Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

       
Japanese Castles 1540-1640 Imjin War book cover

Kōfu Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady

甲府藩

Kōfu Domain


平岩氏
1601 - 1603

Hiraiwa Clan

63,000 Koku

徳川氏
1603 - 1607

Tokugawa Clan

250,000 Koku

徳川氏
1618 - 1624

Tokugawa Clan

200,000 Koku

徳川氏
1661 - 1704

Tokugawa Clan

250,000 Koku

柳沢氏
1704 - 1724

Yanagisawa Clan

150,000 Koku

徳川氏
1724 - 1871

Tokugawa Clan

* Koku

甲府城
Kōfu Castle is classified as a hilltop castle (its layout: Teikakushiki), and is located in Yamanashi Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Kai Province. It is associated with the Tokugawa clan. Dates in use: 1583 - 1873.

A steady stream of lords passed through the Kōfu castle gates as was ordered by the Toyotomi clan, and after 1600, the Tokugawa clan. The turnover rapidly accelerated in 1724 and it became the feudal Japanese castle equivalent of the town bicycle after it came under the direct control of Tokugawa regime.

The grounds of this ruined castle seem to go on & on for ever. Kind of like a movie that would've benefited from a little more editing. Oops, did I say that out loud? Of course the lengthy walls aren't a bad thing, it just gets a bit samey is all.

There is just no gap between the castle & the city that has grown up around it. In fact, a section of the castle seems to have sprouted amongst it. That sprout is the restored Yamanote gate which is located across the train tracks to the North.

Google Map Views (グーグルマップ)


Best view ベストビュー
Orbit view 軌道ビュー

Timeline

1583 Construction of the castle commenced.
1593 The castle was finally completed by Asano Nagamasa.
1705 The Yanagisawa clan were transferred here.
1706 A significant renovation was undertaken.
1724 The Yanagisawa clan were transferred to Yamato Koriyama castle & Kōfu castle came under the direct control of the Bakufu.
1727 A large fire in the main enclosure burnt a turret & other buildings down.
1873 The castle was dismantled, the moats filled in & abandoned.
1904 The castle grounds were opened to the public in the form of a park.
1990 Restoration of the stonework & the white Shirakabe walls were undertaken.
2004 The Inari Turret was rebuilt.
2007 The Yamanote Gate was rebuilt.

Historical recognition

SitePrefectural Historic Site