In 1623, Tokugawa Hidetada ordered Matsudaira Sadatsuna to build a new castle here to fortify southern Kyoto. The plan was to dismantle Fushimi Castle and move the main keep here by rebuilding the former Yodo Castle closer to the river. The stone walls also made use of some stones from Fushimi Castle. At the last minute, the main keep was moved to NIjo Castle instead and the main keep form Nijo Castle was moved to Yodo Castle. The original foundation at Yodo Castle had been built to accommodate the larger Fushimi Castle main keep so the smaller Nijo Castle main keep had a lot of extra area on the foundation. To fill the area they built smaller 2 level yagura at the corners, connected by a single story yagura all around. The main keep burned down in a lightning strike in 1756. In 1856, the Shogunate forces who were defeated at the Battle of Toba Fushimi fled to regroup at Yodo Castle. However, they were refused protection by the lord of the castle despite having been loyal to Edo in the past. This was the final blow to the defeat of the former Shogunate forces in Kyoto.
The stone walls of Yodo Castle are quite impressive. Unfortunately, the grounds are in a bad state of maintenance. The walls are overgrown with weeds in places, the weeds inside the baileys are out of control making the mosquitoes in October terrible. The very few signs are falling apart and there is a lot of trash scattered about. For a city like Kyoto that values its heritage, it is a shame to see this site falling into ruin. Especially when they just rebuilt the station and put millions of dollars into a new horse racing park just on the other side. Maybe they can return some of the profits from the those back into restoring the site one day. I understand that plans were drawn up to reinvigorate the site a few years ago, but no progress to date.
|English Name||Yodo Castle|
|Alternate Names||Ukijiro, Tenjiro|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||water moats, stone walls|
|Access||Yodo Sta. (Keihan Line); 1 min walk|
|Visitor Information||Park is open any time.|
|Time Required||30 mins|
|Coordinates||34° 54' 17", 135° 43' 3"|
|Visits||October 19, 2014|
|Added to Jcastle||2010|