Takamatsu Castle

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Takamatsu1.jpg

History

Ikoma Chikamasa was stationed in Takamatsu by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1587. He started building the castle in 1588 and it was completed in 1590. Four generations of Ikoma ruled Takamatsu until the 11 year old Takatoshi was re-stationed to the remote Dewa Province in Northeastern Japan in 1639 with greatly reduced lands. This was a punishment for conflicts caused by the Ikoma clan and their retainers. Tokugawa Ieyasu's grandson, Matsudaira Yorishige, replaced Ikoma in Takamatsu. The Matsudaira family continued to rule until the Meiji Period.

In the Edo Period, Takamatsu Castle had a 3 level, 5 story main keep and about 20 yagura. It is uniquely constructed on the waterfront where it draws water from the ocean for it's moats. It is considered one of the 3 great water or waterfront castles. The castle was decomissioned in 1869 and the main keep was torn down in 1884.

There is a strong movement in Takamatsu to rebuild the castle main keep as it was, but they are facing difficulties due to a lack of quality pictures and information about its original structure. Still, the city is proceeding with plans to begin construction in 2010.

Visit Notes

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.
江戸時代の高松城が見てみたかったです。海に浮かぶ最強の要塞に見えたでしょう。現在は満潮の時に月見櫓付近に流れてくる海しかその面影はありません。水手御門まで水が入ってきている写真が撮りたかったけれど、当日の満潮が夕方だったので断念しました。昼から丸亀でもっと時間をかけたいと思ったからです。結局丸亀城は思った以上に時間が必要だったので正解だったと思います。今回は月見櫓と桜門跡と内濠の一部が工事中だったのでまた行ってみたいと思います。

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Castle Profile
English Name Takamatsu Castle
Japanese Name 高松城
Alternate Names Tamamo-jo
Founder Ikoma Chikamasa
Year Founded 1588
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Kitanomaru Tsukimi Yagura, Kitanomaru Watariyagura, Ushitora Yagura, Kitanomaru Mizute Gomon
Features gates, turrets, bridges, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Takamatsu Sta. (Yosan Line); 10 min walk
Visitor Information Open times vary by season. The west gate is open as early as long as 5:30-19:00 in the summer, but 7:00-15:00 in January. Closed Dec 29-31. 200 yen.
Time Required 120 mins
Website http://www.takamatsujyo.com
Location Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 21' 1", 134° 3' 6"
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Admin
Year Visited 2016
Visits Feb 28, 2016
Added to Jcastle 2006


3.22
(27 votes)
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DiegoDeManilaAshigaru

21 months ago
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Visited 10 Jul 2015. Great site to walk around, and the newly restored tenshu base offers great views of the compound. Pity I wasn't there during high tide (the sea gate was pretty much high and dry), but as always, it gives me another excuse to go back. https://with...0-july-2015/
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ARTHatamoto

25 months ago
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When the tide comes in at Takamatsu Castle, it comes up to lap against the steps of the north gate and it goes out it leave a sandy moat behind. Truly this is one of the Edo Period’s three great water castles (Mizujiro). Visitors to Takamatsujō may enjoy boat rides around the Uchibori (inner moat) which surrounds the honmaru (main bailey). A roofed bridge provides the only access to the honmaru from the ninomaru (second bailey). The castle grounds contain gardens and the reconstructed Hiunkaku Palace. Features: - Ninomaru Go’den (second bailey palace), also called Hiunkaku, used to be much larger but now is surrounded by garden space. The palace was delapitated by 1878 and pulled down but it was reconstructed very early on in 1917 as an aristocratic guest house. - Tenshukakudai (donjon base) is a very impressive stone platform. There are lots of pictures of the old tenshukaku (donjon). It looks like its top floor bulged outward like an angular head. It’s slated for reconstruction in the future. - Tsukimi-yagura (moon-viewing turret), dating to 1676. This is a beautiful tower, although it is currently not accessible. - Mizutemon, this gate presumably was used by boats as it faces the moat: sea water comes right up to it at high tide. - Watariyagura (connecting turret), connecting the tsukimi-yagura and mizutemon. - Asahi-yagura, which I couldn’t see owing to construction work blocking my path. I might go back just to see it one day, it rises 3-storeys. - I found a reconstructed (concrete by the looks of it) bell tower turret opposite the outer moat on the sea front.

- Ishigaki (stone walls). The whole site is surrounded by them and there’s even a segment which extends out from the main complex and goes under a government building which has been built around and over it (no public access). The ishigaki of the honmaru are most impressive.
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JcastleHatamoto

28 months ago
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Thanks Ivan. I did not know that, even though I must have waked right past it. Now I have to go again ;)
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ARTHatamoto

28 months ago
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I saw it, Ivan. It's a cute little reconstruction, needed a lick of paint when I was there recently. The only other reconstruction on the site is the go'den palace, re-built by an aristocrat in the pre-war period. It was not accessible the day I went unfortunately. This castle featured boat rides around the moat!
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Anonymous user #1

28 months ago
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There is one more yagura not on the graunds on the castle. It is Hoji (Clock) Yagura which is located left to the Kitanomaru Tsukimi Yagura, almost in the port.

http://sengo...IMG_2457.JPG
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DiegoDeManilaAshigaru

35 months ago
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@ART: I was there in July and as Eric described, the tenshu reconstruction project is little more than a plan at this point (images of what it might eventually look like are on display in the castle grounds). They've finished the restoration work on the tenshu base itself and the core has been fully excavated, revealing the foundation stones for the main supporting posts, but other than that, no further work was being carried out on the spot (at that time anyway).
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JcastleHatamoto

35 months ago
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ART, I don't think they have even started on construction yet and are still in the wishful thinking planning stage. The original yagura and gate have been undergoing repairs recently too but I think the yagura are now complete.
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ARTHatamoto

35 months ago
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Do we know when reconstruction of the tenshu will be complete?
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Kiddus i2003Gunshi

55 months ago
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New construction was going on while I was there and the photo displays of what the new works will look like were impressive . Another of the ocean fronting castles that impressed me.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

80 months ago
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I totally agree with the notes provided by Raymond. It is a very nice place to be. For info the building standing on the tenshu-ishigaki(photo 3 on this site) is completely gone. The works are going well and i hope to see in the future this castle again with it's tenshukaku. The tsukimiyagura and mizutegomon were build many years after the watariyagura. The seawater came to this last turret in the first configuration of the castle.
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RebolforcesAshigaru

91 months ago
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Easy walk from station. Nice gardens. First place I've seen sluice gates for seawater for the moat. They say castle used to have the sea crashing against its walls. Currently rebuilding the walls in one area.
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JcastleHatamoto

92 months ago
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They've completely disassembled the stone walls to fortify the foundation and are rebuilding it using original techniques and materials. After over 400+ years of earthquakes and typhoons, etc the stone walls had shifted and become weaker to the point where they were worried about collapse. See the website for many pictures and details.

http://wwb.j...su/index.htm
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Anonymous user #1

92 months ago
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rough translation: just a question- are they taking the stone base apart or building it up?
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Anonymous user #1

92 months ago
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Gerade sind eine Frage sie die Steinunterseite des Unterhaltes auseinandernehmend oder sie oben errichtend?
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Anonymous user #1

105 months ago
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If the 19th century japanese could see how popular and well known their castles were, maybe they would't have dismantled so many.
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RaymondWHatamoto

120 months ago
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I went to Takamatsu after spending most of the day at Marugame Castle. Since I stayed overnight at Takamatsu, I was able to visit the castle at night and then again in the morning on the following day. The honmaru is closed to the public as it is undergoing restoration. My friend, who speaks better Japanese than I do, asked one of the staff on site when the restoration work will be finished. The fellow said the tenshu base will be completed in two years as stated on this website, but he was not sure about whether the tenshukaku (castle keep) will be rebuilt. The Tsukimi (Moon-Viewing) Yagura, a 3-storied tower built in 1676 (and restored in 1957) is open to the public, and you can walk around the inside. It is like walking inside a smaller version of original castle keeps like the ones at Maruoka and Marugame. Takamatsu Castle also has a nice traditional Japanese garden surrounding the Hiunkaku (Lord’s Palace.) The original Hiunkaku was demolished in 1872. The current Hiunkaku dates back to the one built in 1917. Entry to the castle grounds is 200yen, but it is free for three days at the beginning of the year (1st to 3rd January.) For people without a set of wheels, this castle is just across from JR Takamatsu Station. I did not expect much from this place after visiting Marugame Castle, but the combination of an original yagura, the nice Japanese garden, and its location by the sea make this quite a pleasant castle to visit if you are in Takamatsu. It is possible to visit both Marugame Castle and Takamatsu Castle (half an hour apart by express JR trains) in one day, but you will enjoy them more if you see them over 2 days.
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JcastleHatamoto

128 months ago
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great. thanks for that news !
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Anonymous user #1

128 months ago
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Well, I have good news every-body. The tenshu reconstruction is underway! If you go to www.shikoku-np.co.jp/feature/takamatsu_castle/, you can see pictures of the base being disassembled to prepare it for the reconstruction.
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Anonymous user #1

130 months ago
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This castle has few original buildings, so I hope that the plans for reconstructing the Tenshu come true. But, it is interesting to vist this Shiro as it is only one of three that had saltwater moats.