129.Tatsuoka Castle Part3

The renovated landmark will come.

Later History

Tatsuoka Castle was eventually abandoned in 1871. All the buildings of the castle excluding the Kitchen House were sold and demolished. Its stone walls and water moats were buried to be used as the school and fields. Norikata Matsudaira, the founder of the castle, changed his name to Yuzuru Ogyu, throwing the outdated family name “Matsudaira” away. He helped the establishment of the former Japanese Red Cross Society, called Hakuaisha, in the Meiji Era.

This photo was taken after he changed his name to Yuzuru Ogyu (licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The drawing that Prince Arisugawa Taruhito grants Sano Tsunetami the permission to create Hakuaisha, attributed to Takeo Terasaki (licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons)The drawing that Prince Arisugawa Taruhito grants Sano Tsunetami the permission to create Hakuaisha, attributed to Takeo Terasaki

People in Tatsuoka started to restore the castle ruins in 1932 by digging the moats up and repairing the stone walls. As a result, the ruins were designated as a National Historic Site in 1934 while the bridge in front of the Main Gate Ruins was restored at the same time. In addition, the Taguchi Primary School in the ruins has just closed in March, 2023 due to the school integration. Saku City, which owns the ruins, is thinking about restoring the castle as much as in the Edo Period after the closing. It plans to restore the Main Gate in the near future as well. It is also considering to restore the Main Hall by moving the Kitchen House to its original position, re-building some missing structures, and asking the owners of some removed buildings to return them to their original positions.

The water moats of Tatsuoka Castle
The Main Gate Ruins

My Impression

I guess if a battle happened, Norikata would not use Tatsuoka Castle for the battle. Instead, he would use the former Taguchi Castle which could easily target Tatsuoka Castle. When the enemy reached the castle, he would counterattack it. Tatsuoka Castle was an outstanding landmark which could easily pull the enemy in. That is my speculation. I am looking forward to how the new Tatsuoka Castle will appear in the future.

Tatsuoka Castle Ruins seen from Taguchi Castle Ruins (the observation platform)

How to get There

If you want to visit the castle by car, it is about a 20-minute drive away from Saku-minami IC on the Chubu-odan Expressway. There are several parking lots around the castle ruins.
If you want to use public transportation, it takes about 20 minutes on foot from JR Usuda or Tatsuokajo Station.
To get to Usuda of Tatsuokajo Station from Tokyo: Take the Hokuriku Shinkansen super express and transfer to the Koume Line at Sakudaira Station.

The parking lot beside the information center

In addition, if you want to visit the Goryokaku observation platform, go on Nagano Prefectural Road 120 from the castle ruins to the north for about 500m. Once you see the signpost of the platform, turn right. The platform is 2.1km away from it along the forest road. You can reach it by following other signposts. If you drive there, you will need a small off-road vehicle to be able to reach the top. If not, you can park around the first signpost.

Nagano Prefectural Road 120
The entrance to the platform
The parking lot near the entrance is on the right
Going on the forest road
The parking lot near the platform

That’s all. Thank you.
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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!