Matsuyama Castle is the castle on top of the castle mountain Mt Katsuyama in Matsuyama city in Ehime Prefecture. Although there are many places where general historic buildings are not apparent, here not only the appearance but also the structure inside the castle is opened to the public. You can feel the atmosphere of famous warlords.
If you visit this city which is famous for Dogo Hot Springs and Mandarin orange juice from the tap, you should definitely drop by Matsuyama Castle and visit hidden spots that other visitors to Japan have not experienced and capture the spots on film.
Feel the History of Matsuyama Castle through its Architectural Style
As the last castle constructed completely in Japan, Matsuyama Castle has a layered castle keep structural shape. The castle architecture is symbolic of the architecture of that time period. Due to the policies in that time period, construction of new castle keeps (Tenshu) and adding onto castles were prohibited, so until the end of the Edo period they could not do anything. However, at the end of the Edo period, people realized that the completed Matsuyama castle keep’s complicated structural design looked different depending on where it was viewed from, so its technique was recognized and even now people continue to protect it.
Due to the Edo government policies at that time, building castle keeps and adding onto castles was prohibited, so even if they burnt down due to natural fires, they could not be restored. Moreover, even if families were positions to move into castles such as Edo Castle and Osaka Castle, they could not be rebuilt. However, after the end of the Edo era, you could say it was lucky that Matsuyama Castle was able to rebuilt after being hit by lightning.
Samurai Graffiti at Matsuyama Castle?!
From October Heisei 16 to November Heisei 18, Matsuyama Castle went under large scale restoration in order to preserve it as an Important Cultural Properties. It is said that it had “The Great Heisei Restoration”, due to the widespread damage caused by white ants and the large amount of wear and tear over time to the tiles and walls.
During the construction work they discovered a portrait of a Samurai painted in ink, on the other side of the clapboard. Guessing from the location of the board (second floor of the castle keep), it is thought that it is graffiti from when the main castle keep podium was rebuilt (1845-1854). It is unknown who the picture is portraying, but judging from the crest on his “Kamishimo” (Samurai garment), he was probably the Shogunate administrator in charge of directing the construction work. Now this board is displayed inside the castle keep
Dressing Up in Armor to Be a Strong Warrior!
You are able to become that sengoku warlords! At the Armour Costume experience booth inside and in front of the castle, you can try on an armour and have pictures taken. You can leisurely try on the armour.
Finally, do not forget a commemorative photograph with the mascot character "Yoshiaki-kun" in front of the castle.
- Name：Matsuyama Castle
- Address：1 Marunouchi Matsuyama Ehime
- Access：About 30 minutes from Matsuyama airport by the limousine bus (for Dogo Onsen Station) or about 5 minutes on foot from Daikaido on city train line.
- Entrance Fee : Adult 510 yen, Children 150 yen
- Wi-Fi : Free but very weak
- Credit Card : Not available