Marugame Castle 丸亀城
donjon
Picture Donated by Raymond W.
Founder Ikoma Chikamasa
Yamazaki
Year 1597
Type Hilltop
Condition Original
Alternate Name Kameyama-jo, Horai-jo
Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles, Important Cultural Properties
Historical Artifacts Important Cultural Properties:
tenshu, Ote Ichinomon, Ote Ninomon
Location Marugame, Kagawa Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Marugame Sta. (Yosan Line), 10 minute walk
Website Marugame City
Notes Not personally visited
History

Ikoma Chikamasa, the lord of the Sanuki area originally ruled from Takamatsu Castle. While there, he built and moved to Marugame Castle placing his son in charge of Takamatsu Castle. Marugame Castle was decomissioned as part of the one castle per country law in 1615.

Marugame Castle was resurrected in 1641 when Yamazaki Ieharu was granted the small fief of Western Sanuki. He rebuilt the castle into what we see today and developed the surrounding castle town of Marugame.

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Comment on this castle
  • phibbyfan    April 07, 2014 at 04:14 PM
    The access information is incorrect. It's near Marugame Station. Paul Bunyan may be able to walk from Kagawa Station to Marugame Castle in 10 minutes, but that'd take many days for most people!
  • kiddus_i2003 on My Page    April 04, 2014 at 11:00 PM
    The legs got a work out climbing up to this castle and then working my way around.
  • rebolforces    April 09, 2013 at 07:56 PM
    Access via JR Marugame station
  • Eric    August 22, 2012 at 06:50 PM
    Kazuo, it's very cool that he could do that work. I spoke with one of the workmen at Himeji this spring. It's sad to think that some of these skills and craftsmanship are disappearing.
  • Kazuo    August 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM
    As I was a kid at the time, I have a quite vague recollection and I am afraid my father might not do repairing the Tenshukaku donjon, but other tower or something else.
  • Kazuo    August 19, 2012 at 10:41 AM
    Eric A long time ago, the three stories tower of Marugame was repaired by my father. <g> He was a master of carpenter at that small work. He joined briefly the Showa-no-daishuri of Himeji Castle when he was truly young, before.
  • furinkazan on My Page    April 14, 2012 at 04:46 PM
    Did 2 castles today. This one and Kawanoejo. This castle is easy to access from the JR-Marugame-station. I walked around the outer bailey before entering. It's a vast terrain. When i passed the Ote Ichinomon gate i went to the information desk. I got a little leaflet and a double coupon. 1 coupon halves the price of the entrance to the tenshu (200yen->100yen) The other gives 30% off the entrance to Nakazu Banshoen(=garden) (1000yen->700yen). The way up to the tenshu is very steep. The sakura in the ninomaru were loosing their petals. There were still alot with flowers. This gave a nice pink blanket. The tenshu is very small, containing some artifacts. The museum in the outer bailey is free to go. It has not alot to show, but some of the kabuto i saw were really unusual. For ishigaki-lovers, this is a place to go, these are really impressive.
  • bryanbaier on My Page    February 13, 2012 at 10:12 PM
    The tower is very small and has few artifacts but the rock walls and the view are awesome.
  • Gerry    May 21, 2009 at 03:48 PM
    I had had lived in Marugame for 11 years of my life. A boy from Hawaii. I lived on a small island named Honjima, which was 35 mins. away by ferry in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea. I visited the castle many times and from Honjima Island you could see the castle in the distance. The climb up to the honmaru was so steep just walking up took all my energy. I think if anyone attacked the castle? The location the castle was built is the best location to control the entire area, Land and Sea. Any ship passing through the inland sea would have been seen and Shiwako Is. Pirates would have raided any ship which did not belong to the controling Lord or Shogun which the Pirates had a treaty with. The channel facing the castle is the narrowest in the entire Seto Inland Sea and the base of the Pirates was on the Island I lived on. The name Hon (main) Jima (Island). The time I spent in Marugame was the best and I visit every 2 or 3 years. It is my second home.
  • Raymond    January 14, 2009 at 04:26 PM
    I went and visited this castle over the New Year break. This is a very impressive castle. Although there isn’t much left except for the tenshu (keep) and the main gate, the walls more than make up for it. The whole top two-thirds or so of the hill is encased in stone walls. In a way, from a distance, it sort of looks like one of those Mayan pyramids in Mexico. At the foot of the wall to the sannomaru (third bailey), you get the impression that they are even higher than the western honmaru (main bailey) walls at Iga-Ueno Castle, but in reality, they are 5 metres shorter, at only 23 metres tall. If you love castles with lots of stone walls and concentric layers and layers of defences including a flooded moat, this is one Japanese castle that you should visit. Based on the sheer number and the height of some of the walls, this is probably one of the most outstanding castles that I have visited in Japan, rating it above other small original castles like Maruoka and Bitchu-Matsuyama. A fellow castle enthusiast and I spent over 4 hours just walking around the place. It is easily accessible by train and is about 15 minutes on foot from the JR Marugame Station. Using local trains and a JR Seishun-18 ticket, it takes around 4 hours one-way from Kyoto or an hour from Okayama.
  • MM    March 17, 2008 at 02:59 AM
    This castle has very steep and high walls. As for its buildings, not many survive, though it does have an original Tenshu. Not one of the best to visit, though it is worth going to if you're in the area.
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Marugame, Kagawa Pref.
Marugame Castle views
donjon Marugame Castle main keep
Ote Masugata Gate yagura gate
main keep and stone walls Donjon and stone walls
stone walls stone walls
stone walls stone walls
interior of the Ote Ichinomon Gate interior of the main keep