Izushi Castle

Izushi Castle Ruins, Izushi, Hyogo 出石城

Jake Davies

Izushi Castle is a ruined castle in the town of Izushi in Hyogo Prefecture south of Kinosaki Onsen. Izushi Castle was a yamashiro or hill top castle.

Izushi Castle, Izushi, Hyogo.
The entrance to Izushi Castle with Mount Ariko behind
A reconstructed turret (yagura) at Izushi Castle.
A reconstructed turret (yagura) at Izushi Castle

Izushi Castle History

Izushi Castle was built in 1604, at the beginning of the Edo Period, by Koide Yoshihide. He took over the domain from the Yamana clan who had ruled over the area for a couple of centuries.

The Yamana had built a castle on top of Mount Ariko after their previous fortress at Konosumi Castle had fallen to Hideyoshi Toyotomi in 1569.

Yoshihide built fortifications at the base of the mountain, but when the Tokugawa shogunate made a law in 1615 that domains could only have one castle Yoshihide destroyed the castle on top of the mountain and based himself in the lower section, which he named Izushi Castle.

Yoshihide never built a keep (tenshu), though he did build further fortifications in the town that grew up around the castle. At the end of the 17th century the Matsudaira clan were given control over the castle, but ten years later the Sengoku clan took over and held it until the onset of the Meiji Period. The castle was never very large, though the town grew around it.

Like many Japanese castles, Izushi was dismantled with the abolition of the domain system in the Meiji Period.

In 1968 two of the turrets, yagura, were rebuilt and then in 1994 the bridge and main gate too. Within the castle grounds is an Inari Shrine with a "tunnel" of vermillion torii gateways leading up the steps to it.

Izushi Castle grounds have been planted with cherry trees and so are a popular hanami spot during spring.

The grounds are open 24 hours a day and there is no entrance fee.

Izushi Castle, Hyogo Prefecture.
A tunnel of torii lead up to the Inari Shrine at Izushi Castle
Izushi Castle, Hyogo Prefecture.
A reconstructed turret (yagura) at Izushi Castle

Izushi Castle
Uchimachi, Izushi-cho
Hyogo 668-0214
Tel: 0796 52 3111
Admission: Free

Izushi Castle, Hyogo Prefecture.
The view of the castle town of Izushi from the castle grounds

Access To Izushi - how to get to Izushi Castle

The nearest train station to Izushi Castle is Toyooka on the Sanin Main Line, about 2 hours, 10 minutes from Kyoto Station and 1 hour 30 minutes from Himeji. Izushi is a 45 minute bus ride by regular bus from Toyooka.

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