Sunpu Castle 駿府城
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year 1585
Type Flatland
Condition Other Buildings
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Shizuoka Station (Tokaido main line), 10 minute walk
Website Sengoku Castles of Shizuoka
Visited February 23, 2004
Notes Most people just view the gate and leave, but the grounds of the castle are quite large and worth your time to walk around. There are are 2 good layers of moats remaining and the stone walls have many owner's marks or inscriptions in them. See how many you can find.

Sunpu Castle originally started as a yakata, or fortified palace, for Imakawa Norimasa in the 1400's. However, the exact location of this palace or any other details about it are unknown. An actual castle of the type of castle we think of today was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1585.

The main keep of Sunpu Castle was said to have been built three times. The second by Ieyasu in 1605 after he turned over the shogunate to Hidetada and the third was two years later after it burned down in a fire. The third keep also burned to the ground in another fire in 1635 and was never rebuilt.

The castle lasted in this state until the Meiji Period when the it was dismantled and the moats were filled in. Sunpu Castle is most well known as the "retirement castle" of Ieyasu after he relinquished the shogunate to Hidetada.

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  • Eric    March 20, 2016 at 12:39 PM
    The link below is to gather donations for excavation only. There is no hard plan for rebuilding in the future, but it is certainly a possibility if there is sufficient information to rebuild it historically accurately. The government is much more strict about rebuilding on national historic sites than they were in the past.
  • Anonymous    March 14, 2016 at 10:35 PM
    It looks like they're planning on doing some kind of excavation/eventual rebuilding. Here's hoping!
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    June 07, 2015 at 03:01 AM
    Not a lot to see but enjoyed what was there.
  • RaymondW    January 19, 2014 at 06:09 PM
    I went to Sunpu again at the end of last December as part of a castle trip to the Shizuoka City and Odawara City area. It has been almost two years since my previous visit to this castle. In that time, they have finished restoring the ishigaki (stone walls) around the Otegomon (Main Gate) Ruin. They have started and almost finished building a reconstructed corner watchtower, the Hitsujisaru Yagura in the Nishinomaru (West Bailey.) It will be completed by end of March 2014. Work is also being done on repairing and shoring up a section of ishigaki on the north side of the Sannomaru (Third Bailey) near the Kusabukagomon (Kusabuka Gate) Ruin. BTW, if you look carefully near some of the gate ruins, there are kokuins (insignias) to be found carved into the stone walls indicating which lord was responsible for the construction of that section of ishigaki.
  • RaymondW on My Page    December 26, 2011 at 03:33 PM
    Parts of two of the original three sets of concentric water moats remain, with the middle water moat surrounding the Ninonmaru (Second Bailey) being completely intact. The city has reconstructed the Higashi Gomon (East Gate) and the Tatsumi Yagura (Tatsumi Turret) from Japanese Cyprus. Inside the Higashi Gomon is a museum which includes some nice models of the castle keep, and a big diorama of how the castle and its town looked like during the Edo Period as well as information about the merchant town that grew up around the castle. There are also three nice drawings of and explanations about Azuchi Castle Keep, Osaka (Toyotomi’s Black) Castle Keep, and Sunpu’s Castle Keep side-by-side, so you can really compare the differences in style and design. Sunpu Castle had a keep, which burnt down in 1635 and was not rebuilt. The keep looked like it had five storeys on the outside with five sets of gable roofs, but internally it actually had seven floors. It was a mainly white castle keep with a green roof on the top storey and a section on one of the lower floors that looks in the drawing similar in design to the Tsukimi (Moon-Viewing) Tower part of Matsumoto Castle. The Tatsumi Yagura contains information about the reconstruction of the East Gate and the Tatsumi Turret. The ruins of the gates into the Ninomaru have survived minus the wooden gates. However, most of the Honmaru (Main Bailey) is now just a park with remnants of the innermost water moat left. Sunpu Castle is certainly a good place to visit to find out some information about the Tokugawa Clan as this was the castle where Ieyasu retired to and ranks second in importance after Edo Castle during the early part of the Edo Period. For this castle fan, it rates no higher than 2 stars because there just aren’t enough ruins left, and the fact that the entire Honmaru is now a park with no remains of the former palace or castle keep.
  • Admin    August 04, 2009 at 07:37 AM
    I think you're right. Rating now changed to 2.
  • furinkazan    August 04, 2009 at 02:51 AM
    I visited this site on my way to Kakegawajo. When the sakura are blooming, the park and the moats are very beautiful. I think this site deserves 2 stars because the towers were reconstructed using classical materials. But there are not much buildings to visit.
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Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Pref.
Sunpu Castle views
gate and yagura Higashi Gomon Gate
Tatsumi Yagura koraimon of the Higashi Gomon Gate
yaguramon of the Higashi Gomon Gate Yaguramon of the Higashi Gomon
Honmaru Moat Kitamon Bridge
Ninomaru moat Yotsuashi Gomon Gate
Ninomaru moat Ninomaru moat
South Gate and bridge Ninomaru moat
stone wall remnants of Ninomaru bailey Remains of the Kitamon Gate