Matsuyama Castle (Saitama)

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Matsuyama Castle was built by Ueda Tomonao, a vassal of Uesugi Ougigayatsu. Matsuyama Castle became famous as a major focal point of the struggles between Uesugi and the Hojo. In 1537, the Hojo led a major force against Matsuyama Castle but they were unable to take it. They set the town on fire and abandoned the fight. In 1562, The Hojo again attacked in force. This time they called for assistance from Takeda Shingen. Takeda tried to dig a tunnel into the castle from which to secretly attack, but they hit a water reservoir and failed drowning many of the workers. This gave them the idea; however, to cut off the water supply by rupturing other reservoirs or diverting water from the castle's wells. Conditions within the castle grew serious as they ran out of water and on June 4, 1563, Uesugi Norikatsu gave up the castle, the same day that his reinforcements from Uesugi Kenshin arrived. Matsuyama flourished under the Ueda who ruled for the Hojo until 1590 when it was taken by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his campaign against Odawara. After the Tokugawa moved to Edo, Matsuyama Castle was temporarily ruled by the Matsudaira until 1601 when it was decommissioned.

Visit Notes

If you look at the map of this castle you'll see it's a maze of connected moats surrounding several smaller baileys. Due to a lack of good signs and maps however, I unfortunately can't make detailed comments about the locations of each pictures so just enjoy them in conjunction with the Google Map to get a good feel for the castle.

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Castle Profile
English Name Matsuyama Castle (Saitama)
Japanese Name 松山城
Founder Ueda Tomonao
Year Founded 1399
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Higashi Matsuyama Sta. (Tobu Tojo Line); 20 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Yoshimi, Saitama Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 2' 11.72" N, 139° 25' 14.70" E
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Added to Jcastle 2011
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits November 11, 2010

(9 votes)
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57 months ago
Score 0++
One enters through a gateway which is a hall to Kannon built against the rock. The climb from here was tricky but fun, as a muddy stream ran down. Ascending I took a shortcut using tree roots as a set of ladders, after going through a heart-shaped hole in the rockface. Nearby are the 100 Caves of Yoshimi. It's a Kofun Period site but has general appeal, and is especially popular with children. I recommend going if you're doing the castle as it's very close.


57 months ago
Score 0++
I went today, it was fairly well signposted.