177.Hiketa Castle Part3

The reason why the stone walls exist today


Eastern Enclosure as Lookout

The other one is the Eastern Enclosure which was used as a lookout point. You can actually see a great view of Harima Sea from the enclosure. The primary function of this site was the lookout point. The warriors would have had to watch see transportation in the past. This enclosure was covered with something like rocks which might have been the leftover of the original stone wall.

The Eastern Enclosure
Harima Sea seen from the Eastern Enclosure

Several meters down the enclosure is the Hiketa-hana light station. It was first built in 1954 which helped lead ships to safety.

The Hiketa-hana light station

Later History

After Hiketa Castle was abandoned, the Takamatsu Domain owned the ruins of the castle. They planted trees while the castle town was eventually turned into a port town and it prospered during the Edo Period. About 100 years ago during the Taisho Era, the ruins of the castle were developed as the Shiro-yama Park built with a hiking trail as well as observation platform. Higashi-Kagawa City which owns the castle ruins started to excavate them back in 2010 and found out the castle was very important in governing the area around. As a result, the ruins were designated as a National Historic Site back in 2020.

The ruins of the observation platform built in the Taisho Era
A view seen from the ruins of the observation platform

My Impression

I think that the ruins of Hiketa Castle are very good educational materials for visitors who want to learn what people at that time thought about castles with stone walls and other new structures. They would have felt things would change and a new era would come, otherwise, such stone walls would not have been built on such a mountain castle which basically did not need stone walls to protect it. That’s why the castle ruins which remain now is so valuable.

The remaining stone walls of the Main Enclosure
The remaining stone walls of the Northern Second Enclosure

On the other hand, I also think the ruins still have some other things to be improved on. For example, the latest official brochure doesn’t match what the signposts say at the site in several points. Visitors may get confused. I also hope that the original Main Route will be restored in the future, open to visitors.

“The Southern Enclosure” this signpost says isn’t written in the official brochure

In addition, the Hiketa Town still has old rows of merchants’ houses. They are another good place to visit. You can also buy souvenirs there such as local soy sauces and sweets made from refined sugar called Wasanbon.

The old rows of merchants’ houses at the Hiketa Town (licensed by 663highland via Wikimedia Commons)
Assorted sweets made from refined sugar called Wasanbon

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car:
It is about 10 minutes away from Hiketa IC on the Takamatsu Expressway.
You can park beside the Tanoura Campsite or Hiketa Port.
By train, it is about 30 minutes away from JR Hiketa Station on foot.
To get to Hiketa Station from Tokyo or Osaka: Take the Tokaido or Sanyo Shinkansen super express and transfer at Okayama Station to the Seto-Ohashi Line. Take a train called the Marine Liner bound for Takamatsu, then transfer again at Takamatsu Station to the Kotoku Line.

The parking lot near Tanoura Campsite

That’s all. Thank you.
Back to “Hiketa Castle Part1”
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投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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