Takamatsu Castle – Water Fortress by the Sea
Takamatsu Castle may be one of the lesser known castles in Japan, but free of stampeding masses, this rare water castle is well worth a visit. Read all about it!
Takamatsu is the capital of Kagawa Prefecture and is the largest city in Shikoku, the smallest of the four main islands of Japan. Though it’s home to the islands largest city, the prefecture is actually the smallest in all of Japan (just in front of Osaka, which used to hold the title). With its four-hundred thousand inhabitants, foreign tourists are a rarity, though the few that do visit are sure to visit the castle.
Want more castles? Check our article on Japan Castles – the 15 Best Japanese Castles
About Takamatsu Castle
Takamatsu Castle, also known as Tamamo Castle, is surrounded by water in the form of manmade trenches and the sea, the castle’s natural protector. Built in 1590 by Chikamasa Ikoma, along with Nakatsu Castle and Imabari Castle, Takamatsu Castle makes up one of “three great water castles” (水城 mizujiro) of Japan. The Ikoma clan only held the castle for a short period whereafter it passed on to the Matsudaira clan who kept hold of it well into the 1900s.
It was taken over by Takamatsu city officially in 1954 and opened to the public in 1955. Later that same year it was designated an important historical cultural heritage site. Popular for its sea-facing Tsukimi Yagura turret as well as Tamamo Park, a pleasant stone garden dotted with cherry and pine trees, Takamatsu Castle is well worth a visit.
Further Info and Events
Takamatsu Castle isn’t home to too many large events, though the city does organise a small amount of traditional and modern festivals at junctures throughout the year. For the full lowdown, check out the official site:
The cherry blossoms in April and the momiji (autumn foliage) in October/November are great times to visit the castle ruins. Should you be interested in specific events in the castle park itself, there are events like “art at night” where artistic lighting, music and more create a great spectacle for visitors to enjoy. Check the event page or the main page of this site (original JP, translated by google) for further details.
Mon – Sun
07.00 am – 06.00 pm (April – September)
08.30 am – 05.00 pm (October – March)
closed over New Years (12/29 – 12/31)
adult 200 yen
child 100 yen (up to 16 years old)
Closest to Takamatsu Castle are Takamatsu-Chikko Station (about a 2 minute walk away) and Takamatsu Station (around an 8 minute walk away). You can reach these stations by means of various lines such as Kotoden-Kotohira Line, Kotoden-Shido Line and Nagao Line shown in the diagram above.