Stories say that a castle on this site dates back to the 9th C., but the earliest evidence of it appears in writings from 1527. In the mid 1500's it was a fortification of Akutagawasan Castle. In 1568 the castle came under the control of Oda Nobunaga when he defeated Akutagawasan Castle. Wada Koremasa became the new lord of the castle and began to further fortify the castle. Wada was killed at the Battle of Shiraikawara in 1571 and Takayama Tomoteru and hi son Ukon, the famed Christian lord, became the new lords of the castle. Ukon helped to develop a thriving castle town. In 1581, Takayama Ukon built a church within the castle grounds and invited missionaries to administer to the local people. Takayama Ukon was a devoted Christian and during his reign, there were about 18,000 Christians living in the castle town around Takatsuki Castle. The castle came under direct control of Hideyoshi in 1582 when he started construction of Osaka Castle and remained as a site for government offices under both Hideyoshi and Tokugawa until 1615 when Naito Nobumasa was made lord of the castle and the Takatsuki Domain was founded. The castle was vastly renovated into an Edo Period castle by Naito Nobumasa in 1617. After Naito, several different lords held Takatsuki Castle until Nagai Naokiyo in 1649. The Nagai ruled for 13 generations until the end of the Edo Period when it was abandoned in 1871. A special feature of Takatsuki Castle was that it was built on damp and fairly unstable land, so under the original ishigaki (stone walls), the builders had laid a carpet of pine needles on top of which were laid some logs. It was over this “insulation base” the stone walls were built. A model of this can be seen in the Shiroato History Museum. The castle stone walls and wood from buildings were repurposed to build the train line between Mukomachi and Osaka in 1874.
There is just about nothing left of the original Takatsuki Castle which was demolished in 1874. There are some reconstructed ishigaki and a statue of Takayama Ukon in the castle park, which occupies part of the former Sannomaru (Third Bailey). The museum at this site is surprisingly good for the relatively small ruins. It's also free (except for special exhibits) so please stop by. One of the original castle gates can still be found at Hongyoji Temple. Some Japanese castle books have also suggested that the Karamon at Nagai Shrine is an original castle gate from Takatsuki Castle. The family crest of the Nagai Clan can be seen on the water trough just inside the entrance of Nagai Shrine.
|English Name||Takatsuki Castle|
|Year Founded||10th C.|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||gates, water moats, stone walls|
|Access||Takatsukishi Sta. (Hankyu), 10mins walk; or 15min walk from JR Takatsuki.|
|Visitor Information||The park is open anytime. Museum (free) is open 10am-5pm except Mondays, unless Monday is a holiday, then closed Tuesday. Closed 12/28-1/3.|
|Time Required||30 mins (60 mins with museum)|
|Coordinates||34° 50' 35", 135° 37' 20"|
|Visits||October 19, 2014|
|Added to Jcastle||2013|