Sumpu Castle was built by Ieyasu Tokugawa before he established his shogunate government, and later rebuilt after the pass down to Ieyasu’s son Hidetada. Similar with many ancient castles in Japan, Sumpu Castle was destroyed in the Meiji period, as well as being destroyed and rebuilt multiple times throughout its history. This time let’s have a look on some episode of its repair work and the attractions of its Yagura tower.
Multiple Burnt down and Repair of Sumpu Castle
Sumpu Castle has undergone multiple burnt down and destroy in fires and earthquakes, then repair. The last repair was after the great earthquakes in 1854, while the castle was abandoned by in the Meiji restoration just in 11 years after that as a historical incident in which the absolute ruler family of Japan was stripped down from its power. The former castle grounds were converted into a public park.
The Reason for not Rebuilding the Tenshu Tower after the Burn Down
Since the suicide of Ieyasu’s grandson stemmed from some mental disorder, Sumpu Castle was not put into any official use but just as a representative office for a Jodai officer belongs to the shogunate government. The Tenshu tower was not rebuilt after the fire in 1635 was because, merely, there was no castle lord.
The Repaired Higashigomon Gate and Tatsumiyagura Tower of Sumpu castle
The Higashigomon Gate is constituted by a Higashigomon bridge, a Korai gate, a Yaguramon gate, and a Tamonyagura. The gate is mainly used by important officers.
The gate is connected to a Tatsuyagura tower that looks like two-storeyed from the exterior but actually three-storeyed when looking from the interior. It was repaired in 1638 using traditional methods to resemble its original face. Inside the gate complex are now exhibits such as the dioramas of the castle and its surrounding. At the Tatsumiyagura, visitors can also see repaired learning assignments done by Ieyasu when he was small.
Hitsujisaruyagura to Experience the Castle
The Hitsujisaruyagura Tower is another repaired tradition yagura with two layers from the exterior but actually 3-storeyed from the interior. The ceiling of the second storey and the floor of the third were removed so they structure looks like carrying with beams only. Moreover, parts of the floor of the first storey was removed for the installation of strengthened glass so visitors are able to have a glimpse of the underground- which were designed as a secretive spot in the Edo period. At the “Time space” visitors can be further amazed by the 3D images of the Tenshu tower and the city with a pair of chargeable goggles. There are four more areas to visit, exhibiting images, documents for you to understand the castle and the history of Ieyasu deeper.
“Momijiyama Garden”, condensing the beauty of Suruganokuni
At the Momijiyama Garden, visitors can take in the splendid views such as that of the Suruganokuni, mt. Fuji, and sea of Izu. There is an authentic Japanese tea house inside the garden with nice views of the seasonal flowers- cherry blossoms, hydrangea, autumn leaves, and camellia so visitors can be embraced by them while enjoying Japanese tea and wagashi confections. This is a garden at which you can savour Japan in your five senses.
About the Castle
- Completion : 1585
- Renovation (repair & extension): 1606
- Burnt down of honmaru main castle: 1607
- Completion of honmaru main castle: 1608
- Completion of Tenshu tower: 1610
- Fire destroy of most of its architecture: 1635
- Reconstruction (except Tenshu tower): 1638
- 1/3 burnt down in Hoei earthquake: 1707
- Repair completion: 1708
- Almost complete destroy in Ansei great earthquake:1854
- Repair completion: 1858
- Castle Abandonment: 1869
- Spot name: Sumpu Castle Park
- Address: 1-1, Sumpu Park, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi (420-0855)
- Access: Tokyo station🡪 [Shinkansen Kodama] 80 mins 🡪 Shizuoka station… around 15 mins walk
- Wi-Fi: only nearby the main castle
- Credit cards: no credit cards accepted
- Operation hours: 9:00 am - 04:30 (last admission 4:00 pm)
- Admission fee: [All-in-1 Sumpu Park ticket (Higashimigato, Tatsumiyagura, HItsujisaruyagura, Momijiyama Garden)] adult 360 yen, elementary and junior high school students 120 yen.