speaking you might want to visit Gifu Castle first and imagine the differences between these two closely related castles.
This Excavation Survey Report is in Japanese but has a lot of great illustrations of the castle territory and photos of the excavation process.
There are also three gates that I know of that are said to have been moved from Kano Castle, but I did not have time to look for them on this trip. I think they are fairly far from the castle itself.
|English Name||Kano Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Access||Gifu Station (Tokaido Main Line); 15 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Park, open any time|
|Time Required||45 mins|
|Location||Gifu, Gifu Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 23' 58.56" N, 136° 45' 37.22" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||2019|
|Admin Visits||August 2, 2019|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Shirobito - Kano Castle|
|Kojodan - Kano Castle|
|Jokaku Horoki - Kano Castle|
|Oshiro Meguri Fan - Kano Castle|
|Ken's Castle Storage - Kano Castle|