Koumi Line Castle tour ③/Long Course

Estimated time: About 4 hours

3 minutes by walk from Koumi Station → 3 minutes by walk from Komoro Castle Kaikoen → 40 minutes on Komi Line → 20 minutes by walk from Tatsuoka Castle Station → 20 minutes by walk from Tatsuoka Castle Goryokaku → Tatsuoka Castle Station

Speaking of castles, only the castle tower tends to be closed. Along the Koumi Line, there is a castle with unique characteristics in Japan. There are only two Western-style castles in Japan, “Tatsuoka Castle Goryokaku” and “Komoro Castle”, which has a natural moat that uses natural topography.

Japanese top 100 Castles/ Komoro Castle

Point of interest. Komoro Castle is one of the 100 most famous castles in Japan. Rather than known as Komoro Castle ruins, it is known as “Kaikoen”. The castle includes the Sannomon and Otemon gates, and the castle tower. There was once a three-layer tower on top of the castle tower, but it was destroyed by lightning. At present, the castle tower in the field area is a reminder of the past. What makes Komoro Castle unique is that it is built at a lower position than the rest of the castle town. It is called “Ana Castle” and is an extremely rare type of castle. The moat was around a solid walled castle, which was protected by the cliffs of the Chikuma River, using it as a natural valley. The castle is said to have been built by Yoshinaga Kiso and Taro Komuro Kanemitsu, who appeared during the Heian period and Kamakura period. It is also reported that Kansuke Yamamoto, who was active as a warrior for Shingen Takeda, was “territorial”, and there is a mirror stone said to have been used by Kansuke in Honmaru. Hidehisa Sengoku is also known for this castle. Otemon, the main gate of Komoro Castle, was built during Hidehisa’s time. Sanmon Gate, the symbol of Komoro Castle Ruins, is from the time of Hidehisa's child, Tadamasa. After that, the castle owner changed rapidly, and finally Mr. Makino served as the castle’s owner until it was given to the Japanese people.
Spot Information Telephone* 0267-22-1700 (Komoro City Hall Commerce and Tourism Division)

Tatsuoka Castle Goryokaku, the only 2 star-shaped castle in Japan

Point of interest. There are only two western style castles in Japan. One is Goryokaku in Hakodate, and the other is Tatsuoka Castle Goryokaku. Tatsuoka Castle is a Western-style castle built in 1867 by Norikata Matsudaira. At that time, the shogunate banned the building of castles, but Norikura, who played an important role in the shogunate, received special permission and adopted a western way of thinking and built a castle with a star-shaped moat in the city like Boban Castle in Lille in France. Although the keep, the Otemon Gate, and the East Gate, which served as the lord's affairs and residence, were completed, the moat only went around the Sanriku Pass, and about 270m surrounding the southwestern and western ridges were not completed. In just four years, it became an abandoned castle under the Meiji government's declaration of abandoning castles, and the moat was buried. After that, a preservation society was held and the moat was revived. However, during WW2, the moat was drained again and used as a rice paddy field. It is currently used as a school ground for Taguchi Elementary School in Saku City. As the remains, the kitchen and moat are left behind. Known as a cherry blossom spot, the cherry blossoms along the moat are beautiful when blooming.
Spot Information Telephone: 0267-82-0230 (Deaino Yakata)