Uwajima Castle

Uwajima Castle: Hours, Address, Uwajima Castle Reviews: 4/5

Uwajima Castle
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Historic Sites • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Castles
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Hiroaki Kaneko
Tokyo, Japan2,549 contributions
Nov 2020
宇和島市のシンボルで、現存天守の一つ。平山城で天守は小高い丘陵の上に位置する。門からは徒歩で15~20分程度で登ることが出来、一部でやや急勾配な坂や階段があるものの全体的に勾配はゆるやか。一部の石段は濡れると滑りやすくなる。またところどころでぬかるみもあるのに注意が必要である。
天守は三層構造と小規模なものであるが、本丸に穏やかに佇んでいるところに目を引かれるだろう。春には桜が咲き誇り、桜と天守の組み合わせは特に美しく映るだろう。
小規模な現存天守ということもあり、天守内の展示は多くなく、むしろ今に伝わる城の構造を見て楽しむものとなっている。3階からの宇和島市内と港の眺めは非常に素晴らしい。
宇和島駅から徒歩で行ける距離で、アクセスも良い。一方、宇和島城専用の駐車場が無いため、車で来る際は近隣の共用駐車場を利用する必要がある。観光ガイドが常駐しているので、城の歴史を彼等から学びながら散策するといいだろう。

This castle the symbol of Uwajima City and one of the existing castle towers. The castle tower is located on top of a small hill. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to climb up from the gate on foot, and the slope is generally gentle, although there are some steep slopes and stairs. Some of the stone steps become slippery when wet. And there are some muddy spots where you need to be careful.
The castle tower is a small, three-story structure, but its peaceful appearance in the main circle will attract your attention. In spring, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the combination of cherry blossoms and the castle tower will be especially beautiful.
The view of Uwajima city and the harbor from the third floor is very impressive.
It's within walking distance from Uwajima Station, making it easily accessible. On the other hand, there is no dedicated parking lot for Uwajima Castle, so if you are coming by car, you'll need to use a shared parking lot nearby. Tourist guides are always available, so it's a good idea to learn about the history of the castle from them.
Written May 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Zimminaroundtheworld
Okinawa Prefecture, Japan1,748 contributions
Dec 2020
I've been to seven of the original castles now, I just made a trip out to Uwajima to see this castle. There was a parking lot near the entrance but it's closed now, there is a parking garage a few blocks over, there is a sign that guides you here from the castle. To get to the castle, you have to walk up hill a bit maybe 10-15 minutes. Once at the top, you get great views of Uwajima. The castle is just a main keep in the middle of an open field, kind of interesting. There is a 200 Yen fee to enter, which is pretty cheap. I found the inside to be pretty interesting and worth the visit.
Written December 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Joshiewoshie
Toronto386 contributions
There are only so many things to do in Uwajima, so visiting their castle is an easy choice. The castle is quite small, almost cute in fact. Despite the small size, it's a nice castle, especially if you've been subjected to the many concrete reconstructions that abound in Japan. Uwajima's castle is right in the centre of town and can be easily walked to. The hill is quite steep and may leave you out of breath. None of the information is in English, but there are many photos and things to look at. The price was right at 200 yen.
Written June 10, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Rick28200
San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain586 contributions
Dec 2019 • Solo
Though it small, it is one of the original castles of Japan. The view from there could not be better.
It is worth the climbing.
I parked at the entrance and it was pretty affordable (200¥)
Written December 26, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ART196
244 contributions
Jul 2016 • Solo
In Shikoku’s south west, and furthest south I’ve been in Japan so far, is Uwajima Castle, containing one of 12 of the nation’s original castle keeps. The Tenshukaku (donjon) of Uwajimajō dates to 1666. The eves of this darling tower seem to be tempered in their curvature with the interceding centuries, age-laden and bending beneath ceramic tiles. Today Uwajimajō is also loved for the beauty of its moss-covered ishigaki (stonewalls), which seem so well integrated into the surrounding greenery that they appear to have sprang from the ground naturally. There are several other original structures at the site. Firstly, Noboritachimon is the oldest (built sometime after 1596 and before 1615) and one of the largest extant Yakuimon-style gates. Yamazato-soko is a storehouse built for weapons in 1845. Storehouses like this one seem to be the first buildings to go at many castle sites so it’s nice to see one still standing. “Hanro Kōri-shi Bukenagayamon,” or the Gate of Chief Vassal Lord Kōri’s Estate, has been moved to the castle site from the surrounding castle town. It’s a gate house with adjoining enclosed spaces the like of which one often sees at fortified residences.

History:

Uwajimajō was founded in 1595 by famous military architect Todo Takatora when he was granted a small fief here by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Todo was lord for 5 years before moving to Imabarijō during which time he crafted the castle’s basic layout which survives to this day. From 1615 the Date clan took over and ruled until the Meiji Restoration, with Date Hidemune as progenitor. In 1671 Date Munetoshi carried out repairs and expanded the castle with several more baileys (since built or ploughed over). During WWII the castle was bombed by the United States and the Ōtemon (main gate) was lost to fire bombing, but the Tenshukaku and other remaining structures survived. Sturdy Ishigaki encase this hirayamajō type castle, ensconcing the Ido, Nagato, Sannomaru, Tōbei, Daiuemon, Shikibu and Obi baileys to this day.
Written November 13, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

T0banker
Toronto, Canada39 contributions
Apr 2016
The walk up to the castle has the feel of an ancient walkway which has not changed much over time. The steps are uneven and there is no smooth roadway. It may be difficult for those using canes or in need of walking assistance.
The castle itself is not all that impressive but it does offer a good view of the city and surrounding area.
Written April 8, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DanL917
Tokyo, Japan445 contributions
Jul 2015 • Solo
This is the third time I've been to this castle; mainly in town for the Uwajima Festival and to see bullfighting, but I've never seen an original castle look so nice from the outside. You'd swear it was a restoration.

From the Jcastle website, this castle is rated a 4 out of 5 due to the extensive network of stone walls that surround it, so don't forget to note this, which I missed my first two times here.

Also the castle isn't really close to the train station, plus you have to hike to the top of a small mountain. I'm glad I had a rental bike. You can rent them at the JR office next to the train station, but cost is 100 yen per hour. Another tip: don't miss the roadstop down by the port area, which is where the bike comes in handy as its somewhat of a walk. Hiroba Ichiba it's called. But it's quintessential in that respect and has a good restaurant to sample the food of Uwajima. Normally you don't find roadstops that close to a city center.

And BTW, the Uwajima Festival on July 22-24 is well worth it. Never seen floats carried so far across town at any festival, plus no crowds outside of the shopping arcade (where the parade begins at the Bus Center there). Since the floats are carried from there to the train station and to Warei Shrine (something like 2 km), you can find yourself alongside the road with nobody next to you, as you take pics. The police stop traffic for the floats.

One interesting aspect of the parade is a float that is carried entirely by women! Never seen this before in a festival. On top of that, the women are all what I now call Uwajima Bijin; young girls in kimonos with a flower in their hair. They were all very pretty and young. Carrying a float and perspiring in the July heat. Imagine!
Written July 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gary B
Pretoria, South Africa248 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
Really impressed with the Uwajima castle, one of the 12 original castles in Japan. Excellent hilltop castle. Pleasant walk up the hill. Shikoku is an underestimated island in Japan. I find the castle grounds were well kept. History behind this castle is interesting.
Written July 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont6,740 contributions
Apr 2014 • Couples
Matsuyama provided a base for our run to Uwajima. We left at 6:49 and it was so early when we arrived that no one was at tourist information office. We got a map, albeit in Japanese, from the JR ticketing agent.

We found our bearings, walked through the arcaded shopping district all shut down in the early morning hours, and arrived at the foot of the castle hill. The climb up was easy. We stopped on the way up to visit a kura, at a turn in the walkway. This housed an eclectic collection of rickshaws, tea sets, telephones, rice straw coats and more. (Shoes off/ no entry fee)

We left with directions for the route to the castle: up several flights of steps including some metal framework steps, which avoid the more treacherous original steps.

Finally arrive at the plaza forecourt of the castle, which itself is tiny - three stories only and quite precious really. The castle looks toward an inlet of the sea – the castle was originally a sea castle, though land reclamation projects have since provided a port below the castle. We are there in sakura season and there is a blaze of cherry trees massed in front. Up the stairs and in (entry fee ¥200). Again shoes off. We reject the slippers and go in stocking feet.

We circumscribe the downstairs, a single room surrounded by porches. There are displays of photos and artifacts. We mount the terribly steep stairs to the second floor, much the same but smaller, and finally to the third. Looking at the view through a narrow window, we are very nearly blown over by the force of the wind. We are soon finished looking and slowly head back down to the ground floor, thanking the ticket vendor who had some English.

We go down from the castle by the original stairs, which we can see to be not so very very bad. The stairs clearly lead to a level ground. At the level we find ourselves on a path back to the kura. We pass the very terribly steep stairs we refused at the bottom, pass the kura, then down the ramped path we originally took. We bid "Ohayo gozaimasu" to two workman we greeted earlier sweeping the path and walk back to town.
Written July 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ted C
La Mesa, CA194 contributions
Nov 2013 • Couples
From the Uwajima JR Station it is about a 10 minute walk to the entry to the castle park. Then another 10-15 minute climb up to the top. The climb is more of an uphill walk than a real climb although picking up one of the bamboo staffs available at the bottom of the hill is not a bad idea particularly since they are free of charge. It is a small, but original castle not a whole lot to see unless you are a real Japanese castle buff. Very steep interior stairs, the remains of a well or cistern next to the castle donjon and the foundations of the quarters for the women.

The thing that is interesting is a map next to the guy who was selling tickets, it shows that the castle was originally out on a high pennisula and almost all of the flat areas down towards the bay and where the station is not located were water. If you understand this then you will get a much better feel for how this castle once dominated the port of Uwajima. Like the castle at Kanezawa there is a street/road filled with temples which were the outer line of defense for the castle proper a nice combination of religious and military purposes. Obviously the main way into town was up a valley to the back and east of the present town when the castle was an active military post since the flat area where the train arrives was part of the bay.

On the way down take the path that veers off to the right from the main routs just outside of the wall to the top of the castle hill. It will take you past a well that was one of the 4 water supplies for the castle. It appears to be still functioning, but well protected with a substantial grill.

I found it a worth while place to visit, very laid back, slow paced a Japan that is largely lost and forgotten. This is mikan country so if you are in the area buy and eat some.
Written December 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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