The water castle by the sea

The ruins of Takamatsu Castle

takamatsu city, kagawa prrefecture, visitwestjapan
Photo source | Takamatsu Castle Facebook Page


Takamatsu Castle ruins are part of Tamano Park in central Takamatsu. Not far from the train station, the massive stone walls rise high above the surrounding street and leave a lasting impression on people passing by.

The castle was built by Chikamasa Ikoma, who served under Oda Nobunaga, giving it a place in Japan’s unification period.

The main section of the castle was dismantled during the Meiji era like so many across Japan because the government at that time saw them as unnecessary after the restoration of the emperor and the end of the feudal period.

The irony is that these castles and their history resonate with the surrounding  community. So much so that there have been revival movements throughout the country.

This rebirth often starts with raising the awareness of the castle’s legacy and creating a safe in environment in which visitors can explore and learn. That is where we are today with Takamatsu Castle ruins. The grounds are well-defined with major restorations completed on the stone base that forms its footprint.

One of three Japanese castles to have been surrounded by a moat and one a few located relatively close to the sea, several towers and the outer walls are all that remain of the once-magnificent structure which was accompanied by several towers.

The grounds feature an ample number of cherry trees as well as the Hiunkaku House, which was the grand home of a feudal lord.

Today, the exquisite manor located on the grounds called Hiunkaku, is used as a concert hall and event venue, offering a glimpse into the world of Takamatsu’s noble class. Cherry blossom viewing is also popular on the castle grounds in the summer.

After visiting the ruins, go city trekking through the area around the port. Nearby points of interest include Ritsurin Park, the longest shopping arcade in Japan and the fascinating art installations along the piers.


About the Area

Takamatsu City is the commercial center of Shikoku and has a urban feel that is befitting to the title. Its lovely boulevards and well-developed port area create an ambiance that is truly cosmopolitan.

Must-see spots for visitors include, Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu Castle, the central shopping arcade and the port area art installations.

Yakuri Station is the entry point to the Yashima district of Takamatsu City, which is well-known for its temple near the summit of the unique and iconic table top-shaped Mt. Yashima. The vista from the mountain is highly-prized and well worth the effort to get there. However, to best appreciate its entire shape, the view from Sunport Takamatsu Symbol Tower is recommended.

Yashima is notable for its eateries, many of which serve the renowned local specialty, udon noodles.


Access: It is about a 5 minute walk from JR Takamatsu Station.

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