130.Takashima Castle Part3

Some castle buildings were rebuilt by the citizens’ power.

Later History

After the governance by the Suwa Clan in the Edo Period, Takashima Castle was abandoned and almost all of the buildings in the castle were demolished. The Main Enclosure became Takashima Park in 1876, and Suwa-Gokoku Shrine was founded in it in 1900. Other enclosures were turned into the city area. After World War II, the mayor of Suwa City asked its citizens for donation to rebuild some areas of the castle. Over half of them responded to it, and the park became what we now see. This site has been intact since 1970.

Suwa-Gokoku Shrine
The Main Tower being rebuilt, exhibited by Suwa Takashima Castle
The present Main Tower
The present Kabuki-mon Gate

My Impression

Takashima Castle may be less popular than Suwa Lake and Suwa-taisha Shrine. I was actually surprised to know the castle was beside the lake in the past. I also imagine people in the past must have been surprised to see the great castle being built beside the lake. Suwa Lake was said to be over three times larger in the Ancient Times than now. That means people in this area have been continuing to reclaim land for a very long time. Takashima Castle was certainly one of the process.

The estimated range of Suwa Lake in the Ancient Times, quoted from the website of Hamanoyu, a hotel in Suwa

The remaining stone wall base for the Main Tower
The remaining stone walls of the Kabuki-mon Gate

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car:
It is about 15 minutes away from Suwa IC on the Chuo Expressway.
Takashima park offers a paking lot.
By train, it is about 10 minutes away from JR Kamisuwa Station on foot.
To get to Kamisuwa Station from Tokyo: Take the limited express Azusa or Kaiji at Shinjuku Station.

The stone wall base for the Main Tower is in front of the parking lot.

Links and References

Suwa Takashima Castle (Official Website, you can download the “Takashima Castle leaflet in English”)

That’s all. Thank you.
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130.高島城 その3












古代の「諏訪湖」は広かった!? 高島城(諏訪の浮城)の謎(浜の湯公式ブログ)


130.Takashima Castle Part2

The Main Enclosure of the castle was developed as a park.


Main Enclosure as Park and rebuilt Main Tower

Now the ruins of Takashima Castle became the modern day Takashima Park. The park includes the Main Enclosure and the water moat of the northern and eastern sides of it. Other enclosures were turned into the city area. Suwa Lake is now about 400m away from the park, so it is difficult to imagine “the floating castle”. The stone walls of the enclosure and the moat are original, and some buildings such as the Main Tower were rebuilt.

The aerial photo around the castle

The rebuilt Main Tower is actually a modern building which looks similar to the original one. The building has a cooper plate roofing, not wooden strip roofing from the original, but they probably resemble each other. The inside of the tower is used as a historical museum and an observation platform. You can see a view of Suwa Lake in the distance from the top. You may also have a feeling of the passage of time.

The rebuilt Main Tower
A view from the Main Tower

Three Entrances of Main Enclosure

The Main Enclosure has three entrances. The Kabuki-mon Gate was rebuilt on the heavy stone walls at the northern side of the enclosure. It was also the front gate of it, connected to the Second Enclosure, and only high class people were allowed to use the gate.

The rebuilt Kabuki-mon Gate

The Kawado-mon Gate is at the western side of the enclosure. The remaining building was actually used as the back gate of the Main Hall at the Third Enclosure, and moved to the present position. When the castle was beside the lake, it was possible to take a ship to the lake from this gate.

The Kawado-mon Gate

The ruins of Tsuchido-mon Gate is at the southern side of the enclosure. It was the side gate for people who couldn’t use the front gate, Kabuki-mon.

The ruins of Tsuchido-mon Gate

The Main Hall for the lord was inside the enclosure where a Japanese garden and Suwa-Gokoku Shrine are now.

The Japanese garden in the Main Enclosure

Remaining items and Rebuilt ones

The remaining stone walls surrounding the Main Enclosure still look great today. Three turrets were originally on the stone walls, and only one of them, the Sumi-yagura or the Corner Turret was rebuilt.

The rebuilt Corner Turret on the remaining stone walls

You can see the combination of the Main Tower, the Kabuki-mon Gate, and the Sumi-yagura Turret with the water moat and bridge at the northern side of the enclosure. In my opinion, this is the best spot to take photos.

A view of the northern side of the Main Enclosure

To be continued in “Takashima Castle Part3”
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