Imabari Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Imabari Castle
Japanese Name 今治城
Alternate Names Fukiage-jo
Founder Takatora Todo
Year Founded 1604
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 5 levels, 6 floors
Year Reconstructed 1980
Features main keep, gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Imabari Station, 10 minutes by bus
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.islands.ne.jp/imabari/kanko/kuwa/ima castle/
Location Imabari, Ehime Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 3' 47", 133° 0' 24"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2001
Visits October 19, 2001
Added 2001
Loading map...

Imabari1.jpg


History

For his services during the Battle of Sekigahara Takatora Todo was awarded this large parcel of land on the Iyo peninsula. Takatora began construction of the castle in 1602 and moved here from his castle at Uwajima in 1608 when the palace was completed. That same year he was restationed at Tsu in Ise Prefecture. His adopted son, Takayoshi, took oover Imabari.

In 1635, Takatora's adopted son Takayoshi was reassigned and Sadafusa Matsudaira moved in. Imabari Castle was then controlled by the Matsudaira until the Meiji Restoration. The location of Imabari Castle is very important as a strategic militarily point from which to control traffic through the Seto Sea.

The main keep of Imabari Castle was disassembled in 1610 and carried to Osaka. It was originally supposed to become the main keep of Igaueno Castle but was instead rebuilt as the main keep of Kameyama Castle.

The scaffolding you see on some of the pictures is to there to repair damage suffered in an earthquake.

Visit Notes

This was the second of three castles visited on our trip to Shikoku. The view of the Seto inland sea and Kurushima Bridges is fantastic. The guys who ran the castle were really nice. They even have a real samurai helmet in the back they'll let you wear. Just ask. You'll be surprised how heavy it is.



Gallery



3.67
(18 votes)
Add your comment
Jcastle.info welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.


avatar

ARTHatamoto

12 months ago
Score 0++
Imabari Castle is a beautiful site. There are lots of reconstructed buildings here and it takes time to see everything. Imabarijō is easily one of the highlights of my tour in Shikoku. The castle was known widely as one of the three great Mizujiro (water castles) of the Edo Period and its moats drew in salt water. It’s construction was especially impressive because it was built on sandy coastal land but remains sturdy today.
avatar

Kiddus i2003Ashigaru

44 months ago
Score 0++
First saw this at night and was very impressed , especially with the waterfront so close. Came back the next day and was still impressed what with its own temples on the grounds and the views.
avatar

RaymondWHatamoto

51 months ago
Score 0++
My third visit to this castle since 2002. I finally took my time in sussing out this castle and asked a few more questions about the reconstructed turrets and gates. Most of them were reconstructed from mainly pine with some Japanese Cyprus for the columns. The Kuroganegomon Gate is quite an impressive reconstruction, so don’t skip it like I did on my earlier rushed visits. Like the other reconstructed turrets, it used mainly pine and Japanese Cyprus, but for the massive steel-plated doors of the gates, zelkova was used. Most of the wood was sourced from forests in Shimane Prefecture and Tottori Prefecture. As Furikazan below has already mentioned, there are plenty of suits of samurai armour on display inside the reconstructed concrete keep. I counted around 25 suits of armour. I took a taxi to the site and then the local bus back to JR Imabari Station. The taxi only cost around 700yen, and there is a bus roughly every 8 to 10 minutes from a bus stop a little down from the Kuroganegomon Gate.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

55 months ago
Score 0++
I spent the day at Imabari Jo and was very impressed with the reconstruction, the large amount of displayed artifacts and the really helpful guides. This was number 65 of the 100 castle from the 100 famous castle guide that I have visited and I would definitely give it a solid 4.
avatar

RaymondWHatamoto

67 months ago
Score 0++
Furinkazan, I will definitely start with the castle keep next time and the other yaguras with their museums. BTW, I have just realised that I made a mistake with Todo Takatora's name. I had called him \Toda"instead of \""Todo\"". Imabari Castle certainly deserves a good half day."""
avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

67 months ago
Score 0++
@RaymondW, you are right about the painting of Tokugawa's generals and scroll. I actually didn't asked which castle had the most armors. Contenders would be Uedajo and Osakajo. Try next time to take the tour by starting at the tenshukaku. You can take there a double-page leaflet and a stamp. Then you go to the towers and you'll get 3 other stamps and finally the stamp of Toda Takatora
avatar

RaymondWHatamoto

67 months ago
Score 0++
Imabari Castle does have a very good museum. As Furinkazan has mentioned, there are lots of suits of armour there. If I recall correctly, there is a scroll painting of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s Top 16 Generals along with some paintings of Toda Takatora. I have been to Imabari Castle twice, but unfortunately, each time I rushed it. The first time was so I could get to a camp site on Oomishima Island (part of the Shimanami Kaido) before dusk while on a bicycle tour in 2002 (focus on cycling and not castles) and the second time was when I tried to fit in both Imabari Castle and Iyo-Matsuyama Castle in one day two years ago. I definitely need to re-visit this castle and devote a good half day to properly enjoy it instead of doing it in just an hour or hour and a half. For me, this site is worth at least 3.5 stars. Furinkazan, do you know which museum or castle has the most important collection of samurai armour in Japan? I think Ueda City Museum in Nagano has a pretty good collection. Himeji Castle has also recently opened up its Watari Yagura (for a limited time during the current massive renovation), and inside must be around 20 suits of armour.
avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

67 months ago
Score 0++
The site of this castle is very photogenic. You are able to take very nice pictures from almost every side of the castle, walking around the very large moat. 5 years ago they have rebuild some aditional yagura and the kuroganegomon in original materials. For this i give it 4 stars(the tenshukaku is in concrete, at least inside they tried to hide it with wooden planking). The collection of armors is very impressive. At the entrance they told me that they possess the 2nd most important number of armors that a castle in Japan has. I really recommend this castle when you're in the vicinity.
avatar

Kiddus i2003Ashigaru

68 months ago
Score 0++
Rode my bike from Onomichi to Imabari,then on to Matsuyama.Castles in both towns/cities were great.Imabari was my favorite as it was not just a castle but the site of a shrine (an Inari shrine) and a small temple.The moat was fed by the sea and looked pristine,the castle at night is fantastic.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

69 months ago
Score 0++
Great job !
avatar

Alamo6400Peasant

83 months ago
Score 0++