Matsudaira Yakata




The Matsudaira village is the ancestral home of Tokugawa Ieyasu. The origins of this site are mostly unclear, but the stories say that Sahara (later, Matsudaira) Nobumori built a fortified manor here in the 14th C. It is said that when Ieyasu (Takechiyo) was born the waters for washing and purifying him after birth were carried from the spring at this temple. It is largely believed that this is just a legend and possibly made up by Ieyasu himself.

In 1613, Ieyasu granted Matsudaira Naoyoshi the lands of Matsudaira Village. The stonework seen at the site today likely dates to this time period with a jin'ya or fortified manor.

Visit Notes

The fortified manor site is obviously influenced by castle construction of the time with Edo Period stone walls and a small water filled moat. There is even yokoya built into the walls for flanking fire against attackers. The site now houses the Matsudaira Toshogu Shrine. The village is in a really neat location. The mouth of the valley is narrow making entrance difficult if it were defended. At the entrance is a convenient hill with Matsudaira Castle to protect the valley and highway below. In the back of the valley is Kogetsuin, the funerary temple and grave site of Matsudaira Chikauji, the founder of the village and patriarch of the Matsudaira clan. I've included some photos of these sites as well even though they are not strictly castle related. This is a fascinating place to visit for any Tokugawa fan or history fan. The area is filled with other mountaintop castles and several hiking trails around the nearby mountains and hills so it may be a good visit along with a day of hiking too.

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  • yokoya structure for flanking fire
  • Well for the birth waters

Castle Profile
English Name Matsudaira Yakata
Japanese Name 松平氏館
Founder Matsudaira Nobumori
Year Founded 14th C.
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Toyotashi Sta (Meitetsu); 30 mins bus to Matsudairago bus stop
Visitor Information temple, open 24/7
Time Required 15 mins (more for the whole village)
Location Toyota, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 3' 2.27" N, 137° 15' 38.84" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2020
Admin Visits January 14, 2020
Friends of JCastle
Shirobito - Matsudairashi Yakata
Jokaku Horoki - Matsudairashi Yakata

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11 months ago
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Matsudaira-yakata was the manor hall at the heart of the ancestral homeland – it is traditionally held – of the Matsudaira Clan. The clan gave rise to Matsudaira Motoyasu, better known as Tokugawa Ieyasu. The ruins, located in the expansive and rural township of Matsudaira in Toyota Municipality, date to 1613 when Matsudaira Naoyoshi took over Matsudaira Manor; after the death of Tokugawa Ieyasu the yakata was converted into a temple (a gongen), the Matsudaira-Toushouguu. What makes this site fascinating are the stone-piled ramparts and water-filled moat in the manner of a small scale castle (or jin’ya?). The yakata retained its role as a residence into the Edo period. The moat is now busy with hungry carp which approach aggressively at the sight of human visitors.

The shrine buildings are worth seeing, and there is an exhibition hall which is free to enter. There are three wells. These are placed near the small shrine to Hachiman, the original household god of the yakata, now sidelined in favour of the deified generalissimo. It is said that water was brought from this well for little Takechiyo(Tokugawa Ieyasu)’s first bath. Considering the future shogun was born in Okazaki Castle that’s a tall order.