Kakegawa Castle 掛川城
Founder Asahina Yasuhiro
Year 1497
Type Hilltop
Condition Reconstructed
Alternate Name Kumokiri
Reconstructed 1993 (wood)
Structure 3 levels, 4 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site Local Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
Yusanji Sanmon Gate, goten
Location Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Map Google Map
Access Kakegawa Station (Tokaido Honsen), 10 minute walk
Website Kakegawa City
Visited May 1999; October 15, 2009
Notes The museum in the main keep does not have many artifacts but the displays are very well done. The combination of a nicely reconstructed main keep, an original palace and a few other gates and buildings really make this castle a must see for castle fans.

Imagawa Yoshitada had his retainer Asahina Yasuhiro build Kakegawa Castle about 0.5km to the northeast of the present castle to help control this vital point of the Tokaido road. In 1569, his descendent, Asahina Yasutomo, lost the castle to Tokugawa Ieyasu's forces. In 1590, the area was absorbed by Toyotomi Hideyoshi who stationed Yamanouchi Kazutoyo here when Tokugawa moved to Edo (Tokyo).

Yamanouchi built the main keep on the current site and renovated the castle and town into a more modern castle. After the Battle of Sekigahara, Yamanouchi was moved to Kochi. Yamanouchi's main keep was destroyed in an earthquake in 1604 but was soon rebuilt. The new keep lasted until 1854 when it destroyed by another earthquake. It was not rebuilt and the castle was dismantled in 1869.

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  • furinkazan    May 29, 2017 at 10:29 PM
    On my last day in Japan this year, i revisited this castle en route to Tôkyô. I went first to the Fukinomon and then to the Otemon. After that i went to the bridge which leads to the castle. In front of that bridge there is a shop selling all stuff a would be samurai wants. Since i'm in a little group, which provides samurai or geishas on japanese tinted events, i bought some objects. I was like Alice in Wonderland. Then i went to the castle. You can buy a ticket for 900¥, giving access to the tenshu, the gôten, the ninomaru tea house, where you receive green tea, and to the Takenomaru(=the mansion mentioned by Art). This last building was build in 1903, but is architecturally very interesting. If your luggage is too large to put in a coin locker, which was my case, go to the Tourist information office in the station. They'll take care of your luggage for a 500¥ fee, which is the amount for the biggest coin locker in the station.
  • ART    December 31, 2015 at 05:37 PM
    oh my god oh my god. This castle! It's the palace especially which is so awesome. And when I went they were filming a period drama show, so there were samurai walking around all over the place! I was there, maaaan, I was transported to the bygone Edo-jidai. The palace is well worth seeing and the castle itself is very scenic and pretty. The nearby structures are also of great interest. The Meiji Era mansion in the outer bailey is a composite of Japanese and Western architecture - an absolute must-see if you're interested in Meiji history. I gush.
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    May 02, 2014 at 08:35 PM
    Great looking little castle and the premises below were excellent.
  • DiegoDeManila    April 12, 2014 at 06:30 PM
    Visited 04 February 2014. Easy 10-15 minute walk almost due north from Kakegawa Station (a Kodama stop so very convenient for JR Pass users). The faithful reconstruction using traditional materials easily won me over and it's now one of my favourite castles. Clearly deserves a 4-star rating for the buildings, though I've added an extra half-star for the great staff and a memorable experience I had in the castle's tea house. http://withinstrikingdistance.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/field-report-kakegawa-04-february-2014/
  • bryanbaier on My Page    February 13, 2012 at 10:09 PM
    Hard to believe that it's a reconstruction but it is and a very good one. The hall is way cool. The tea ceremony is nice too.
  • RaymondW on My Page    December 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM
    This is a great reconstructed castle to revisit. Access is quite easy. It is just a 10 minute walk from JR Kakegawa Station. From the top of the castle keep, you can clearly see where Suwahara Castle Ruin is located to the east and Takatenjin Castle Ruin to the south. There is a helpful and friendly volunteer on the top floor who is quite happy to answer visitors’ questions. There isn’t much to see inside the castle keep. On the ground floor, there are some banners, a bronze statue of Yamanouchi, and some armour and weapons. At night, it was nicely lit up, too. Apart from the reconstructed wooden keep, there is an original palace which was rebuilt in 1861 after an earthquake. For me, this castle site is definitely worth four stars because of the wooden castle keep, the original palace rebuilt near the end of the Edo Period, and some original relocated castle structures nearby.
  • Frank T. on My Page    October 16, 2011 at 08:08 PM
    Another reconstruction done the way it should be. Conveniently located on the way between Tokyo and Nagoya, this site is well worth a visit.
  • Usagi on My Page    January 18, 2011 at 08:34 PM
    This is one of the better castles we have seen so far, it was a wooden reconstruction and felt more genuine. The structures, grounds and township are all very interesting and well worth the effort.
  • Kris on My Page    November 14, 2010 at 11:51 PM
    I went there on my way to Futamata and Hamamatsu; by chance it was also the day of a local Fire Service matsuri. There were about 30 fire engines parading past the castle and various brass bands, so as I toured the castle I had my own theme music. The staff at the gate offered to take my photo, mind my baggage for free and gave me some of the local produce. Kakegawa is a recent reconstruction and a lot of work has gone into it; it makes you realise how good reconstructions can be. The displays are in Japanese but they do have nice pictures and furigana for everything which helps. In the palace there was a computerised quiz to find out which famous Sengoku era man or woman you would be. Out of Oichi, Nene, Cha-Cha and Chiyo I found out I was most like Chiyo-hime. (Sadly a Chiyo-hime who is never going to be able to buy her boyfriend a horse. Oh well.) There were plenty of Chiyo and Kazutoyo souvenirs around, including some 'Komyo ga Tsuji' relics.
  • John    April 04, 2010 at 03:18 AM
    makes you wish they could reconstruct all japanese castle donjons like that.
  • Raymond W.    November 21, 2009 at 11:09 PM
    I went and visited this castle today. For a reconstructed castle, it is brilliant. It's so nice to go inside a castle that has a wooden construction as opposite to just bland concrete walls and pillars. The palace is an original one from the late Edo Period, which is a bonus while visiting this castle. The palace was rebuilt in the late Edo Period after it was destroyed by either a fire or earthquake (sorry, can't remember exactly.) This castle site certainly deserves its 4-star rating on this website. If you go, make sure you get the combo ticket for 400yen as this gets you into the castle keep, the palace, and the art musuem on the grounds. It's easy to get to the castle. You can see it as you pull into the station. This is definitely one of the better castle sites to visit between Tokyo and Nagoya.
  • furinkazan    August 04, 2009 at 01:28 AM
    This is a realy nice castle. I encountered a japanese man reading the panels of some battles in the tenshu. These are unfortunately only in japanese. But i recognized the battles and ask him if i wasn't mistaken. He was so impressed by my knowledge that, when i encountered him back at the goten, he bought me the book of the reconstuction of the castle(alas only in japanese). The maps in the book are very interesting. I can tell that the base of the foundation of the castle has been reconstructed with a concrete core. The tower was completely reconstructed with classical materials. In the tenshu and the goten are a lot of interesting artifacts.
  • Anonymous    December 31, 2008 at 03:41 AM
    Took a trip with my local ITT and visited this castle and it is truly breathtaking (One of a kind). If you do anything in Japan this visit is it...
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Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Kakegawa Castle views
Donjon and walls donjon, gate, walls
gate, walls, and donjon Otemon Gate
Taiko Yagura
palace inside the oalace
interior of the palace Fuki Gate
inside of the main keep map