Mihara Castle 三原城
Founder Kobayakawa Takakage
Year 1567
Type Flatland
Condition Ruins
Alternate Name Ukishiro
Admin's Rating ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Location Mihara, Hiroshima Pref.
Map Google Map
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.

Viewer Comments

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  • RaymondW on My Page    September 05, 2011 at 08:32 PM
    There isn’t much to see here. The JR train line runs right through the middle of the honmaru. There is some ishigaki to be seen as well as part of the water moat seen in the pictures on this website. Also, you can find part of the honmaru ishigaki embedded in a passageway that runs right under the train line. I only sussed out the honmaru part of the castle ruin as I had a connecting train to catch. Nearby are the remnants of parts of the outer moats and outer baileys’ ishigaki. Only stop by here if you are visiting the Onomich / Mihara area or you’re on your way to Hiroshima by local JR trains and have some time to spare. This is just barely a one-star site for me.
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Mihara, Hiroshima Pref.
Mihara Castle views
honmaru, stone walls, moat moat
moat, stone walls moat
honmaru honmaru and castle sign
moat, stone walls train station, honmaru and stone walls
map of the castle