Travel

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda (Shizuoka)

After I had already visited Kakegawa Castle and Hamamatsu Castle earlier that day, I was off to see my third castle of the day: Tanaka Castle in Fujieda City.

Visited: April 4th 2012

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

Access to Tanaka Castle

Tanaka Castle is located in Fujieda City, Shizuoka Prefecture (map), but the closest JR Station is called “Nishi-Yaizu”.

It might be a little bit tricky to find the castle if you don’t know any Japanese, so I hope my directions will help you to find it:

From Nishi-Yaizu Station walk straight until you reach the first traffic light, then turn right. Keep walking straight until you reach another traffic light, then turn left. Keep walking straight. You’ll first have to walk under a bridge, then a little later, over a bridge. Walk straight for a while until you pass by a gas station which comes right after the bridge on the right side.

At the next traffic light walk still straight and shortly after that you turn right into a small side street. You can see the castle from the main street already, so it shouldn’t be a problem!

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

The Historical Site of the Villa of Tanaka Castle

Tanaka Castle (田中城) was built about 500 years ago by the Isshiki family under the orders of Lord Imagawa. The castle was surrendered to Lord Takeda Shingen in 1570. He was the one who ordered to build the moats and modern castle fortifications.

Later the castle was controlled by Tokugawa Ieyasu who sometimes spent time there when he wanted to get away from nearby Sunpu Castle in Shizuoka City.

Four moats were set up around the castle during the Edo period. Because of that the castle grounds have a circular layout which is rare in Japan.

Nowadays you’ll find the Nishi Mashizu Elementary School on the castle grounds.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

At the beginning of the Meiji period, Tanaka Castle was destroyed – just like many other castles. The buildings and the land were sold to ordinary people.

Some of the original buildings were donated to Fujieda City when the reconstruction of the villa garden was carried out (1992-1996).

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

In the picture above you see the entrance gate: Gate of Kabuki.

It was rebuilt using an original blueprint.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

The main turret of Tanaka Castle was designated as Tangible Cultural Property in 1993. It is a 2-storied wooden building with a copper roof. The yagura was reconstructed in 1992 to serve as a local history museum.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

That’s how the turret looks from the inside.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

Old costumes are displayed. As it is all wooden, you’ll find fire extinguishers everywhere!

Of course, you are not allowed to smoke anywhere on the castle grounds.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

Here you can see the four castle moats and the circular shape they’re forming around the castle grounds.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

The castle is located next to a small river: Rokken River.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

The small park around the castle has some more buildings such as a tea ceremony house as well as a small Japanese-style garden.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

Villa Garden (reconstructed):

The reconstructed garden is only half of the size of the original one. The original one is said to have consisted of a small artificial mountain called “Tsukiyama”, a miniature lake called “Sensui”, a tea ceremony house and a small shrine.

There’s still the bank of one of the castle moats in the garden nowadays.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

Visitors’ Information:

Upon entering through the entrance gate, you’ll find a small information booth to your right. You can only enter the castle turret with one of the guides for preservation reasons. There might be instances where you cannot enter the interior, e.g. bad weather conditions.

The guides there are really nice and there is no admission fee. I received an English pamphlet, but I’m not sure if the guides can speak English.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

The area around the castle grounds is also quite nice. On the left you see Rokken River and on the right Tanaka Castle’s turret.

If you have some time, you should take a walk along the river.

Tanaka Castle in Fujieda, Shizuoka

As many cities in Japan Fujieda City (藤枝) also has its own manhole cover.

As you can see it doesn’t feature the castle. After all Tanaka Castle is not that famous.

 

Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
9:00-17:00 (Oct – Mar); 9:00-21:00 (Apr – Sep)
Holidays:
December 28th – January 4th
Entrance fee:
free of charge
Time required:
about 20 mins for the castle itself
(but much more time to get to the castle from the station if you walk!)
Contact:
3 Chome-14-1 Tanaka, Fujieda-shi, Shizuoka-ken 426-0012 // (+81)054-644-3345
Access:
25 mins walk from JR Nishi-Yaizu Sta.
Please note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.

 
After visiting so many great sights in one day: Hamamatsu Castle, Hamamatsu Festival Pavilion, Nakatajima Sand Dunes and Kakegawa Castle, the castle in Fujieda was my last destination of the day. I didn’t have to rush at all, so you can probably stick to a similar itinerary!

8 Comments

  • Hi

    Thank you for posting this. It is the first time I’ve ever seen the Tanaka Castle. I didn’t know the castle at all. There were lots and lots of castles in the Edo period but due to the Meiji Restoration (it was actually a revolution) many of them were destroyed. Glad to know that the yagura has been reconstructed!! I also read your fascinating post on Kakegawa Castle. Your photos and explanations were really great. I enjoyed it very much!!

    • Yes, the Meiji Restoration was no fun for most castles in Japan!
      That makes the very few that remained special. After all they also survived WWII and several quakes.

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked the post(s)!! ^____^

  • Wow it’s a beautiful castle but yeah.. seems like it tooks more time to reach there from the nearest JR station, 20-30 minutes woaah :O But… why this castle didn’t appear on the manhole? is it really because this castle isn’t famous enough? it’s not fair, just my opinion XD

    • 20-30 minutes walking is actually not that much. I’ve been to castles where you had to walk an hour or more … or take an expensive taxi! ;)
      A lot of cities feature their “city flower” or something else the city / region is famous for. They can’t squeeze everything into the manhole cover.