Wakayama Castle 和歌山城
Founder Toyotomi Hidenaga
Year 1585
Type Hilltop
Condition Reconstructed
Alternate Name Takegaki-jo, Torafusu-jo
Reconstructed 1958 (concrete)
Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Okaguchi Gate
Location Wakayama City, Wakayama Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Wakayama Station (Nankai Line, JR Hanwa Line); 15 min bus to Koenmae bus stop, or walk 20 mins
Website Wakayama Castle
Visited March 17, 2012
Visitor Info. 400 yen; open 9-5:30pm; closed 12/29-12/31 | Time Required: 120 mins
Notes I put off going to this castle for a long while, but after visiting I really think that most castle books don't give it justice. The amount of stone walls and baileys that remain are impressive. Even though the main keep and connected buildings are reconstructed, the complex keep style (renritsushiki) that completely encloses the main keep courtyard is one of only a few that you can see like this. The castle also has two original gates, a beautifully reconstructed covered bridge, and you can see all the different types of stone walls depending on when they were built. There is also an original bell tower yagura, the kitchen yagura from the honmaru palace and a samurai home in the town. I highly recommend you take the time to walk the grounds and enjoy this great castle.

In 1585, under the orders of his older brother Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Toyotomi Hidenaga established Wakayama Castle to help rule over the Kii area. When the castle was finished, Hidenaga had made Yamato Koriyama Castle his home base and stationed Kuwayama Shigeharu here in his place.

Asano Yoshinaga was stationed at Wakayama Castle after the Battle of Sekigahara. In 1619, Tokugawa Ieyasu's 10th child Yorinobu became lord of the castle. From that point until the Meiji Restoration the castle was ruled by successive Tokugawa lords.

Even after the Meiji Restoration, the beautiful main keep was kept intact and designated a National Treasure. Unfortunately, it burned to the ground during bombings in 1945. Wakayama Castle together with Himeji Castle and Iyo-Matsuyama Castle are called the Three Great Flatland Mountain Castles.

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  • snoworion on My Page    September 20, 2016 at 04:57 PM
    Visited on 9 September 2016. Visited too late in the day to fully take the time to appreciate the castle or walk along the reconstructed covered bridge. Nonetheless worth a re-visit.
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    June 07, 2015 at 03:43 AM
    Good display inside of the reconstruction of this castle.
  • phibbyfan    January 02, 2012 at 10:59 PM
    I visited this castle today and was surprised at how nice it was! Outside it looks great but the museum inside has so many nice artifacts. I heard that these were not all there previously due to the rennovations so maybe those who went earlier would want to return.
  • Michael    July 13, 2011 at 06:38 AM
    I agree that the grounds are nice. My understanding is that the angled back gate to the grounds was not destroyed by bombing and is original, though I don't know the year of construction. Also, the castle profile is visible from much of the city, and adds to the skyline. The small zoo on the grounds, whose one advantage is that it is free, is depressing.
  • a22cricket on My Page    May 16, 2011 at 07:10 PM
    Nice, Like Osaka Jo, looks great from the outside. Grounds are a nice park.
  • RaymondW on My Page    October 09, 2010 at 09:54 AM
    The reconstructed castle keep is fairly average and the museum is pretty decent. The four stars is mainly for its ishigaki, historical importance, and gardens.
  • furinkazan on My Page    October 08, 2010 at 06:36 PM
    I visited this castle today and thereafter i went to Kishiwada. The grounds of this one are beautiful. You may visit the garden for free and this is really rewarding. Actually the outer walls of the tenshu are in renovation(scaffolds), which mean you cannot take the picture which appears when you look at this castle on this site. Still you can take some nice pictures from lower baileys because trees are hiding the scaffolds. The top of the tenshu is still visible. The collection in the castle is really worthfull, but the castle is a concrete one.
  • Raymond    August 16, 2008 at 04:49 PM
    Visited this castle on the same day that I went to Himeji Castle. I guess it suffered a little in comparison, but it is still a nice castle to visit. It has a decent museum and a great panoramic view of Wakayama City from the top of the castle. You can also walk inside the completely covered walls which is sort of like parts of the western walls at Himeji Castle. Wakayama Castle is about a 20 minute walk from JR Wakayama Station. You can also catch a bus from the station which stops right outside the castle.
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Wakayama City, Wakayama Pref.
Wakayama Castle views
main keep, Ninomon, and Ninomon Yagura Okaguchi gate
Main keep and connected yagura Main keep
main keep Approaching the main keep
Ninomon Gate (Kusunoki Gate) Inside the Main Keep compound
Inui Yagura Main keep bailey.
Ninomon Yagura Uzumimon Gate (buried gate)
foundation of the Daidokoro Yagura Rock chutes
Okaguchi Gate Rear side of the Okaguchi Gate
wall connecting to the Okaguchi Gate Otemon Gate and Ichinohashi Bridge
Back side of the Otemon Gate Oimawashi Gate
Oimawashi Gate Ohashiroka
Ohashiroka Bridge Inside the Ohashiroka Bridge
a high stone wall East moat near the Oteguchi Gate
Stone walls of the Akazumon Gate ruins Stone walls of the former Nakamon Gate.
Stone steps of the Okura Bailey. Stone steps of the Okuru Bailey
Stone walls of the South Bailey Stone walls
Stone walls near the Tsurunomon Gate ruins high stone wall foundation of a yagura
dry moat Stone walls of the South Nakamon entrance
stone walls and steps map