Japanese Castles: Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle
Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle 備中松山城
Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle, perched on the peak of Mount Gagyu in Takahashi in Okayama Prefecture, is the highest mountain castle (yamashiro) in Japan at 478m (1,400 feet) above sea level.
History of Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle
There has been a fortress in this area since 1240, but the present location of the castle actually dates from 1331, with the current building on the site dating from 1683 when Mizunoya Katsutaka constructed the two-storey keep or tenshu.
After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle was partially destroyed and gradually the entire site fell into disrepair.
There are fantastic views of the surrounding Okayama countryside from the keep of Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle.
The castle has been beautifully restored using traditional techniques since 1929, though parts of the original walls and the tenshu are originals from the 17th century.
Admission: 300 yen
Hours: April-September 9am-5.30pm; October-March 9am-4.30pm. Closed December 29 - January 3.
Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle Access
The nearest station to Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle is Bitchu Takahashi Station on the JR Hakubi Line. From there take a Bihoku bus for 10 minutes. Visitors must walk up the hill to the castle from the end of the approaching road for around 20 minutes. Walking from the station is around one hour. Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle is not to be confused with Matsuyama Castle on Shikoku.
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