|Admin's Rating||★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆|
|Historical Site||National Historic Site|
|Location||Mihara, Hiroshima Pref.|
|Access||Mihara Sta. (San'yo Line), 1 min walk|
|Website||Mihara City Sightseeing|
|Notes||not personally visited. All photos donated by Terry P.|
Kobayakawa Takakage built this large scale castle with 3 baileys, 32 sumi yagura (corner yagura), and 14 gates. It was built on the coast and connected two islands giving rise to the nickname Ukishiro, or "floating castle." Kobayakawa moved from Shin Takayama Castle, a typical mountaintop castle, to this site to better manage the Mori's sea forces and to help protect from Oda Nobunaga who was advancing from the East.
The third son of Mori Motonari, Kobayakawa Takakage was responsible for developing the naval forces which took part in the subjugation of Kyushu, Shikoku, Odawara and also took part in the advances on Korea.
After Hideyoshi conquered Kyushu, Kobayakawa was rewarded with more lands in Chikuzen, Chikugo and Bizen. He moved to Najima Castle in the East of Fukuoka and renovated much of Najima castle, which was also a seaside castle. In 1595 after handing over the Chikuzen and Chikugo to his son, he retired to Mihara Castle where he died in 1597.
The tenshu foundation of Mihara Castle was the largest ever built, similar in size to that of Edo castle, but the main keep was never actually built. Mihara Castle escaped demolition during the Meiji Period so that it could be used as Imperial naval base. It was later decommissioned and Mihara Train Station was built on the site in 1894. At this time all the buildings were destroyed and much of the stone walls torn down. The honmaru was further cut to make way for the bullet train in 1975. Together with Kobayakawa's Shin Takayama Castle it is designated a National Historic Site.