Kochi Castle

From Jcastle.info



Yamanouchi Kazutoyo began the construction of Kochi castle in 1601 after he was stationed in the Tosa region. Originally he resided in Urado Castle but decided to build a new castle in the current location. Yamanouchi moved in two years later after the main keep and main structures were finished. The whole castle was completed in 1611.

Much of the castle, including the main keep, were burned to the ground in a great fire that broke out in the castle town in 1727. The current main keep dates from this reconstruction which was completed in 1748. It took until 1753 until the castle was completely rebuilt.

One of the most rare aspects of this castle is that all the structures from the original honmaru remain.

Visit Notes

This is a really great castle. I just wish it hadn't been raining so hard when we were there. The warmer more tropical like climate of Kochi results in the castle having much vegetation growing everywhere. Exhibits inside the castle show that it was in a terrible state of neglect until they repaired it between 1948-1959.

  • donjon, yagura
  • stone wall
  • gate with main keep in the background
  • Otemon gate
  • honmaru, gates and yagura
  • kuroganemon gate
  • gate
  • main keep and entrance
  • Tsunemon Gate (by AMcL)
  • Kaitokukan (AMcL)
  • Tetsumon Gate (AMcL)
  • Tenshu top storey (AMcL)
  • Tenshu and Kaitokukan (AMcL)
  • Kaitokukan (AMcL)
  • Moat (AMcL)
  • Otemon Gate (AMcL)
  • View from the Tenshu (AMcL)
  • Stone wall (AMcL)
  • Nishi Tamon Yagura and Rokamon (AMcL)
  • Tsunemon (AMcL)
  • Stone wall (AMcL)

Castle Profile
English Name Kochi Castle
Japanese Name 高知城
Alternate Names Taka-jo
Founder Yamanouchi Kazutoyo
Year Founded 1603
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Original main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties, National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 6 stories
Artifacts Kaitokukan, Kuroganemon, tenshu, Nando Kura, Tenshu Southeast Wall, Tenshu Northwest Wall, Kuroganemon Northwest wall, Kuroganemon Southeast wall, Outemon Southwest wall, Outemon Northeast wall, Outemon, East Tamon, Rokamon, Tsumemon, West Tamon
Features main keep, gates, turrets, palace, water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Kochi Station, 25 minute walk or 15 minutes bus or street car
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.kochi.kochi.jp/deeps/15/1503/guide/guide.htm
Location Kochi, Kochi Prefecture
Coordinates 33° 33' 38.45" N, 133° 31' 52.50" E
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Added to Jcastle 2001
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2001
Admin Visits October 21, 2001
Friends of JCastle
Malcolm Fairman Photography - Kochi Castle

(29 votes)
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Matthew WardGunshi

14 months ago
Score 1++
I finally visited Kochi Castle last August--I took a 5 castle trip through Shikoku with my son, seeing Uwajima, Otsu, Matsuyama (2nd time), Marugame (2nd time) and Kochi. I was really impressed! The highlight, of course, is the totally complete honmaru with all of its lovely buildings intact. For that alone, I think it easily ranks in the top 10 best castles of Japan. But it also has a pretty good collection of ishigaki, and the gate complex at the entrance is also wonderful. Easy 5 stars for this one.


73 months ago
Score 2++

Visited 19 Nov 2016. Long but easy walk from JR Kōchi Station. It's incredible to finally see not just an intact tenshu, but a virtually intact honmaru enclosure (albeit a rather small one) complete with goten and associated structures. The layout also has some interesting features, including the Tsumemon gate which splits the gap between the honmaru and ninomaru into two but gives potential invaders the impression that they were actually laying siege to the inner enclosures ... long story but the detailed scale model displayed in the castle should make things clear. At the time of my visit, the slick new Kōchi Castle Museum of History across the street was yet to open (scheduled for spring 2017) - one of many reasons for me to go back one day.



93 months ago
Score 0++
This was truly one of the best sites I visited in Shikoku during the summer. It’s also a good place to view the ishidoi system of Japanese castles, a system of channels dug into earth and built into ishigaki (stone walls) to carry ground water away from the baileys to protect against landslides. It was important to protect against rainfall as well as attackers. A unique feature of Kōchijō are the so-called “ninja-gaeshi,” or “ninja repellent” iron spikes on the outside of the donjon. Another is that the Lord's living space is attached to the donjon (the palatial go'ten is usually separate).

Kiddus i2003Gunshi

110 months ago
Score 0++
Great castle and grounds. Highlight of the trip was the guys pruning the trees, they climbed around like monkeys and did such an incredible job. Many visitors on the day I visited.


133 months ago
Score 0++

Check out this cappuccino from a cafe in Kochi! I truly admire this barista. http://www.f...am/lightbox/

Sorry, I have no idea of the name of this cafe, though.


138 months ago
Score 0++
Kochi Castle is a fabulous castle to visit. It has plenty of stone walls, actually more than I had expected. In some ways, it is like Marugame Castle, but a lot of its ishigaki are hidden by the trees while the stone walls at Marugame can clearly be seen. As mentioned already by other JCastle users, it is the only Japanese castle which has all its buildings in the main bailey intact from the Edo Period. It is also one of four Japanese castles with an original palace from the Edo Period. Inside the castle keep is a museum which has a very detailed model of what Kochi Castle looked like during the Edo Period. Like many other castles built in the late Sengoku Period and early Edo Period, it used some recycled materials from other nearby castles in its construction. The castle keep from Urado Castle (at the site of the present day Sakamoto Ryoma Museum) was moved to the eastern side of the Third Bailey and became one of its turrets. Unfortunately, this structure along with almost all the other structures in the outer baileys has been demolished. The exception is the Otemon (Main Gate). I was in Kochi for three days, so I took the opportunity to go and visit a few Chosokabe (Chosogabe on all the English signs that I saw in Kochi) castle ruins nearby.


149 months ago
Score 0++
This is really a nice castle to visit. You have access to all the buildings in the honmaru and you may take photos of everything. The goten was in very good condition and it's nice to see one just next the tenshukaku. I gave it 4.5 stars because it can't compare to Himeji and Matsumoto, but i really recommend a visit to this castle.