79.Imabari Castle Part3

This castle is beautiful and firmly built.


Walking outside Inner Moat after getting out of Back Gate

The castle park also has the back gate called Yamazato-mon which was restored in 1990. To get out of the castle area, you have to go down a few stone steps, pass another Korai-mon style gate, and go across a narrow earthen bridge. The earthen bridge was originally wooden made which would have been fallen if a battle happened. The area around the gate is sunken, on the other hand, the area over the bridge extends upward.

The aerial photo around the castle

Yamazato-mon Gate
Seeing Yamazato-Yagura Turret connecting the gate from outside of the Inner Moat
The stone steps below Yamazato-mon Gate
The Korai-mon style gate and the earthen bridge
The area over the bridge extends upward

After you go out of the park, you can try walking around the Inner Moat. The moat is about 50 to 70m wide and the stone walls inside are 9 to 13m tall. They look like a floating fortress!

The perimeter of the Main Enclosure
The castle looks as if it is floating
Seeing the castle from the Second Enclosure side

Imabari Port, Source of Inner Moat

After looking around, you can check out how the sea water gets inside the Inner Moat of the castle. You can also see the water reservoir near the main entrance of the park. If you go along the waterway towards the source, you will reach the Imabari Port which was the castle port. It was located at the edge of the Middle Moat in the past. Because of that source, the surface level of the Inner Moat is changing depending on the tide.

The water reservoir at the Inner Moat side
The waterway for the Inner Moat
Imabari Port
The water reservoir at Imabari Port side

Later History

After the Meiji Restoration, Imabari Castle was abandoned and all the castle buildings were eventually demolished or burned. The Main Enclosure was turned into the Fukiage Shrine in 1872 before the Fukiage Park was established including the Second Enclosure in 1914. That’s why the main portion of the castle inside the Inner Moat still remains, while the outside of the moat was all turned into the city area. Since the castle ruins were designated as a Prefectural Historic Site of Ehime in 1953, Imabari City has been developing and restoring them as a historical park as mentioned above.

The main portion of the castle as the park
Bugu-Yagura Turret, the other restored turret

My Impression

After walking around the Inner Moat to see the great view of the moat and the high stone walls, I noticed Imabari Castle was quite practical. Why did Takatora Todo make the Inner Moat around 50m wide and the stone walls around 10m high? I speculate that the defenders on the stone walls were able to hit the attackers outside the Inner Moat effectively by guns and arrows. On the other hand, the guns and arrows from the attackers could not be useful. I think Takatora built this castle that way. Imabari Castle was beautiful as well as so strong.

The height of the stone walls and the width of the Inner Moat may have been the best to protect the castle
A view of the castle from the Imitation Main Tower

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car, it is about 15 minutes from Imabari-Kita IC on the Nishi-Seto Expressway or about 20 minutes from Imabari-Yunoura IC on the Imabari-Komatsu Expressway. There is a parking lot beside the main entrance of the park.
By public transportation, you can take the Setouchi Bus bound for Imabari-Eigyosho from Imabari Station and get off at the Imabari-jo-mae bus stop or it takes about 30 minutes on foot from the station to get there.
From Tokyo or Osaka to Imabari Station: I recommend traveling by plane and when you get there you can take the bus or train to get to Imabari station.

The parking lot beside the main entrance of the park

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!

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