Matsusaka Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Matsusaka Castle
Japanese Name 松阪城
Alternate Names Hirayama-jo
Founder Gamou Ujisatou
Year Founded 1588
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period


Features samurai homes, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access 15 mins walk from station or take bus and stop at Shimin-Byoin mae
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.matsusaka.mie.jp/kankou/otherlanguage/english sp.html
Location Matsusaka, Mie Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 34' 33", 136° 31' 33"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2011
Visits November 25, 2011
Added 2010
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Matsusaka33.jpg


History

Gamo Ujisato built Matsusaka Castle in 1588 in a style and structure that closely resembles Azuchi Castle. Ujisato put much effort into developing the castle town. He adopted the Rakuichi-rakuza system (free trade), built/redirected the new Sangu-kaido road leading to Ise, moved in moneylenders from Matsugashima castle, merchants from Hino in Omi, and shipping agents. Later, under Tokugawa Yorinobu, merchants moved to Edo became rich, and were entrusted with the right to print hansatsu, money bills of Kishu-han. City is famous for Matsusaka momen, Ise Oshiroi, Gikaku-shi, nowadays beef.

Comments Did this very rushed returning from Ise. Fortunately it is the kind of ruined castle you can do in a rush - no uphill hiking and very easy to navigate. Ishigaki were imposing and photogenic. The Hyakumeijo stamp is in the nearby Municipal Museum of History and Folklore, which has a brochure about the castle and museum in English. The museum has exhibits about Matsusaka's history as a merchant town. (100 yen entry, 9 - 4 pm).

From the top of the ruins you can see something else that looks like a castle in the town - I have no idea what it is or whether it bears investigating. We didn't have time to see it but Matsusaka also has the birthplace of the Mitsuis, the house of the Hasegawas, the Memorial Museum of Matsusaka Merchants, the Memorial to Motoori Norinaga (Suzu-no-ya), a Cultural Hall and Cultural Property Centre and also Gojoban Yashiki - latter Edo period samurai residences. The station sells Matsusaka beef Ekiben in a singing cow bento box.

Above history and comments by KristyD

Visit Notes

This castle is a must-see for stone wall fans. All the extant baileys are fortified with stone walls and you can see some unique structures like the Honmaru sekirui and the very well fortified gates. There are no fences or "don't enter" signs atop the stone walls so you can get very close to the edges. I also recommend you stop by the rice warehouse and samurai homes. You can also explore nearby Tamaru Castle to see 2 great examples of castle ruins with many stone walls.

Some books actually use the typical 坂 character for the 'saka' part of the name, but it actually should be the same as the character in Osaka 阪.

Japanese Notes

石垣ファンには必見なお城です。現存の曲輪は全部石垣で固めてあって、ちょっと珍しい石塁も見られます。石垣の上には柵や「立入禁止」の看板がなく、石垣の端まで行けます。現存の米倉と御城番屋敷もお勧めです。田丸城も近くにあるので松阪城と合わせて石垣の多い名城を満喫したらどうですか。

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2.79
(14 votes)
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RonSAshigaru

7 months ago
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My wife and I visited Matsusaka (-zaka?) last week and we also noticed the green roofed tenshu in the middle of town beyond the nagaya apartments. We also didn't have time to check it out, but after getting home I found it on Google Street View and later found photos on Google images. It is located behind a dentist office and may have been the dentist's residence. Both structures are in shabby condition and appear to be uninhabited. Check out these blogs for pics: http://pozda...2011-12.html and http://gomuj...try-586.html
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ARTHatamoto

13 months ago
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A great ruin, Matsusaka Castle’s ishigaki (stone walls) ensconce many baileys and reach impressive heights. Though structures are almost all gone, the site is still worth visiting to see these mighty ruins.
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Kiddus i2003Ashigaru

42 months ago
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Impressive walls, great little museum on site and the houses nearby of the castle guards were well worth the visit.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

43 months ago
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Went today to this site. There are alot of ishigaki, but because the site is a park, big parts are obstructed by trees all around the place. Nevertheless interesting to visit. The History and folklore museum was closed, i suppose because it was after a holiday. I managed to collect the 100 meijo stamp at the other museum on the castlegrounds.
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KrisGunshi

63 months ago
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I got the stamps for Matsusaka - I definitely collect them - I take a notebook and collect stamps in general whenever I go to a castle, and then put them in a scrap book. I originally didn`t have the official booklet so there are a lot of castles I need to go back to or ask friends to help out on. Some places are kinder than others when it comes to helping non-Japanese castle visitors gain access to Top 100 stamps.
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RaymondWHatamoto

63 months ago
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G'day Timothy,

I collect the 100 Meijo stamps when I visit a castle site that is listed as one of the 100 Meijo. One of my non-Japanese friends also collects them when he makes it to a 100 Meijo site. Of course, it is all too easy to forget to bring the little booklet when I go and visit a castle.
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JcastleHatamoto

63 months ago
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Timothy, there are many visitors to this site who ask me or comment about the Top 100 stamps so I think there is much interest. I have never collected them myself, but I am beginning to regret it.
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RaymondWHatamoto

72 months ago
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Re-visited this castle ruin today. It definitely looks better in December than in February. The autumn leaves at just about at the peak now. There are plenty of red leaves from some bushes as well as maple trees.
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RaymondWHatamoto

80 months ago
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For fans of ishigaki, this castle ruin has tons of it. I went to this castle in mid-February after going to the nearby Tamura Castle Ruin (not listed on this website yet), about 20 minutes away by JR train from Matsuzaka Station. Matsuzaka Castle is quite an impressive castle ruin with enough signs and explanations in Japanese to clearly identify the various baileys and ruins around the site. The museum on the castle ground does have some nice black and white photos of the castle before it was demolished. I spent almost two hours at this castle site. It possible to visit three castles ruins in the Matsuzaka / Tsu area in one day. I managed to get in Tamaru Castle, Matsuzaka Castle, and Tsu Castle in that order.