Maruoka Castle




Maruoka-jo was Built by Shibata Katsutoyo, nephew of Shibata Katsuie, in 1576. The castle had 17 lords until the Meiji Restoration including Aoyama Shurinsuke, Honda Narishige, and Arima Kiyosumi. The keep was levelled by the Fukui earthquake of 1948, but the keep was rebuilt using 80% of the original materials in 1955. The keep has three stories with an original wood interior and stone-tile roof, and is located on a hill in the middle of a rather large plain. Both the size of the keep and interior are very similar to that of Inuyama castle.

Visit Notes

At the bottom of the hill there is a small history museum with displays related to the lords of Maruoka castle (admission included in castle ticket). Like both Inuyama and Matsumoto, Maruoka claims to have the oldest remaining keep in Japan. It is designated Important Cultural Property.

  • Maruoka Castle interior stairs
  • Maruoka Castle main keep
  • maruoka castle main keep
  • Maruoka Castle interior
  • second floor interior
  • stone walls

Castle Profile
English Name Maruoka Castle
Japanese Name 丸岡城
Alternate Names Kasumiga-jo
Founder Shibata Katsutoyo
Year Founded 1576
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Original main keep
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 2 levels, 3 floors
Artifacts main keep
Features main keep, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Awara-onsen Sta. (Hokuriku Line), Keifuku bus to Hon-maruoka and get off at Shiro-iriguchi (20mins, buses hourly). Hourly buses (Keifuku) also run from Fukui station
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Sakai, Fukui Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 9' 8.50" N, 136° 16' 19.60" E
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Added to Jcastle 2006
Admin Year Visited 2006
Admin Visits June 13, 2006

(23 votes)
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79 months ago
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It is also possible to take a taxi from JR Maruoka. As you exit the station, there's a small phone booth across the road with a free taxi phone. The helpful people in the shop at the castle will phone for a taxi for the return trip.

Kiddus i2003Gunshi

107 months ago
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Thought I'd miss this castle , but stumbled on it by accident , well worth the visit.


135 months ago
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Small but don't forget it is the oldest in Japan and 80% of it is original.

Anonymous user #1

140 months ago
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Visited 22nd August 2011. Excellent! Small, but original and very well maintained (even the museum is worthy of a few minutes) - overall, well worth the trip from Fukui. Note: If arriving by JR Marouka, simply take the bus to Maruoka Bus Station (there is also a bus direct from Fukui). From there it's a 10 minute walk.


141 months ago
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Definitely worth a visit. Compare it with later constructions like Hikone and Himeji and you can see how the design of castle keeps evolved. The interior stairways are the steepest I've ever encountered in the over 50 J castles I've visited; nearly vertical with a rope added for assistance!


151 months ago
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Today i went to this castle. Because of the beautiful weather i decided to walk from Maruoka-station(=+/4.5km). This is a neat castle to visit because it's Japan's oldest authentic keep. There is nothing displayed in the tenshu, but the structure alone is worth the visit. With the ticket for the castle you have access to the little museum beneath the keep. There are some realy interesting artifacts on display, like a piece of an uma-yoroi (=horse-armor).