Morioka Castle 盛岡城
Rokabashi bridge
Picture Donated by Kevin I.
Founder Nanbu Nobunao
Year 1592
Type Hilltop
Condition Ruins
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
Map Google Map
Access Morioka Station (Tohoku Honsen), 15 minute walk
Website Morioka City
Visited October 14, 2002
Notes Some remaining stonework and walls in and around the honmaru. Most of the location is currently a park.
History Nanbu Nobunao, lord of Kunohe Fukuoka Castle founded Morioka Castle to better control the important riverways of the Kitakami and Nakatsu rivers. Unfortunately, Nobunao died before finishing construction. The castle was completed by his son Shigenao in 1633. The Nanbu family retained control over this castle for the entire Edo Period until the coming of the Meiji Restoration.
Photo Tags

Viewer Comments

Comment on this castle
  • ART    October 27, 2016 at 10:36 PM
    Many castles in Tōhoku have little stonework and rely on earthworks and so I was surprised to see how tall and admirably constructed were the stonewalls of Moriokajō. Although they are all that remains of the castle, the ishigaki certainly make visiting the castle worth the trip. Moriokajō, a Hirayamashiro (hill top castle), also has several humungous boulders scattered around. The ishigaki are arranged roughly as two rings within a single outer ring. Inner walls containing the honmaru and ninomaru, and a bridge that connects the two over the koshikuruwa between them, ensconce the uchikuruwa (inner compound). In the sotokuruwa (outer compound) are the sannomaru and awajimaru baileys, and many kuruwa (enclosures). Today at the centre of the honmaru there is a pedestal without a statue. It’s oblong so you know the statue was someone on a horse. It was actually melted down during the war and has not been replaced. The castle now is a lovely park area, its gardens originally designed in 1906 with benches and flowering plants. If you squint hard enough, I suppose the gazebos at the corners of the stonewalls could look like yagura…?
  • furinkazan on My Page    May 19, 2015 at 08:45 PM
    Been to this site in the morning rain. I don't have a lot to add at the other comments. It's easy to reach. I discovered that the museum is closed on every 3rd tuesday of the month, but you still can obtain the 100 meijô stamp at the Plaza Odette building a little bit further from the museum.
  • Kris on My Page    February 13, 2012 at 10:48 PM
    Morioka Castle – not very accessible in winter but everything being under 10 - 20cms of snow makes the stone walls aesthetically pleasing. (To be fair that amount of snow is unseasonable, although it did make my brother happy). We had a lot of fun walking around the honmaru and taking photos with what looked like a giant stone wardrobe and a lone inexplicable lamppost. The Morioka History Museum we wandered into to escape the heavy snow was certainly interesting with plenty of interactive displays, a good scale model of the castle, helpful staff (but random souvenirs), so I`d suggest seeing the displays in there first to get a sense of history and then seeing the park. Also, they had this fascinating moving picture animation of a daimyo-gyoritsu, among other things; it was a bit too wide to focus on everything going on at once so watching it became a game. I really want to support Iwate prefecture and talk this castle up but it does come across as a park first and a castle second. That said, I'd like to go again in spring to compare and see the famous rock-splitting cherry tree; also there is a relocated gate, I think, that I missed.
  • Frank T. on My Page    October 16, 2011 at 08:41 PM
    Nice park, but nothing but stone walls. No buildings or plaster walls.
Average Rating
Sign in to add this castle to your castle visits or to rate it.
  • Global rating average: 2.34 out of 5
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34
  • 2.34

Morioka, Iwate Prefecture
Morioka Castle views
Rokabashi bridge stone walls
stone walls stone walls, city park
honmaru stone walls Uchibori moat
Uchibori moat Sannomaru and NInomaru stone walls
stone walls stone walls
Stone walls bell tower