|Alternate Name||Okayama-jo, Hekisui-jo|
|Admin's Rating||★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆|
|Historical Site||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Location||Minakuchi, Koga City, Shiga Pref.|
|Access||Minakuchijonan Sta. (Omi Tetsudo Line); 10 min walk|
|Website||Biwako Visitors Bureau|
|Notes||Not personally visited. Pictures donated by David.|
The first castle in Minakuchi was built to the east of present day Minakuchi Castle by the order of Hideyoshi to help control the area. It is now commonly called minakuchi Okayama Castle. It was destroyed after the Battle of Sekigahara
Present day Minakuchi Castle was built in 1634 as a fortified way station for when Tokugawa Iemitsu moved from Tokyo to Kyoto.
Kato Akitomo entered Minakuchi Castle in 1682 and formally established the state of Minakuchi. With one exception, the Kato family ruled over the castle until the coming of the Meiji Restoration when it was dismantled and parts were sold off. Since the castle was originally meant as a place for the shogun to rest on his way to Kyoto, it is said that the Kato rulers never used the palace in the honmaru that was built for the shogun. They built a separate residence in the ninomaru.