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Jurakudai (4).JPG


In Kyōto did Hideyoshi a stately pleasure-dome decree! Jurakudai was a fortified palatial compound built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in his capacity as Kampaku (Regent) of Japan. Construction of this gilded palace took place between 1586 and 1587. Hideyoshi lived at Jurakudai and entertained his vassals and the capital's court nobles there, including the reigning Emperor, Go-Yōzei (whose own palace was barely the same size as Jurakudai). In 1591 Toyotomi Hidetsugu became Kampaku and took up residence at Jurakudai. The custom of lavish receptions was continued. From 1592, however, Hideyoshi began construction on a new base at Fushimijō. In 1595 Hidetsugu was ordered to commit seppuku by his uncle and Jurakudai was thereafter dismantled with various structures being relocated to Fushimijō, although this castle-palace, Fushimi-Shigetsujō (Shigetsu Fushimi Castle), was then levelled in an earthquake in 1596, the second iteration of Fushimi Castle being built to replace it on the mount.

Visit Notes

There is not much left to see of Jurakudai today apart from a few relocated structures. Principal among these is the Hiunkaku, 'Floating Cloud Pavilion', now located at Nishi-Honganji. Hiunkaku is difficult to get a good look at because it isn't open to the public (except on very special occasions). I visited the former site of Jurakudai's main area, which is marked in a couple of locations by a stone marker, and this I considered a formal visitation, although there were no ruins to see. Then I proceeded on to a relocated gate of Jurakudai located at Myōkakuji. Functioning as the temple's main gate, it looks like a usual gate we might find at a castle; namely it is a kōraimon type gate with supporting wings at the rear. Other relocated structures exist elsewhere in Kyōto (see below galleries).

Admin Update April 2024 Added albums for Hiunkaku (Nishi Honganji) and the Karamon Gate (Daitokuji) from the special exhibits in 2023 and the Jonenji Omotemon in Hagi. Please be careful. The Chokushimon at Daitokuji is often confused for the Karamon because the Karamon is completely hidden except for these rare special tours when photos are sometimes not even allowed.

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  • Site Marker, "Jurakudai"
  • Relocated Gate (by tradition) from Jurakudai
  • Another site marker, "Jurakudai Castle"

More Galleries and Feature Pages



(5 photos)


Karamon Gate

(8 photos)

Castle Profile
English Name Jurakudai
Japanese Name 聚楽第
Alternate Names Juraku-tei
Founder Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Year Founded 1586
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Imadegawa Station on the Kyoto Subway; walk 15 minutes
Visitor Information 24/7, free; access limited at relocation sites
Time Required 5 mins on-site; more time for relocated structures
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 1' 29.57" N, 135° 44' 45.20" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(2 votes)
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30 months ago
Score 0++
Updated with co-ordinates for various relocated structures and markers.


41 months ago
Score 0++
Updated to yellow; several important relocated structures throughout the Kyoto urban area.


54 months ago
Score 0++
somebody must have a decent picture of the hiunkaku ><