Japanese Castle Explorer

by Daniel O'Grady

Castles of the Samurai: Power and Beauty Strongholds of the Samurai: Japanese Castles 250-1877

Takashima Castle

Images: Daniel O'Grady


Takashima Domain

1600 - 1601

Hineno Clan

* Koku

1601 - 1871

Suwa Clan

30,000 Koku

Takashima Castle is classified as a flatland castle (its layout: Renkakushiki), and is located in Nagano Prefecture. During the pre-modern age, it found itself within the borders of Shinano Province. It is associated with the Suwa clan. Dates in use: 1592 - 1871.

This floating castle received its nickname by being built upon a small island in lake Suwa. The island was actually formed by the lake & by redirecting several rivers. Uniquely, it is the highest flatland castle in Japan and on a clear day, Mt Fuji can be seen from its reconstructed main tower.

My visit here was extremely brief. I'll put that down to the fact that there is a great many things to see in Nagano Pref. Anyway, I was rather impressed with what was on offer at this reconstructed castle. The stonework was roughly cut yet very well fitting and the grounds were in good condition. The Tenshu houses a small museum & also within the main enclosure is a pleasant shrine.

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


1590 The area was taken control of by one of Toyotomi Hideyoshi's generals, Takayoshi Hineno. He established himself at the existing fortifications of the former Takashima castle on Mt. Chausuyama.
1592 Construction of the castle commenced.
1598 Construction of the castle was completed.
1601 The Suwa clan were transferred here & remained here throughout the Edo period.
1875 The main tower was torn down.
1876 The grounds became open to the public.
1970 The main tower & supporting buildings were reconstructed.