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A complete original castle with spectacular views


Matsuyama Castle

500¥ 9:00 - 17:00

Matsuyama Castle is one of Japan's only twelve castles remaining in its original wooden form as well as one of the largest and most complete, offering a perfect example of a Japanese castle in its prime. Built on top of mount Katsuyama, a steep hill located in the center of Matsuyama, it also boasts impressive views of the city and the Seto inland sea.

The castle dates from 1602 and was constructed over a period of more than 25 years, until it reached completion in 1627. After the lord of the Matsuyama castle died without leaving a heir in 1635, the castle was assigned to the Matsudaira family, which successfully ruled it for the following centuries. When the feudal system came to an end, the lord of Matsuyama surrendered to the new Emperor and, consequently, the castle was saved from destruction.

Matsuyama Castle consists of a big complex of structures, featuring a large number of moats, walls, gates and turrets, most of which retain their original form. The main tower, known as Donjon, was struck by lightning in 1784 and the present one is a faithful reconstruction dating from 1820. It is one of the rare surviving examples which boasts multiple wings and a secondary Donjon.


JR Matsuyama Station

Line 5
10 min. 150¥

Okaido Station


Since Matsuyama Castle is located on a steep hill it is recommended to take the chairlift or ropeway to reach the top. The lower ropeway station can be reached on a 5 minute walk from Okaido tram station. Combination tickets for the castle, ropeway and chairlift are available for purchase in the station.