The history of Tanaka Castle begins with a fortification built by the Isshiki family under the orders of the Imagawa around 1537. The moats and modern castle fortifications were built after Takeda Shingen conquered the area in 1570. After the fall of the Takeda, the castle came under the control of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu liked to use Tanaka Castle as a getaway when he was in nearby Sunpu castle. In particular, he used it for hawking. Through the Edo Period, Tanaka Castle saw a succession of of fudai daimyo (hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa) move into the castle. The castle was mostly dismantled and destroyed during the Meiji Restoration. Some of the buildings were sold to individuals and survived until the villa garden and park were restored in 1992.
This castle is not very well known and does not appear in many books, but the original structure is very interesting for its circular layout. It's also well known as the place where Tokugawa Ieyasu ate too much sea bream (tai) tenpura which supposedly contributed to his death. If you happen to be in the area, with some free time, it's worth stopping by but there is almost nothing left of the original castle grounds which are now occupied by a school and other facilities. I stopped by here on my way back to Tokyo after completing two hiking courses around Takatenjin Castle and Suwahara Castles. Nishi Yaizu stattion is in between Kanaya (Suwahara Castle) and Shizuoka (Sunpu Castle) stations.
|English Name||Tanaka Castle|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||gates, turrets, samurai homes, water moats, walls|
|Access||Nishiyaizu Sta. (Tokaido Line); 20 min walk|
|Location||Fujieda, Shizuoka Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 52' 13.33" N, 138° 16' 48.72" E|
|Visits||October 11, 2010|
|Added to Jcastle||2010|