Matsumoto Castle

Facts about Matsumoto Castle in Japan

Matsumoto Castle, previously known known as Fukashi Castle, stands alongside Himeji and Kumamoto as one of Japan’s greatest historically important castles. Matsumoto Castle is classified as a flatland castle because it is built on a plain rather than a hilltop or along a river. Its total defenses would have included a complex network of interconnected walls, moats, and gatehouses. Because of its dark exterior, the structure is also known as the “Crow Castle.” Under the Edo Period Tokugawa shogunate, it was the seat of Matsumoto Domain. It is located in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, and is easily accessible by road or rail from Tokyo. Let’s see the Matsumoto Castle facts.

History of the Matsumoto Castle

The castle’s history dates back to the Sengoku period. During the Eisho era, the shugo of Shinano Province, Shimadachi Sadanaga of the Ogasawara clan, built a fortification at this location. Fukashi Castle was the original name for this minor border post. Following the Siege of Fukashi in 1550, it was taken over by the Takeda clan.

Takeda Shingen assigned his security deposit Baba Nobuharu to the position of castellan. The castle served as a fortress in the ongoing conflict between the Takeda and the powerful Uesugi clan to the north, as well as the Takeda’s field headquarters during their conquest of the Matsumoto Basin. Regarding Oda Nobunaga’s defeat of the Takeda clan in 1582, the castle was agreed to surrender to Oda Nagamasu. Kiso Yoshimasa was quickly re – assigned.

Following Oda Nobunaga’s death in 1582, the castle was surrendered by Ogasawara Dosetsuzai, who has had the support of Uesugi Kagekatsu. Later, his nephew, Ogasawara Sadayoshi, swore allegiance to Tokugawa Ieyasu and changed the name the castle “Matsumoto Castle.”

Matsumoto Castle

Where is Matsumoto Castle?

Matsumoto Castle is a “hirajiro,” or plains palace, instead of just a hill or mountain castle. Matsumoto is freely reachable by JR lines from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Nagano City. From Shinjuku, take the Super Azusa train to Matsumoto. From Nagano City or Nagoya, take the JR Shinano limited express train. There may be an easy bus ride from Takayama in neighboring Gifu Prefecture. Matsumoto Station is a 15-minute walk north of the castle. Visitors also can get there in five minutes by taking the bright colors Town Sneaker bus.

Let’s see the Matsumoto Castle layout

When it comes to the interior of Matsumoto Castle, it is one of five ‘Historical Landmarks of Japan,’ because it has the earliest known five-tiered, six-story castle tower in Japan. The elegant black and white structure with three turrets began construction in 1592. From 1592 to 1614, Matsumotojo’s major castle maintain and it’s smaller, second donjon were constructed. Both of these structures were well-fortified because peace had not yet been fully established at the time. While military actions suddenly stopped, a third, barely shielded turret and another one for moon observing were added to the palace in 1635. This is the Matsumoto Castle layout.

This same continue, which again was managed to complete in the late sixteenth century, still has its original wooden interiors and stonework on the outside. It is a National Treasure of Japan and one of only twelve original tenshu left in Japan. Inside, steep stairs and low ceilings lead previous showcases of armor and weapons from the Sengoku Period (Warring States Period), during which the castle was built. The few wood windows, which were once used by archers and gunmen, focus on providing beautiful scenery of the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto City, and the koi and swans circling in the moat beneath the table.

Matsumoto Castle

Did you know about the interior of Matsumoto Castle before?

Let’s see Matsumoto Castle interior. The few wood windows, which were once used by archers and gunmen, focus on providing beautiful scenery of the Japanese Alps, Matsumoto City, as well as the koi and swans circling in the moat beneath the table.

In the spring, Matsumoto Palace is a popular spot for viewing cherry blossoms. Many visitors come to walk all around sprawling castle grounds and park. Hundreds of somei yoshino cherry trees line the outer castle moat, providing beautiful views while they’re in blossoms round the mid April each year. The castle is also known as the “Crow Castle” because of its moody, dark facade. It’s famous for its photogenic features, including a wide moat, vermillion bridges, and original stonework set against views of the Northern Alps.

On the grounds of the castle, it’s springtime.

In April, thousands of cherry woody plants from outside castle moat bloom. The grounds spring to life with blossom viewing parties, which are especially beautiful at night when the trees are lit up. A variety of pubs and restaurants can be found within easy walking distance of the castle on the quaint and quirky riverside Nawate or Frog Street. The atmospheric Nakamachi District, with its distinct historical architecture, is also a must-see.

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