You can easily access the castle tower of Matsuyama Castle in Matsuyama, Ehime via ropeway or lift, and the castle is lit up at night. Matsuyama Castle sits atop Mount Katsuyama (132 meters above sea level) in central Matsuyama city.
Matsuyama Castle’s Castle Tower
Matsuyama Castle sits atop Mount Katsuyama (132 meters above sea level) in central Matsuyama city. The main enclosure of the castle sits atop the peak of the mountain, the second circle of defense lies at the base of the mountain and is now a historical garden, and the third circle of defense is the much loved Horinouchi Park. The first lord of the castle was Kato Yoshiaki, who served in the Battle of Sekigahara. The castle was built over a quarter of a century, starting from 1602. It is now one of the 12 remaining original castle towers and 21 of its buildings are listed as Important Cultural Properties.
The reconstruction of the castle tower was completed in 1602. It is a multi-leveled castle tower with 3 layers, 3 floors and one floor below ground and it is the last complete castle from the Edo period. It is said to be a representative renritsu (connected) castle tower, with its group of tower buildings connecting the castle tower, the small castle tower, and the corner tower with the roofed passage turret. Of the 12 remaining original castle towers, only Matsuyama Castle’s castle tower was built by the Matsudaira clan, a feudal lord and one of the relatives of the Tokugawa family (shinpan), the symbol of which, the hollyhock (aoi) family crest (gomon) is visible on each roof tile, etc. The Nohara turret, located north of the main enclosure, is one of the defensive turrets that deserve particular attention. The Nohara turret is the only remaining watchtower-style two-layer turret in Japan, said to be the archetype of castle towers, and designated an Important Cultural Property.
Great Views from the Castle, and of the Castle!
The castle tower of Matsuyama Castle sits on top of a mountain, towering over central Matsuyama. The view from the castle is breathtaking, and the panorama from the top of the castle tower- 161meters above sea level—is a must-see. To the west you can see the Seto Inland Sea, and to the south you can make out Mount Ishizuchi in the distance. The plaza of the main enclosure is open until 9pm, so the night view is also a top recommendation. For the best views of the castle itself from afar, it is recommended to view the castle tower straight-on from Honmaru park and look up on the castle mountain from the west side of Horinouchi Park. The castle tower is lit up until 11pm.
Easy Access via Ropeway Lift
There are four routes to walk up the mountain to the main enclosure. However, all of them are steep, and will tire out even the most energetic people. If you want to imagine yourself storming the castle, you should definitely try walking up, but there is also a ropeway or lift up, which are popular routes up among tourists. The ropeway takes around three minutes and the lift takes around six minutes to Chojagadaira at the eighth station. From there, walk around 10 minutes and you will reach the castle tower.