Hamamatsu Castle

From Jcastle.info



Hikuma Castle was first built on this site around 1514 by a vassal of the Imagawa clan, Inoo Noritsura. In 1568, Tokugawa Ieyasu attacked Sakai Tadatsugu and took control of the castle. Ieyasu started construction of Hamamatsu Castle in 1570 and Hikuma Castle became a minor extension of its vast territory. In 1577 Ieyasu renamed his new castle Hamamatsu Castle. Legend says, the name was changed from "Hikuma" because the characters give the impression of "pulling a horse along" which you might do after losing a battle. Ieyasu spent 17 years here and engaged in some of his most well known battles from this castle before moving to Sunpu Castle in 1586.

Visit Notes

Hamamatsu Castle sometimes gets a bad reputation for the poorly reconstructed keep that doesn't even fit the stone foundation, but it should be included among the must-see castles of Japan. The rough cut stone walls (nozura-zumi) are quite magnificent. They are a much older style than what you see at castles like Osaka Castle, Nagoya Castle, or Edo Castle and the amount of such remaining stone work is impressive. The hachimaki (headband) style stone walls (stone work just around the top of an embankment or hillside, reminiscent of a headband) around the main compound are also a unique feature.

The site has been vastly developed over the last few years including the reconstruction of the Honmaru gate. In one of the photos below you will also see an artists' illustration that contains another single level watchtower and multiple castles walls. There are tentative plans to rebuild these as well.

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Castle Profile
English Name Hamamatsu Castle
Japanese Name 浜松城
Alternate Names Hikuma-jo
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year Founded 1570
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Next 100 Castles, Local Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Year Reconstructed 1958 (concrete)
Features main keep, gates, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Hamamatsu Station (Tokaido Honsen Line), 20 mins walk, or 10 mins bus ride
Visitor Information 8:30a.m. - 4:30p.m.; Closed Dec.29-31; 200 yen
Time Required 90 mins
Website https://www.entetsuassist-dms.com/hamamatsu-jyo/
Location Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 42' 42.26" N, 137° 43' 29.24" E
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Added to Jcastle 1999
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 1999, 2020
Admin Visits May 1999, January 12, 2020
Friends of JCastle
Malcolm Fairman Photography - Hamamatsu Castle

(19 votes)
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16 months ago
Score 1++
Upgraded my rating to a solid 4. Although the main area isn't so big, it has a lot going on, and it seems they're going to continue with reconstructions.


41 months ago
Score 1++
The hachimaki-style ishigaki walls of Hamamatsujō are of interest. They zig-zag (byobu-ore), and have short inward projecting wall sections (irizumi) and short outward projecting wall sections (dezumi). There is an embedded gate (uzumi-mon) set in the curving southern wall segment (watori) west of the main bailey; there are few examples remaining elsewhere of these curvy walls. Zig-zagging walls, the strategy for which was called yokoyagakari (probably ‘sideways arrow attacking’), eliminated blind spots in the defensive perimeter. On the dezumi projections turrets were constructed.


45 months ago
Score 1++

There are distant views of Mount Fuji, only if the sky is clear of course. The keep is a concrete reconstruction and not really interesting, though I liked the model of the castle and its surroundings, which did a good job at explaining the location of various castle-related and Tōkaidō-related places. The gate has been reconstructed with original materials. Nothing spectacular about this castle site, but I only paid 200 yen to enter both the gate and the keep.

Not really related, but still: for people interested in the history of the Edo Period and the Tōkaidō, I would highly recommend nearby Maisaka, Arai and Futagawa, where original honjin (本陣), wakihonjin (脇本陣), sekisho (関所) and hatagoya (旅籠屋) can be explored. All easily accessible by local JR trains.

Kiddus i2003Gunshi

68 months ago
Score 0++
At the time of my visit a lot of running repairs was being carried out to various walls. Interesting little castle, but more could be done to make it interesting.


116 months ago
Score 0++
Small, not that authentic but a great place to enjoy Japanese gardens and sakura


118 months ago
Score 0++
There are numerous castles in this area that can be viewed in combination with a car. From Tokyo this is about a 3 and a half our drive each way if the roads stay clear. Again well worth the drive for the views of Fuji in the winter particularly with the sun setting behind her. The castle is located at the back of the ward office and while small runs information tours and has a considerable amount of historical information and photos of the area.


130 months ago
Score 0++
hamamatsu `castle that hamamatsu castle reminds me of the battle of mikatagahara takeda army forced the tokugawa forces to retreat back to hamamatsu castle


132 months ago
Score 0++
I visited Hamamatsu in January; the blue skies certainly helped make it more photogenic. There is a statue of Ieyasu out the front which can make for interesting photos. Speaking of interesting photos; the ground floor has two replica katana you're allowed to hold and pose with; you don't even have to request them. The well in the basement was interesting; the views from the top were average.


137 months ago
Score 0++
I was a little disappointed by this castle. The location isn't very nice and the armors inside are replicas.


147 months ago
Score 0++
I visited this castle in april, just after visiting Kakegawajo and Sunpupark. I was a little bit disappointed by this one. It is a concrete reconstruction which, in mine opinion, is a negative point, and the sight from and around the castle isn't very pleasing. It is easy to walk to the castle from the station. There are signs indicating the way.