Wakayama Castle

From Jcastle.info



In 1585, under the orders of his older brother Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hidenaga established Wakayama Castle to help rule over the Kii area. When the castle was finished, Hidenaga had made Yamato Koriyama Castle his home base and stationed Kuwayama Shigeharu here in his place.

Asano Yoshinaga was stationed at Wakayama Castle after the Battle of Sekigahara. In 1619, Tokugawa Ieyasu's 10th child Yorinobu became lord of the castle. From that point until the Meiji Restoration the castle was ruled by successive Tokugawa lords.

Even after the Meiji Restoration, the beautiful main keep was kept intact and designated a National Treasure. Unfortunately, it burned to the ground during bombings in 1945. Wakayama Castle together with Himeji Castle and Iyo-Matsuyama Castle are called the Three Great Flatland Mountain Castles.

Visit Notes

I put off going to this castle for a long while, but after visiting I really think that most castle books don't give it justice. The amount of stone walls and baileys that remain are impressive. Even though the main keep and connected buildings are reconstructed, the complex keep style (renritsushiki) that completely encloses the main keep courtyard is one of only a few that you can see like this. The castle also has two original gates, a beautifully reconstructed covered bridge, and you can see all the different types of stone walls depending on when they were built. There is also an original bell tower yagura, the kitchen yagura from the honmaru palace and a samurai home in the town. I highly recommend you take the time to walk the grounds and enjoy this great castle.

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  • main keep, Ninomon, and Ninomon Yagura
  • Okaguchi gate
  • Main keep and connected yagura
  • Main keep
  • main keep
  • Approaching the main keep
  • Ninomon Gate (Kusunoki Gate)
  • Inside the Main Keep compound
  • Inui Yagura
  • Main keep bailey.
  • Ninomon Yagura
  • Uzumimon Gate (buried gate)
  • foundation of the Daidokoro Yagura
  • Rock chutes
  • Okaguchi Gate
  • Rear side of the Okaguchi Gate
  • wall connecting to the Okaguchi Gate
  • Otemon Gate and Ichinohashi Bridge
  • Back side of the Otemon Gate
  • Oimawashi Gate
  • Oimawashi Gate
  • Ohashiroka
  • Ohashiroka Bridge
  • Inside the Ohashiroka Bridge
  • a high stone wall
  • East moat near the Oteguchi Gate
  • Stone walls of the Akazumon Gate ruins
  • Stone walls of the former Nakamon Gate.
  • Stone steps of the Okura Bailey.
  • Stone steps of the Okuru Bailey
  • Stone walls of the South Bailey
  • Stone walls
  • Stone walls near the Tsurunomon Gate ruins
  • high stone wall foundation of a yagura
  • dry moat
  • Stone walls of the South Nakamon entrance
  • stone walls and steps
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Wakayama Castle
Japanese Name 和歌山城
Alternate Names Takegaki-jo, Torafusu-jo
Founder Toyotomi Hidenaga
Year Founded 1585
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Year Reconstructed 1958 (concrete)
Artifacts Okaguchi Gate
Features main keep, gates, turrets, bridges, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Wakayama Station (Nankai Line, JR Hanwa Line); 15 min bus to Koenmae bus stop, or walk 20 mins
Visitor Information 400 yen; open 9-5:30pm; closed 12/29-12/31
Time Required 120 mins
Website http://www.wakayamakanko.com/eng/sightseeing/history1.html
Location Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 13' 39.40" N, 135° 10' 16.93" E
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Added to Jcastle 2005
Admin Year Visited 2012
Admin Visits March 17, 2012
Friends of JCastle
Malcolm Fairman Photography - Wakayama Castle

(24 votes)
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one month ago
Score 0++

I visited this site, for a second time, on 07/12/2022. I did a more profound visit than in 2010 and appreciated it more. The Jieitai(self defense force of Japan), were removing shrubs and grasses from the ishigaki. To the south-east of the castle, there is a relocated nagayamon of the Ômura residence.

I also recommend to visit the history museum to the north-west of the castle. There is a video of the castle during it's heyday.


77 months ago
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Visited on 9 September 2016. Visited too late in the day to fully take the time to appreciate the castle or walk along the reconstructed covered bridge. Nonetheless worth a re-visit.

Kiddus i2003Gunshi

93 months ago
Score 0++
Good display inside of the reconstruction of this castle.


135 months ago
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I visited this castle today and was surprised at how nice it was! Outside it looks great but the museum inside has so many nice artifacts. I heard that these were not all there previously due to the rennovations so maybe those who went earlier would want to return.


142 months ago
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Nice, Like Osaka Jo, looks great from the outside. Grounds are a nice park.


150 months ago
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The reconstructed castle keep is fairly average and the museum is pretty decent. The four stars is mainly for its ishigaki, historical importance, and gardens.


150 months ago
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I visited this castle today and thereafter i went to Kishiwada. The grounds of this one are beautiful. You may visit the garden for free and this is really rewarding. Actually the outer walls of the tenshu are in renovation(scaffolds), which mean you cannot take the picture which appears when you look at this castle on this site. Still you can take some nice pictures from lower baileys because trees are hiding the scaffolds. The top of the tenshu is still visible. The collection in the castle is really worthfull, but the castle is a concrete one.


176 months ago
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Visited this castle on the same day that I went to Himeji Castle. I guess it suffered a little in comparison, but it is still a nice castle to visit. It has a decent museum and a great panoramic view of Wakayama City from the top of the castle. You can also walk inside the completely covered walls which is sort of like parts of the western walls at Himeji Castle. Wakayama Castle is about a 20 minute walk from JR Wakayama Station. You can also catch a bus from the station which stops right outside the castle.