Tsuyama Castle

From Jcastle.info

Tsuyama1.jpg

History

For his success at the Battle of Sekigahara Mori Tadamasa was awarded part of the Mimasaka area. He started construction of the castle in 1604 and completed the castle in 1616. After four generations, the Mori were replaced by Matsudaira Nobutomi. Tsuyama Castle was one of the most well fortified castles ever constructed in Japan. It had so many yagura and gates it was considered to be over fortified. The castle was dismantled during the Meiji Restoration.

Visit Notes

Even though there is only the one reconstructed yagura left, the tall stone walls remain in good condition.


Gallery



Castle Profile
English Name Tsuyama Castle
Japanese Name 津山城
Alternate Names Kakuzan-jo
Founder Mori Tadamasa
Year Founded 1604
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features turrets, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Tsuyama Sta. (Tsuyama Line); 15 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.tsuyama.okayama.jp/chikujo400/
Location Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 3' 46", 134° 0' 20"
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Admin
Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Added to Jcastle 2009


3.45
(11 votes)
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Anonymous user #2

2 days ago
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I was fortunate to visit here at the height of autumn beauty in the maple grove beside the inner walls. The bright red leaves looked wonderful against the old stone walls. There was a week-long momiji festival and evening illumination as well, although I was a few days too late for that. Given the huge number of cherry trees at the site, I'm sure it looks spectacular in the spring as well.
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PhibbyfanPeasant

31 months ago
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That was a special event. I believe it was part of the 1300th anniversary of Mimasaka Province.
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ARTHatamoto

31 months ago
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I'm finding pictures online of a mock reconstructed keep at this castle. Is it a permanent thing?
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Anonymous user #1

64 months ago
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Visited the castle in April of this year, right at the peak of the blooming period for cherry blossoms.

http://withi...-april-2013/

3 stars is a fair assessment for the castle, which lacks any notable surviving structures (apart from the nicely restored turret) but has a great set of fortifications with commanding views of the city below. Easily worth 5 stars IF, and ONLY IF, you happen to be there right when the scores of cherry trees planted all over the ruins are in full bloom.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

80 months ago
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I went today to this castle like i said some days earlier. Sadly it was raining this morning and like i thought the sakura were to their end. There were some still blooming. There are alot of maples too, so it must be nice during the momiji.

Apart from trees, the ishigaki are very well preserved and the bitchu-yagura was so interesting. It's the first time i've seen a goten inside such a turret. Are there others known? One minus point is that nothing is translated. You can have a page of explanations in the turret in english, but that's it. I still give 2.5 stars because of the reconstructed turret. It gives you such a feeling that you could living there right on the spot!
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RaymondWHatamoto

93 months ago
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It was over-fortified in its day, John. There WAS a five-storey castle keep and 60 turrets / watchtowers: 25 two-storey turrets, 25 one-storey turrets, and 10 stretched-out one-storey turrets (Tamonyagura). Of course, they are all gone now because they were torn down at the beginning of the Meiji Period, but the stone walls and bases are all there. Osaka Castle which is certainly much bigger and covers a larger area had less than half the number of turrets that Tsuyama Castle had. It's the number of turrets and their density that makes this a heavily over-fortified castle in its day.
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Anonymous user #1

93 months ago
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over fortified, you say-but no keep.
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JcastleHatamoto

99 months ago
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Michele, I think you're right. for castles I have not visited I normally rely on the suggestion of whoever donated the pictures. I've changed the ratings as follows: Tsuyama = 3 stars, Matsusaka = 2 stars, Odani = 1 star. The search index will be updated tonight.
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Anonymous user #1

99 months ago
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How is this only two stars when Odani and Matsusaka are 3? Tsuyama Castle is much better preserved, was historically the best castle and is beautiful during the cherry blossom and autumn seasons?
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Anonymous user #1

104 months ago
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This is such a GORGEOUS place for cherry blossom viewing! I had read that it was the best place in the Chugoku area, so I was excited, and it did not disappoint! There are so many blossoms in and around the ruins!

The city itself is grows on you. So many quaint little shops on the historic Joto street and the garden (which is surprisingly free!) is also pretty with some blossoms there too!
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RaymondWHatamoto

106 months ago
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Tsuyama Castle is a bit out of the way to visit, but if you are staying overnight in Okayama, then do make it to this castle, Okayama Castle, and Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle (an original castle.) over a two-day period. It takes almost 90 minutes by local train to get to Tsuyama from Okayama Station. Occasionally, there are some semi-express trains to Tsuyama which cuts the journey time down to around 70 minutes. I got the local train going up and was lucky enough to catch the semi-express one back to Okayama. If you like stone walls and a castle design that went for over-fortification then this is one for you. Like Marugame Castle, the whole hilltop has been practically encased in stone, but unlike Marugame Castle, this one had lots and lots of turrets in its days plus a zig-zag defence in the way that it placed its gates. There are no surviving original buildings there, but the Bitchu Yagura (Turret) has been reconstructed (finished in 2005) using traditional materials. Inside this yagura is a video which uses CG to show what the castle looked like in its time and how it was reconstructed. Of course, it is all in Japanese, but the pictures certainly help. This castle ruins has thousands of cherry trees, so at the end of March and beginning of April, it is covered in pink cherry blossoms...and probably squillions of cherry blossom-viewers, too.