Yodo Castle

From Jcastle.info



In 1623, Tokugawa Hidetada ordered Matsudaira Sadatsuna to build a new castle here to fortify southern Kyoto. The plan was to dismantle Fushimi Castle and move the main keep here by rebuilding the former Yodo Castle closer to the river. The stone walls also made use of some stones from Fushimi Castle. At the last minute, the main keep was moved to NIjo Castle instead and the main keep form Nijo Castle was moved to Yodo Castle. The original foundation at Yodo Castle had been built to accommodate the larger Fushimi Castle main keep so the smaller Nijo Castle main keep had a lot of extra area on the foundation. To fill the area they built smaller 2 level yagura at the corners, connected by a single story yagura all around. The main keep burned down in a lightning strike in 1756. In 1856, the Shogunate forces who were defeated at the Battle of Toba Fushimi fled to regroup at Yodo Castle. However, they were refused protection by the lord of the castle despite having been loyal to Edo in the past. This was the final blow to the defeat of the former Shogunate forces in Kyoto.

Visit Notes

The stone walls of Yodo Castle are quite impressive. Unfortunately, the grounds are in a bad state of maintenance. The walls are overgrown with weeds in places, the weeds inside the baileys are out of control making the mosquitoes in October terrible. The very few signs are falling apart and there is a lot of trash scattered about. For a city like Kyoto that values its heritage, it is a shame to see this site falling into ruin. Especially when they just rebuilt the station and put millions of dollars into a new horse racing park just on the other side. Maybe they can return some of the profits from the those back into restoring the site one day. I understand that plans were drawn up to reinvigorate the site a few years ago, but no progress to date.

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  • Main keep foundation
  • Moat and stone walls of the Honmaru.
  • Main keep foundation and train line.
  • Honmaru stone walls
  • Stone walls of the main keep foundation.
  • main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Honmaru and main keep foundation stone walls.
  • Honmaru stone walls
  • Main keep foundation
  • Main keep foundation
  • Entrance to the main keep foundation.
  • Honmaru stone walls.
  • Path down from atop the honmaru stone walls.
  • Stone walls inside the honmaru
  • Looking over the stone walls
  • Looking out from the stone walls
  • Former yagura foundation.
  • An interesting kokuin (lord's mark).
  • Kokuin marks
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Yodo Castle
Japanese Name 淀城
Alternate Names Ukijiro, Tenjiro
Founder Matsudaira Sadatsuna
Year Founded 1623
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Edo Period
Features water moats, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Yodo Sta. (Keihan Line); 1 min walk
Visitor Information Park is open any time.
Time Required 30 mins
Website http://kanko.city.kyoto.lg.jp/detail.php?InforKindCode=1&ManageCode=6000057
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 34° 54' 17.32" N, 135° 43' 3.40" E
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Added to Jcastle 2010
Admin Year Visited 2014
Admin Visits October 19, 2014

(7 votes)
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Matthew WardGunshi

one month ago
Score 0++

I visited Yodo Castle the other day. Interesting site, but... boy, is it ever trashed. Two sides are all surrounded by parkings lots and require some creativity to get good views of, a lot of the ramparts are overgrown (much harder to see the Honmaru ramparts that you can see in picture 4 above these days), the inubashiri below the tenshudai under the train tracks is blocked by a high chain-link fence (I understand the need for a fence but couldn't they just put up a normal one?), and the park itself is messy and overgrown.

Weirdly, I ended up getting decent pictures by wandering around the accessible areas of the parking lots and sticking my camera through the chain-link fence, but I think a lot of people would just come to the park, note how trashed it is, take a gander at the tenshudai, and leave. I wish they would try to clean up the site and make it more accessible, as it has a lot of potential.

On the positive side, the top of the tenshudai looks really interesting--granted, you can't go in it and have to peer through a rusty metal gate, but the views when you look in are good. And I also liked the yaguradai kitty-corner from it with the Meiji Emperor memorial or whatever on it--that is also well-preserved.


9 months ago
Score 0++

I first visited this castle ruin in 2010. I revisited this castle ruin in February this year to mainly photograph some of the kokuins there. There are numerous kokuins at this castle, but some of them have become somewhat weathered and hard to spot while others are covered by weeds and not clearly visible. On the castle keep’s ishigaki, someone has used white chalk to make some of the kokuins more visible.

As Suupaahiroo has commented below, there is a shachihoko from Yodo Castle on display in the Kyoto Archaeological Museum. It's part of the permanent exhibition up on the first floor. On the ground floor are displays of a temporary exhibition until 19th November 2023, which is currently featuring artefacts from the Kofun Period. This small museum is worth a visit, and amazingly they don’t charge visitors anything.


61 months ago
Score 0++

These might be two useless details to some castle fans, but let me just share them anyway for the sake of completeness.

In the garden of Rinshō-in (麟祥院), a subtemple of Myōshin-ji in Kyoto, there is a shachihoko ornament. It is said to be a remnant of Yodo Castle. The temple is dedicated to Lady Kasuga. Her father was a retainer of Akechi Mitsuhide, so that provides somewhat of a link between the two places.

Another shachihoko of Yodo-jō is on (permanent?) display at the Archaeological Museum in Kyoto.


90 months ago
Score 0++
From 18 February to 25 June 2017, there is a special archaeological exhibition about Yodo Castle and Fushimi Castle. The exhibition is free and will be held at Kyoto City Archaeological Museum. For more info (in Japanese) see http://www.c...0213675.html