“They’re building a castle in Amagasaki? You’re kidding!”
“Yes, Amagasaki is actually the ideal castle town!”
Amagasaki, the town with spirit, has actually rebuilt Amagasaki Castle. Yes, Amagasaki was once a castle town, and has become one once again. The castle town is place of great spirit and nostalgia, boasting welcoming shopping streets, local gourmet offerings exhibiting much hospitality, and temples in Teramachi offering much to the sightseer, boat racing full of excitement, photogenic factory scenes, and many other exciting attractions. Not to mention the cultural appeal of the richly emotional Ningyo Joruri (traditional Japanese puppetry), historical features, cultural offerings, gourmet foods, and leisure activities. Whatever strikes your fancy, Amagasaki has it! Amagasaki, the castle town, always offers something extra.
Responding to Calls for the Reconstruction
of Amagasaki Castle
The original Amagasaki Castle was demolished during the Meiji Restoration. Following a period of rapid urbanization, the castle town underwent a complete change in appearance. However, public nostalgia for the castle was not lost, many voices were raised many times in support of a castle rebuilding project. These efforts were sadly abandoned by a lack of funds and economic downturns. However, a man born in Amagasaki who had founded a successful electronics retailer and knew the history of the castle decided that he would give back to his hometown, the city in which he founded his business. He generously invested more than one billion yen in the Amagasaki Castle main tower construction project.
This man’s commitment resonated strongly among the citizens and his colleagues who had deep ties to Amagasaki. Donations were solicited through campaigns offering “one-share castle lords” and purchases of “one roof tile,” eventually raising 190 million yen toward the project.
By the end of the Heisei era (2019), the curtain was raised on the magnificent main castle tower, which represented a defensive barrier for western Osaka. Amagasaki had finally achieved its dream of restoring its long-lost castle.
- 27 Kitajonai, Amagasaki
- Admission Fee: Adults and university students: 500 yen; Senior high school and younger students: 250 yen
- 09:00–17:00 (no admission after 16:30)
- Closed Mondays (or next day when Monday is public holiday) and December 29–January 2
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.