“Matsuyama-jo Castle” is located in the center of Matsuyama city in Ehime Prefecture, and it is built at the top of Mt. Katsuyama where you can see the city from there. It is one of “the 12 Castles with Existing Castle Towers” since the Edo period, and has a total of 21 important cultural assets including the castle tower. It is said to be the last complete castle construction in Japan.
Matsuyama Castle is also selected as one of “Japan’s 100 Best Castles” and “the Top 100 Historical Sites of Beautiful Japan”. It is also one of the charms of this castle that its beauty and ingenuity of hard defense, said to be impregnable, can be seen everywhere. Yoshiaki Kato was awarded the achievement with “the Battle of Sekigahara” who built Matsuyama-jo Castle. Yoshiaki was a hard worker who gained a career from the lower samurai to build a castle in his generation. Even so, it seems that he was very much focused on protecting the castle. The castle tower of Matsuyama-jo Castle is called “interconnected-style keep”, and keep and small keep, yagura (turret) and watari-yagura (the roofed-passage turret) are connected in a square shape. This is a configuration that can be seen only in Matsuyama-jo Castle and Himeji-jo Castle in “the 12 Castles with Existing Castle Towers”. This shape seems to be able to attack the invading enemies from all sides because the entrance to castle tower is surrounded by the building.
There is a main building of the castle at the summit of Mt. Katsuyama at 132 meters above sea level overlooking the city, located at the center of the city, it is exactly the landmark of Matsuyama City. There are four walking routes to the top of the mountain, both of which take 20 to 30 minutes to arrive. Please keep in mind that vehicles are not permitted until the summit. If you have confidence in your physical strength, it is good to climb on foot while thinking about the time of the castle but it is common to climb easily with a ropeway or lift.
Yoshiaki Katou built the Matsuyama-jo castle which rises up in the Matsuyama-shi central part of Ehime prefecture from 1602 to about 26 years. Matsuyama-jo Castle which greeted construction of a castle 400 years is said to be hirayamajo (flatland-mountain castle) having best renritsu style tenshu (tower grouping) superior in the function of offense and defense in Japan.
Although the castle tower and the building of others many were burned down by the thunderbolt in 1784, it was rebuilt after that in 1854 and has continued up to today.
The Matsuyama-jo castle is one of the existing 12 main towers, and is counted in Japan’s three biggest hirayamajo and Japan’s three biggest renritsu style hirayamajo. The main tower is the last perfect castle architecture of the Edo period.
Moreover, it is a castle with many highlights like existing Nohara-yagura is precious Boro-type(lookouttower type keep) Niju yagura (double tower) which does not remain in others, and the well of centre of a castle for 44m in depth, which is mentioned specially for engineering works technology of those days, is stored. It was selected as two stars by Michelin’s Japanese sightseeing guidance in 2009.
In the Matsuyama-jo castle, structures of a total of 21 buildings, such as the First Gate South Tower, the Second Gate South Tower and the Third Gate South Tower, including the main tower, have received specification of the important cultural property of a country.
In addition to this, the castle is designated much specification such as the existing 12 main tower, a country designated historic spot, 100 Japanese famous castle, the 100th elections of a beautiful historic landscape of Japan, the 100th elections of the Japanese Sakura famous place, the 100th elections of the history park in Japan, etc.
|Address:||Marunouchi Matsuyama, Ehime 790-0008 Japan|
|Access:||Iyo-Tetsudo Bocchan-ressha “Okaido-eki Station” (5 minutes walk)|
|Price:||510 yen (Adult)
150 yen (Under 12 years old)
Please refer the official web page.