Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Takashima Castle -Floating castle on Lake Suwa-

Takashima Castle

-Floating castle on Lake Suwa-



Name: Takashima Castle (Takashima-jo)
Alias: Uki-jiro (Floating castle) 
Place: Takashima Suwa city, Nagano 
Location: 36.040468646455004, 138.11382432576224
Type: Flat castle
Built: 1598
Remaining remnants: Third area gate, stone walls and moats
Title: 100 more famous Japanese castles

Brief History

Takashima castle (高島城) is located near Lake Suwa, center of the Suwa basin at the southern area of Nagano prefecture.

Originally Suwa region has been goverend by Suwa clan, a traditional house of priest for Suwa shrine. They resided old Takashima castle in the north of this castle.

In mid 16th century, Suwa region was invaded by Shingen Takeda (1521-1573) and people of Suwa clan were killed or expelled. Shingen at first used Uehara castle as a regional base which was formerly the main base of Suwa clan, but in 1549 Takeda clan newly built Takashima castle at the side of Lake Suwako considering the size and convenience of the castle.

After the fall of Takeda clan remaining Suwa clan temporally returned to this area under the support of Ieyasu Tokugawa (1534-1582), but moved to Kanto region with Tokugawa clan in 1590 under the order of Toyotomi government.

After that new commander Takayoshi Hineno (1539-1600) was located on this place. Takayoshi totally reformed Takashima castle aside of Lake Suwa in 1598. Being surrounded by Lake Suwa and water moats, this new castle was called as a floating castle. Later due to the reclamation work of surrounding area, this castle became apart from Lake Suwa.

In Edo era, Suwa clan finally returned to this area as a governor, and resided in this castle by the end of era. Subsequent to the Meiji revolution many buildings and outer areas were lost, but third area gate remains as original and moved to the central area. Central area and secondary area are used as a park, and in 1970 main tower, inner gate, corner turret and fence were reconstructed. 


20 minutes walk from JR East Chuo-Honsen line Kamisuwa station. 25 minutes drive from Chuo Jidoshado Expressway Suwa interchange.

Related Castles 

Uehara Castle -Castle looked at rise and fall of Takeda clan-

Pictures (click to enlarge)

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