Yuzuki Castle

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During the Nanboku-chô period (1336-1392), Kono Michimori moved the clans' home base from Kono-Gun to Yuzuki Castle in Dogo which was a more prosperous area. Despite intervention by the Hosokawa and internal family disputes, the clan served the Ashikaga Shogun family, and was allied with neighboring clans including the Ouchi, Otomo and Mori. Around 1535, Kono Michinao constructed the outer moat of the castle thus giving it two large moats and increasing its defences. He also strengthened his relationship with Murakami Michiyasu, son-in-law and pirate leader of the Inland Sea (Kurushima). In 1585, another Michinao (Ushifukumaru), the last heir, surrendered the castle to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. This was the end of the Kono clan in Iyo. Yuzuki Castle was briefly ruled by Fukushima Masanori until it was abandoned.

Visit Notes

This castle was much more interesting than I had expected. The reconstructed buildings have been done very well and help you to imagine what a castle from that time would have been like. From the top of the hill you can also get a good view of Matsuyama Castle and the surrounding area.

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  • West Entrance
  • West Entrance
  • Outer moat
  • Reconstructed samurai homes
  • Reconstructed samurai homes and outer embankment
  • Embankment and clay wall
  • Remains of other buildings
  • Reconstructed Samurai Home #2
  • Inside of the Samurai Home #2
  • Reconstructed samurai home #1
  • Interior of samurai home #1
  • Gate to the first samurai home
  • Inner moat embankment and the #2 samurai home
  • Inner moat
  • Inner moat
  • East side embankment and water drainage
  • Earthworks
  • View from the top of the hill
  • Matsuyama Castle as seen from Yuzuki Castle
  • A bailey on the mountain
  • Inner moat and samurai quarters area
  • Inner moat
  • Outer moat and earthworks
  • Outer moat embankment
  • Outer moat embankment
  • Outer moat and earthworks
  • Diorama of the castle
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Yuzuki Castle
Japanese Name 湯築城
Founder Kono Michimori
Year Founded 1334-1338
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features gates, samurai homes, water moats, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Matsuyama Sta (Yosan Line); streetcar 20 min to Dogo Kouen-mae stop
Visitor Information Park: open year round, free admission
Facilities : open from 09:00 to 17:00; closed on Mondays (when monday falls on a national holiday, the next day will be closed), December 29th-january 3rd; admission free
Time Required 45 mins
Website http://www.dogokouen.jp/dogokouen/park shisetsu.html
Location Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture
Coordinates 33° 50' 51.11" N, 132° 47' 9.74" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Admin Year Visited 2016
Admin Visits February 26, 2016

(9 votes)
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94 months ago
Score 0++
For a Pre-Edo Period castle the site is quite vast and impressive. The dorui are large and the inner and outer moats are well preserved. I was delighted with the samurai homes. The rocky hill in the middle of the fort, the old Honmaru (main bailey) is heavily wooded and mysterious, and looking at one of my pictures it looks like there is a face in the rock. The stone pot covered by the gazebo structure in the final picture is a medieval basin engraved with Buddhist iconography used at the onsen for many centuries, even into the Meiji Period.


118 months ago
Score 0++
Visited 12 Feb 2014 (http://withi...014-part-33/), right after Matsuyama Castle and the obligatory visit to Dōgo Onsen. With its convenient location (just one tram stop away from Dōgo Onsen), there's really no excuse for a castle enthusiast to miss Yuzuki whilst visiting Matsuyama. Not much to see in terms of physical remains; older type of castle so think more along the lines of earthworks than ishigaki. Not a lot of English either, though as always even a little Japanese comes in handy for appreciating the signboards. Quite interesting overall, and there's a wonderful chap in the onsite museum who's only too happy to enliven the experience for visitors - I imagine he's the same fellow that RaymondW ran into!


133 months ago
Score 0++
This is an interesting little fortified settlement to visit. The two reconstructed samurai residences are pretty interesting. One of them is even air-conditioned, so it was a nice respite from the heat on the 36C day that I visited this place with my wife. The local guide inside the small museum was a talkative chap who was very happy to provide a wealth of information about the site. There is a little tunnel excavated into one section of the earthen ramparts. Once inside, you can see a cross-section of the rampart with explanations about its development and when certain layers of earth / stones were added. Yuzuki is an easy site to get to by using the local trams in Matsuyama. Get a 400yen day pass if you are going to use the trams at least three times a day. It will save you money and time fumbling for change. Each single journey costs 150yen. You can get the pass at the tiny tourist info counter located in the souvenir shop at JR Matsuyama Station.