Okazaki Castle

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Okazaki45.jpg

History

Saigo Tsugiyori built the original fortification on this site in 1455. Matsudaira Kiyoyasu captured the castle in 1524 and his famous grandson Matsudaira Motoyasu (Tokugawa Ieyasu) was born here on December 16, 1542. Ieyasu succeeded to lord of the castle in 1560 and left his eldest son Nobuyasu in charge when he moved to Hamamatsu Castle in 1570. The castle was left to the Tanaka clan when the Tokugawa moved to Edo (Tokyo) in 1590. The Tanaka worked to expand the castle and build out the castle town. When the Okazaki Domain was established the loyal retainer Honda Yasushige was made lord of the Okazaki Domain. The domain changed hands a few times during the Edo Period and was demolished in 1873.


Visit Notes

It was more than 20 years since I revisited this castle and I'm glad I finally did. I had seriously underestimated how great of a site it is based on only visiting the main keep and being unable to take any good pictures of it the first time I went. The stonework around this castle is amazing. This was a bit of a rushed trip after visiting Asuke Castle and on the way back to Tokyo, so I would actually like to visit again and spend more time exploring the castle and checking out the stone walls. There is the castle museum inside the main keep and then another Tokugawa museum on the site. I probably spent too much time in the first Tokugawa museum and had to cut short the rest of the castle exploring and the main keep museum. Plan for plenty of time when you visit or prioritize each area accordingly.


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Castle Profile
English Name Okazaki Castle
Japanese Name 岡崎城
Alternate Names Ryu-jo
Founder Saigo Tsugiyori
Year Founded 1455
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 5 stories
Year Reconstructed 1959 (concrete)
Features main keep, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access HIgashi Okazaki Station (Meitetsu Line), 15 minute walk
Visitor Information Open 9am-5pm; closed 12/29-12/31; 200 yen for main keep museum, 510 for both museums
Time Required 150 mins
Website https://okazaki-kanko.jp/okazaki-park/feature/okazakijo/top
Location Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 57' 22.50" N, 137° 9' 31.39" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 1999
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 1996, 2019
Admin Visits March 1996; August 4, 2019
Friends of JCastle
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3.22
(18 votes)
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ARTShogun

41 months ago
Score 1++
Castle keeps sometimes don’t contain the best exhibitions within even though they mostly function as museums, because their main draw relies on spectacle, but Okazakijō is different. It has a glorious collection of models and artefacts. Unfortunately these collections are jealously guarded and pictures are prohibited within the museum. There is also a separate museum dedicated to the life and times of Tokugawa Ieyasu in the castle park. Period players perform martial arts shows in front of here and I talked with one such lady performer, performing as Komatsu-hime (the ladies always win so they’re worth cheering for). There is small traditionally inspired clock tower in the park. On the hour a karakuri ningyō (originally Edo-era wooden robot) emerged and performed Noh theatre.
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Kiddus i2003Gunshi

76 months ago
Score 0++
Excellent park and the main entrance was very impressive, liked the castle immensely.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

89 months ago
Score 0++
Today i visited 4 sites, of which one isn't yet on this site. I began with this one. The park is beautiful but sadly they didn't try to cover the concrete in the tenshu. The artifacts are very interesting, but as already stated you may not take pictures inside. The Ieyasu and Mikawa bushi museum retraces the life of Ieyasu. The important phases of his life are translated in english, but everything else is in japanese. There is a nice recreation model of the battle of Sekigahara. To the exit you are able to put an armor on with the helmet of Honda Tadakatsu. It takes no time, because the staff put it on you and it's free of charge. If you are in the vicinity, i recommend to go to this site.
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UsagiAshigaru

117 months ago
Score 0++
Visited this castle as part of a weekend trip to Nagoya. Nice little castle with interesting grounds to walk around, worth the visit.
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Frank T.Gunshi

120 months ago
Score 0++
How is it that the admin rating for this castle is two stars? Granted, it's a reconstruction, but the park is nice, the keep is not a small one, and the site is of some historical importance. Everyone, not only castle fans, can enjoy a visit here.
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RaymondWHatamoto

122 months ago
Score 0++
I rushed my first visit to this castle three years ago, so I decided on a re-visit yesterday and actually walked around it a bit more leisurely. I got round to see more of the moats and ishigaki on the north side of the castle ground which I missed last time. There is a free English pamphlet available on request. You can only take photos on the top floor of the castle. The other parts of the castle museum have “no photo” signs all over. A 44-page book in Japanese with colour photos of some of the displays in the museum as well as the history of the castle is available for 600yen. The interior of the castle could have been done better with wooden panelling to hide all the concrete. Still, the museum was pretty good.