Takada Castle (Niigata)
Takada Castle was built by Matsudaira Tadateru, the sixth son of Tokugawa Ieyasu. This was one of the 天下普請 (tenka fushin - Tokugawa public works) projects. Thirteen regional lords completed the castle in only four months. The layout and construction was actually directed by Tadateru's father-in-law, Date Masamune. The main keep was a 3 level yagura, that looked similar to the Fujimi Yagura of Edo Castle. The castle makes use of two nearby rivers to act as moats. The castle is a flatland castle, built on a fairly large scale, but it never had any stone walls. A large, flatland castle from this time should have had stone walls and foundations. There are several theories that they were not built to save time and expense, there were no suitable stones in the area, the ground is too soft, and that higher earthen embankments and wider moats provided a better defense. In the Meiji Period the moats were largely filled in and the earthen embankments flattened to make a suitable military base.
If you go to Kasugayama Castle, Takada Castle is also a must. It is just one stop away by train. I recommend visiting between late fall and early spring before the leaves on the trees obscure the main keep. There is always a debate about letting trees and shrubs grow on castle grounds, but I really think they need to trim these trees more.
|English Name||Takada Castle (Niigata)|
|Castle Condition||Reconstructed main keep|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles, Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Main Keep Structure||3 levels, 3 stories|
|Year Reconstructed||1993 (steel, wood)|
|Features||bridges, water moats, stone walls, walls|
|Access||Takada Sta. (Shin'etsu Line); 20 min walk|
|Location||Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture|
|Coordinates||37° 6' 36", 138° 15' 21"|
|Visits||October 10, 2011|
|Added to Jcastle||2011|