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Visiting Famous Castles in Shikoku! 5 Recommended Spots

You can find a large number of castles in the Shikoku region; four of which are designated as part of the 12 castle towers in Japan, which have gained a lot of fans. This article introduces five of these castles.

2017.11.09

1. Matsuyama Castle (Aichi Prefecture)

First off on the list is the 132m-tall castle on top of Mt. Matsuyama, which has its own main tower. The wide foot of the mountain is home to Ninnomaru Garden and Sannomaru Horinouchi. Construction of the castle began in 1602, and although it had the longest construction time in Japan’s history (completed in mid-4th century), it was also recorded as the largest castle in the Shikoku area. You can enjoy a spectacular view from the top floor of the castle tower, which is one of 12 castle towers throughout the country. You must pass through a ropeway to get to the main tower. During the autumn, you can view the illuminations at night, as well as participate in special festivals at this Important Cultural Property, such as the Mochitsuki festival (tradition of making mochi during New Year’s).

General Ticket Price (roundtrip for the ropeway + castle tower):
Adults: 1,020 JPY
Children (elementary school students): 410 JPY



1. Matsuyama Castle (Aichi Prefecture)

2. Marugame Castle (Kagawa Prefecture)

Marugame Castle boasts a history of 400 years. The 3-floor, 3-layered castle tower serves as one of the 12 castle towers in the whole country. This castle is designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. One of its main features is the fence made from stacked up rocks that lines the path from the inner moat to the castle tower, which has a beautiful and gentle curvature. Its altitude of 60m is said to be the steepest in Japan. You may participate in the scheduled Halloween event during the fall, as well as the Castle Festival (November 26, 2017 (Sunday)), where you can watch various stage performances.

Entrance fee into the castle tower:
Adults: 200 JPY
Children (elementary and junior high school students): 100 JPY



2. Marugame Castle (Kagawa Prefecture)

3. Uwajima Castle (Ehime Prefecture)

Uwajima Castle rests at an altitude of 80m on top of a mountain. The castle tower is designated as an Important National Property, with an architectural design that has remained the same since it was built in 1671. Its castle tower is one of the 12 remaining castle towers in Japan. Furthermore, the "Agaritachi" gate located at the west wing of the castle gate is one of the city's designated cultural properties.

Entrance fee into the castle tower:
Adults: 200 JPY
Children (elementary and junior high school students): 100 JPY



4. Kochi Castle (Kochi Prefecture)

Next up is Kochi Castle, which has one of the 12 remaining castle towers in the country. Aside from the castle tower, the “Kaitokukan” (Honmaru Hall) and 15 other buildings are considered to be some of the country’s Important Cultural Properties. The castle tower was built in 1603, but was once destroyed in a fire. It was reconstructed to its original form in 1749. Festivals are held by the season, such as stage performances of traditional arts in the fall and winter illuminations (December 22 (Fri) – 24 (Sun), 2017).

Entrance into the castle tower:
Adults: 420 JPY
18 years old or younger: Free



4. Kochi Castle (Kochi Prefecture)

5. Tokushima Castle Ruins (Tokushima Prefecture)

Last but not the least are the Tokushima Castle Ruins, which is a nationally designated historic site that was constructed in 1586. Both the castle tower and the watch tower were almost completely destroyed in the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), while the remaining Eagle's Gate burned down during a later war. The current castle is the version that was reconstructed in 1989. You can find the remains at Tokushima Central Park, as well as at the Omote Goten Garden and Tokushima Castle Museum.



5. Tokushima Castle Ruins (Tokushima Prefecture)

Why not go on a historical trip by visiting the castles introduced in this article?

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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Writer: nakamura

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