Kyotoshin Castle

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Kyōtoshinjō was constructed in 1597 by Toyotomi Hideyoshi as his base connected to the Imperial Palace. It's footprint measured 320,000 square metres in a rectangular shape running 400m east-west and 800m north-south. Kyōtoshinjō was built after the execution-suicide of Toyotomi Hidetsugu and the destruction of Jurakudai. In 1597 Toyotomi Hideyoshi took up residence at Kyōtoshinjō with his infant son Toyotomi Hideyori. It is thought that the construction of an imposing castle in this area so close to the Imperial Court was intended to cement the proposed reign of Hideyori. After the death of Hideyoshi in 1598 at Fushimijō, Hideyori was relocated to Ôsakajō, and Hideyoshi's widow took up at Kyōtoshinjō. Kyōtoshinjō was demolished in 1600 in the run-up to the Battle of Sekigahara. In 1627 the Kyōto Sentō Imperial Palace was built in its place for the retirement of Go'mizunô-tennō.

The existence of the castle was formerly only inferred from documents, and it was also referred to by such names as Taikō O'yashiki (太閤御屋敷), Taikō Kamikyō Yashiki (太閤上京屋敷), Hideyori Kyōojō (秀頼卿御城), Kyō no Shiro (京ノ城) and simply Shinjō (新城). In 2020 archealogical digs, which came about following the attempted installation of a fire cistern, unearthed the ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) and hori (moat) remains of the castle which finally confirmed its location at the site of the Kyōto Sentō Palace. The unearthed ishigaki were 1.6m high but are thought to have originally been around 2.4m high. A tile featuring the Toyotomi goshichinokiri (paulownia) crest with gold foil was also unearthed. After briefly being dislpayed to journalists and news crews, these ruins have already been re-buried for their preservation.

Visit Notes

Fellow castle / history / arthictecture enthusiast RonS and I (ART) spent the day touring the Imperial palaces. Recently remains of a newly discovered castle (the castle had been known of but its location went unidentified until recently) known as Kyōtoshinjō, 'New Kyōto Castle', were unearthed in the Sentō Palace grounds. We tried to get a glimpse of these remains as we made a guided tour of the Sentō Palace (by appointment), but all I could see through the trees as we trundled around the guided path was some disturbed earth where the ruins were uncovered, which, as we confirmed with our guide, meant that the remains, consisting of ishigaki and a moat trace, had already been re-buried to preserve them. Apparently they were re-tombed the day after the media were allowed to look! In terms of a castle visit this wasn't so enthralling, but touring the Imperial palatial complexes with Ron made for an incredible day. These pictures show Imperial Palace structures; behind this stretch of wall the ruins of the old castle were unearthed.


Castle Profile
English Name Kyotoshin Castle
Japanese Name 京都新城
Alternate Names 太閤御屋敷・太閤上京屋敷・秀頼卿御城・京ノ城・新城
Founder Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Year Founded 1597
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki (buried)
Visitor Information
Access Marutamachi Station on the Kyoto underground; 10 minute walk to Kyoto Sento Palace
Visitor Information Sento Palace open to guided tours at specific times
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 1' 17.18" N, 135° 45' 51.48" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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