Tatsuoka Castle

From Jcastle.info



Matsudaira Norikata founded the castle in 1864. Unfortunately, it was never totally finished by the time the Meiji Restoration began and it was abandoned in 1871. Rather than a huge fort like that of Goryokaku, Tatsuoka Castle is comparatively smaller and it's thought that it was intended as a residence rather than a large scale castle. Also, despite taking in the elements of a European star shaped fortress the moats are fairly narrow and shallow so it would not have been a very strong fortress. Norikata was well respected and served the shogunate in several high ranking positions. After the Meiji Restoration he helped found Hakuaisha, which would later become the Japan Red Cross.

Visit Notes

This is one of only two 5 point sar shaped forts in Japan. Be sure to view the Google map where you can very easily see the star shape that you can't get from this pictures. The castle is about the same distance from either Usuda or Tatsuokajo Stations. I walked from Usuda to the castle and then out to Tatsuokajo. The castle grounds are now occupied by an elementary school, but apparently they are open for walking around. Be sure you don't miss the original gate and wall about a 10 min walk from the castle. the town also has some old temples that are worth a visit if you're there.

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Castle Profile
English Name Tatsuoka Castle
Japanese Name 龍岡城
Alternate Names Tatsuoka Goryokaku, Tanoguchi Jinya
Founder Matssudaira Norikata
Year Founded 1864
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Next 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Tatsuokajo Sta./Usuda Sta. (JR Yatsugatake Kogen Line); walk 20 mins
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.saku.nagano.jp/cms/html/entry/783/262.html
Location Saku, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 11' 46", 138° 30' 6"
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Year Visited 2011
Visits September 21, 2011
Added to Jcastle 2011

(3 votes)
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Frank T.Gunshi

87 months ago
Score 0++
This is one of what I thought were only two western-style star forts in Japan until two more near Hakodate were recently posted on this site. These new two are small and not really stars but rather diamonds or rectangles. Tatsuoka is not as grand as Goryokaku in Hakodate, but it is a genuine star fort. It's occupied by an elementary school, although they don't seem to mind people walking around with cameras. As is often the case, I also pulled up my motorcycle on the grounds and parked. As long as you're not causing problems or arriving in large numbers, I don't think anybody will mind. Having said all that, Tatsuoka is historically interesting, but go to Goryokaku in Hakodate if you want to see a much better preserved star fort and feel free to explore it.