Tatsuoka Castle

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Tatsuoka9.jpg

History

Matsudaira Norikata founded the castle in 1864. Unfortunately, it was never totally finished by the time the Meiji Restoration began and it was abandoned in 1871. Rather than a huge fort like that of Goryokaku, Tatsuoka Castle is comparatively smaller and it's thought that it was intended as a residence rather than a large scale castle. Also, despite taking in the elements of a European star shaped fortress the moats are fairly narrow and shallow so it would not have been a very strong fortress. Norikata was well respected and served the shogunate in several high ranking positions. After the Meiji Restoration he helped found Hakuaisha, which would later become the Japan Red Cross.

Visit Notes

This is one of only two 5 point sar shaped forts in Japan. Be sure to view the Google map where you can very easily see the star shape that you can't get from this pictures. The castle is about the same distance from either Usuda or Tatsuokajo Stations. I walked from Usuda to the castle and then out to Tatsuokajo. The castle grounds are now occupied by an elementary school, but apparently they are open for walking around. Be sure you don't miss the original gate and wall about a 10 min walk from the castle. the town also has some old temples that are worth a visit if you're there.
五稜郭と一緒に日本に二つしかない稜堡式のお城です。この写真ではその形はよく見えませんが、グーグルマップではよく見えます。お城は臼田駅と龍岡城駅からほぼ同じ距離です。私は臼田駅から降りて、お城を回って龍岡城駅から載って帰りました。城跡は現在小学校がありますが、グラウンドに入ってもいいようになっているようです。城跡から徒歩10分位にある移築現存の薬慰問と塀も見る価値があります。時間があれば古い神社もいくつかあるのでゆっくりついでに散歩して回るのも楽しいです。

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Castle Profile
English Name Tatsuoka Castle
Japanese Name 龍岡城
Alternate Names Tatsuoka Goryokaku, Tanoguchi Jinya
Founder Matssudaira Norikata
Year Founded 1864
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Tatsuokajo Sta./Usuda Sta. (JR Yatsugatake Kogen Line); walk 20 mins
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.saku.nagano.jp/cms/html/entry/783/262.html
Location Saku, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 11' 46", 138° 30' 6"
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Admin
Year Visited 2011
Visits September 21, 2011
Added to Jcastle 2011


1.67
(3 votes)
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Frank T.Gunshi

86 months ago
Score 0++
This is one of what I thought were only two western-style star forts in Japan until two more near Hakodate were recently posted on this site. These new two are small and not really stars but rather diamonds or rectangles. Tatsuoka is not as grand as Goryokaku in Hakodate, but it is a genuine star fort. It's occupied by an elementary school, although they don't seem to mind people walking around with cameras. As is often the case, I also pulled up my motorcycle on the grounds and parked. As long as you're not causing problems or arriving in large numbers, I don't think anybody will mind. Having said all that, Tatsuoka is historically interesting, but go to Goryokaku in Hakodate if you want to see a much better preserved star fort and feel free to explore it.