Kishiwada Castle

From Jcastle.info

Kishiwada17.jpg

History

The history of fortifications on this site date back to the 1300's, but the castle you see here today was founded by Koide Hidemasa in 1585. Okabe Nobukatsu took control of the castle in 1640 and his ancestors ruled until the Meiji Restoration. The original main keep was struck by lightning and burned down in 1827. The original main keep had five stories but this mock reconstruction has only 3.


Visit Notes

A nice little castle to visit with interesting stone walls. The moat looks like it was unusually low when I was there.


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Gallery
  • Main keep
  • main keep and moat
  • main keep, walls and moat
  • Honmaru stone walls and entrance
  • Honmaru stone walls
  • Ninomaru Yagura
  • Ninomaru Bailey
  • Gate to the Honmaru
  • Gate to the Honmaru
  • Inside the Honmaru Gate
  • Stone walls just inside the Honmaru.
  • Reconstructed corner yagura
  • Honmaru Yaguramon Gate, Corner Yagura and Tamon Yagura
  • Honmaru Corner Yagura and Tamon Yagura
  • View from the top of the main keep.
  • Map


Castle Profile
English Name Kishiwada Castle
Japanese Name 岸和田城
Alternate Names Chikiri-jo
Founder Koide Hidemasa
Year Founded 1585
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Next 100 Castles, Local Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Year Reconstructed 1954 (concrete)
Features main keep, gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Kishiwada Sta. (Nankai Main Line), 10 min. walk
Visitor Information 300 yen admission; open 10am-5pm, no admission after 4pm; Closed Mondays, except national holidays;
Time Required 45 mins
Website http://www.city.kishiwada.osaka.jp/soshiki/36/kishiwadajyo.html
Location Kishiwada, Osaka
Coordinates 34° 27' 32.26" N, 135° 22' 14.38" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2006
Admin Year Visited 2013
Admin Visits March 8, 2013
Friends of JCastle
Malcolm Fairman Photography - Kishiwada Castle


2.67
(18 votes)
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Matthew WardGunshi

12 months ago
Score 1++

I finally went to Kishiwada Castle yesterday. As I suspected, I found the site both attractive and underwhelming.

What I liked: the moats and ishigaki are pretty well-preserved, the restored buildings make it look like an authentic Japanese castle from the distance, and the garden is a really nice touch. It seems that it was added before the main keep was (re)built, and the artist deliberately designed it to harmonize with the main keep. Job well-done in that respect.

What I didn't like... the buildings look less authentic as you get closer to them, and they have no historical atmosphere inside. I've enjoyed concrete castle buildings in places like Fukuchiyama, Kiyosu and especially Wakayama castles, but these early concrete buildings really are bland inside.

The supposed Ninomaru 'turret' actually made me laugh out loud--it looked OK from a distance, (despite the fact that the map labeled it as a Tamon, which it doesn't look like to me), and when I started approaching it I saw some stairs and thought 'ah, you can go inside,' but then I noticed that it's actually a public toilet! That's the cheekiest thing I've ever seen at a Japanese castle... I mean, toilet buildings that look like mock castle buildings are very common, but I've never seen one called a turret and signposted as one.

The most interesting thing on the whole site for me was the map inside the main keep--not sure how accurate it is, but it gives a really good look at what the castle supposedly looked like, with a really nice collection of moats. Based on the map, in addition to the main keep having the wrong number of moats, the small main keep is also an inaccurate detail, as the original just had kind of an entrance passage instead of a small main turret. And the Ninomaru toilet turret isn't there at all. That said the front of the honmaru is reasonably accurate--the turret gate, tamon turret and corner turret are all there on the map, just with somewhat different styles. So that's the more accurate part of the reconstructions. The info about the former Fushimi turret was interesting--with they had rebuilt that instead of the mogi o-terarai yagura.

I also checked out the Gofuso, at least the front part with the garden, and saw some other interesting buildings in the neighborhood. It seems that there are some other historical buildings in the area, so maybe I'll come back sometime and search those out.

Anyway, I'm glad I went and glad the castle exists, but it didn't quite whet my castle appetite (kind of like the fast-food version of a castle), so I went back to Hikone Castle for a vastly more satisfying experience today. By the way, is it just me, or does the main keep of Kishiwada look a bit like an imitation of Hikone Castle's main keep? Anyway, I'll give this site a 3 for the honmaru ishigaki, the moats on the honmaru and nishinomaru, the attractiveness from a distance, and especially the garden.
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ARTShogun

12 months ago
Score 0++
This is a very helpful review, thanks! The sumi-yagura is connected to the tamon yagura which carries on with two bends along the ramparts. It can be seen in the above gallery.
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Matthew WardGunshi

13 months ago
Score 0++

Thanks! That's kind of what I suspected: nice authentic walls and moats, but buildings all fairly mogi. The turrets were rebuilt in the late 60's, but seems that that was still a fairly mogi era.

I'll also check out the Gofuso.
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Matthew WardGunshi

13 months ago
Score 0++

This must have been one of the first Japanese castles I ever saw from a distance, but I still haven't visited it. I'm thinking of finally going late this month or in early July.

I'm curious about one question: it's clear that the main keep isn't historically authentic, but I wonder about the rebuilt gates and yagura. Does anybody know whether they are authentic replicas of the originals? I'm reading about it in Japanese, but so far haven't been able to find details about the other reconstructed buildings.

Anyway, looks like the walls and moats are in good shape, and the karesansui also looks nice, though obviously it was built in modern times.
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ARTShogun

13 months ago
Score 1++
I was the same, coming in via KIX in 2012 but not visiting the castle site itself until 2015/16. All the structures are a bit mogi. Historical authenticity just wasn't a priority at the time. I recommend also visiting the Gofuso, an indutrial era villa adjacent to the castle.
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FurinkazanDaimyo

18 months ago
Score 1++
I visited this site again on 08/12/2022. I got off the train at Higashi-Kishiwada station on the JR Hanwa line. From there it's a 2km walk to the castle. There is a small collection of weapons and armors in the museum of the tenshu(donjon). You have a nice surrounding view from the top of it. The site is well maintained.
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SuupaahiirooAshigaru

94 months ago
Score 0++

Visited this castle when I was in Kishiwada for the exciting danjiri festival. The reconstructed keep looks nice enough. I didn't feel like paying to enter it, though The highlight here is definitely the karesansui (枯山水) garden, a dry landscape garden designed by Mirei Shigemori in 1953. I assume the best views of this garden are from the top story of the tenshu.

(If you ever take the Nankai train from Osaka International Airport (KIX) to Osaka City, you can catch a glimpse of this castle from the train. That's how I learned about the existence of this castle.)
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RebolforcesAshigaru

160 months ago
Score 0++
Worst castle inside, 300yen for what? Looks good from outside though. Felt sorry for the poor monkey in the cage
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FurinkazanDaimyo

167 months ago
Score 0++
I visited this castle today. It is a nice little castle. You can take pictures of it from around the outer and inner bailey, which i found really nice.