81.Matsuyama Castle Part3

You can enjoy both of real buildings and stone walls.


Main Compound and Main Tower on it

The highlight of the castle is the Main Compound including the Main Tower in the back of the Main Enclosure. It looks so great as it was by mixing the remaining and restored buildings.

The front side of the Min Compound

The map around the Main Compound

To reach the tower, you need to pass the zigzagging inner route again through the remaining First, Second and Third Gates. There are also remaining mud walls with loop holes on the way. You can see other visitors though the holes.

The First Gate
The Second Gate
The Third Gate
The remaining East Wall of Sujigane Gate
You can see other visitors though a loop hole

Then, you will eventually arrive at the inner court of the Main Tower. Its style is called the Tower Grouping, so the court is surrounded by the Large and Small Towers and other turrets. Enemies would be destroyed if they could pass through that complex route earlier on.

Sujigane Gate, the entrance to the buildings of the tower grouping
The inner court

Visitors today first enter the Cellar, basement of the Large Tower, and walk around the other buildings like a corridor, seeing the exhibitions about the castle. In fact, the buildings there except for the Large Tower were all restored after the arson in 1933. They were built the same as the original one, so you may think they were not restored.

The Cellar of the Large Main Tower
Visitors first walk around the other buildings of the tower grouping
The stairs to the top of the restored Small Main Tower
The second floor of the Small Main Tower
The attic of the Small Main Tower
A view of the inner court from the Small Main Tower

After walking around, you will eventually enter the remaining Large Tower again. You can climb up the steep wooden steps to the top third floor. The floor is open and you can enjoy an even more great view there.

The first floor of the Large Main Tower
The second floor of the Large Main Tower
The stairs to the top
The interior of the top floor
A view from the western side of the Large Main Tower (the buildings of the tower grouping in front, the city area and the Seto Inland Sea in back)
A view from the southern side of the Large Main Tower (the Main Enclosure in front, the city area in back)

Great Stone Walls

If you have time. I recommend seeing the back side of the Main Enclosure, as there are also several remaining or restored buildings. For example, Nohara Turret is said to be one of the oldest buildings in the castle, which is the only remaining example of a two-tier Lookout Tower style turret.

The map around the Main Enclosure

The back side of the Main Compound (the Northern Corner Turret on the left and the Southern Corner Turret on the right)
Nohara Turret

If you also get out of the restored Inui-mon or Northwest Gate, which is the back gate, and go back to the Main Gate Ruins, you can see the long, great, high stone walls of the Main Enclosure along the way. They look very beautiful having vertical curves like a folding fan and horizontal lines like a folding screen. However, they were originally built to attack enemies efficiently.

The Northwest Gate
The stone walls of the northwestern side of the Main Enclosure, Nohara Turret is over there
The stone walls of the northeastern side of the Main Enclosure, one of the oldest in the castle
The stone walls the Main Enclosure near the Main Compound, you can see the building of the Second Gate
Continuous stone walls
The great stone walls of the Southeast Turret

Finally, I recommend you using the Kencho-ura Route when you return to the foot, because the route is well developed and you can see the remaining Southern Climbing Stone Walls close by. Though the Northern Climbing Stone Walls were unfortunately mostly destroyed, the southern stone walls were still intact, which is over 230m long covering the slope. It is said to have the best condition among the other remaining climbing stone walls such as in Sumoto, Hikone and Yonago Castles.

Kencho-ura Route
The Sothern Climbing Stone Walls along the route
The continuous Climbing Stone Walls
The Climbing Stone Walls of Hikone Castle

My Impression

Matsuyama Castle has become one of the most famous symbols of Matsuyama City. If you walk around the city area, you can see the castle buildings on the mountain from almost anywhere. In addition, if you visit and see them, you can still find and re-experience how to build and use the castle like people in the past used to do. This is because the city made great efforts not only for maintaining the original items but also for restoring many buildings like the original ones. I learned a lot from the castle and recommend you visiting and seeing it.

The Main Tower with the Main Compound of Matsuyama Castle

How to get There

If you want to visit there by car, it is about 30 minutes from Matsuyama IC on the Matsuyama Expressway. There is a parking lot in the park.
By public transportation, you can take the city tram bound for Dogo-Onsen from JR Matsuyama Station or Matsuyama-shi Station on the Iyo Railway and get off at the Okaido stop. It takes about 5 minutes on foot from the stop to get to the park.
From Tokyo or Osaka to Matsuyama City: I recommend traveling by plane and you can take the bus or rent a car to get there.

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!