Amagasaki Castle

Information for Visitors

Castle tower entrance fee Adult, university student ¥500
Elementary, junior high, and high school (ages 6–18) ¥250
Pre-schooler (ages 0–5) Free
Address 27 Kitajonai, Amagasaki, Hyogo 660-0826
Opening hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 4:30 p.m.)
Holidays
  • ・Mondays (except where a public holiday falls on a Monday, in which case the castle will be closed on the next non-public holiday)
  • ・New Year (December 29 to January 2)
Inquiries to TEL 06-6480-5646
FAX 06-6480-5746
Access
  • ・A five-minute walk from Hanshin Railway Amagasaki Stn.
  • ・From JR Amagasaki Stn. (South) bus stop, take the No. 23 Hanshin bus to Hanshin Railway Amagasaki Stn., and alight there, from where it is a five-minute walk.
  • ・From Hankyu Railway Tsukaguchi Stn. (South) bus stop, take the No. 55 or 57 Hankyu bus or the No. 13 Hanshin bus to Hanshin Railway Amagasaki Stn. and alight there, from where it is a five-minute walk.

Amagasaki Castle Keep

Amagasaki Castle keep (from the south) Amagasaki Castle was built to coincide with the arrival in Amagasaki of its new hereditary lord, Toda Ujikane, in 1617. The castle keep is built in the fukugoshiki, or compound style, and is formed of the main, four-story building, and the smaller, two-story longhouse on its western side. It once stood close to the north-east corner of the current Amagasaki City Cultural Property Collection Gallery. The storied-towers of the main keep rose approximately 18 meters above the 12-meter-high stonewalled base. The keep featured decorative designs, such as roofs that from the second floor to the fourth were fitted with ornate karahafu and chidorihafu gables, and formed a beautiful symbol of Edo-period Amagasaki with its simple, yet magnificent appearance. Castle keeps were originally developed to act as both watchtowers in times of war and as command centers during sieges, but by the Edo period military concerns had become less prevalent, and there were many castles that had either lost their keeps or been constructed without one. While the keep at Amagasaki Castle was not used for its defensive purposes, its beautiful decorations served as a physical representation of authority and of the peaceful society of the time. However, in accordance with a law abolishing castles, the keep was dismantled in 1873, six years into the reign of the Emperor Meiji. The current castle keep is a reconstruction, for which building was completed in March 2019.

Amagasaki Castle timeline

Date Event
July 25, 1617 The hereditary lord Toda Ujikane was ordered to transfer from the Zeze domain (present day Shiga Prefecture) to the larger 50,000-koku domain of Amagasaki.
October 14 Toda Ujikane arrived in Amagasaki, under orders to build a new castle there from the bakufu government.
December The Kaisando, Kaidan-in and other Honko-ji Temple buildings were relocated to Teramachi. Zensho-ji Temple, Joraku-ji Temple, Joryu-ji Temple and others followed the new lord in being transferred to Amagasaki from Zeze.
January–March, 1618 Construction of Amagasaki Castle is thought to have been started around this time.
September 8, 1619 The shogun, Tokugawa Hidetada, came to view Amagasaki Castle.
Summer, 1623 The shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, is thought to have visited Amagasaki Castle.
July 28, 1635 Toda Ujikane was transferred to Ogaki, a larger 100,000-koku domain, and in his place, Aoyama Yoshinari was transferred from Kakegawa to be lord of Amagasaki and of 50,000 koku. With Ujikane’s transferal, the Teramachi temples of Zensho-ji, Joraku-ji, Entsu-ji, Joryu-ji, Nanko-in, and Hannya-in were transferred to Ogaki.
June 7, 1643 Aoyama Yoshitoshi became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
May 1, 1662 A major earthquake hit western Japan, leaving the main keep leaning at an angle, and damaging the longhouse keep and stone walls.
June 19, 1664 The bakufu government ordered repairs to be made to the towers and stone walls at Amagasaki Castle. The southern shoreline and the five towers in the western sannomaru (an outer defensive ring) were repaired. In this year, work on the Tsukijicho area was also completed.
May 1, 1669 Allotments of land in the Deyashiki area were assigned (completed in mid-May)
September 29, 1684 Aoyama Yoshimasa became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
October 4, 1707 A large earthquake damaged the castle’s keep, towers and other parts.
October 16, 1710 Aoyama Yoshihide became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
February 11, 1711 Aoyama Yoshihide was transferred to Iiyama, and in his place, Matsudaira Tadataka was transferred from Kakegawa to be lord of Amagasaki and of 40,000 koku.
September 18, 1716 A request was made to the bakufu government to dredge the castle moat.
1731–1734 Dredging work was undertaken by government officials including Izumoya Yahei, Suidoya Kahei and Himejiya Shimbei.
March 20, 1751 Matsudaira Tadaakira became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
February 20, 1767 Matsudaira Tadatsugu became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
1768 5,000 residents from the area around the castle and from Hyogo-tsu engaged in dredging the castle moat.
1772 In the honmaru central part of the castle grounds, entrance steps, a reception hall, a curtained sleeping area, a living area and other features were present.
August 1777 A request was made to rebuild the arsenal tower bridge in the western sannomaru after the stone walls of the castle were damaged.
December 1778 A request was made to rebuild the tower bridge in the western third circle after the stone walls of the castle were damaged.
February 10, 1806 Matsudaira Tadatomi became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
April 14, 1813 Matsudaira Tadanori became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
July 9, 1813 A ceremony was held at Kifune-jinja Shrine to bless the completion of a tower (and again on October 10 that year).
1825 The castle keep was repaired.
October 2, 1829 Matsudaira Tadanaga became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
January 28, 1846 The main residence in the honmaru part of Amagasaki Castle was lost to fire.
June 13, 1847 The main residence was rebuilt and a ceremony held.
November 4, 1854 The Amagasaki Castle main residence and towers were damaged in a major earthquake.
July 4, 1855 A request was made to the bakufu government to make repairs to the towers, connecting galleries, longhouse and roofless gate damaged in the earthquake.
August 6, 1861 Matsudaira Tadaoki became lord of the Amagasaki domain.
1873 A decision was made to abolish Japan’s castles, including Amagasaki Castle.