In Marukame City, Kagawa Prefecture, lies an extant castle tower called Marukame Castle. This castle, quite famous for its great stone walls, is also known as Kameyama Castle.
Under an old ruling by the government called Haijyorei, most of Japan's original castles were unfortunately dismantled as part of a then modernisation program. As a result, there are only 12 extant castle towers in Japan today so naturally Marukame Castle is considered precious.
In 1597, Ikoma Chikamasa and his son Kazumasa began the construction of the castle which was completed six years later. Despite being somewhat smaller than the other castles, the remaining tower really allows visitors to feel the sense of history here. Among Shikoku's wooden castle towers, Marukame's is the oldest one.
The stone walls supporting the castle are simply splendid with the highest wall being over twenty metes in height. At the entrance to Marukame Castle can be found the Oteichi-no-mon gate while straight ahead lies the Oteini-no-mon gate. The Izure-no-mon gate, with its fine appearance, was also built in the same year as the two other gates. Climbing up the castle, you can see the great view over the city.
Chikamasa also built another castle in Kagawa named Takamatsu Castle. This castle also went by the pseudonym of Tamamo Castle and has now been registered as a National Important Historical Property as Takamatsu Castle Ruins and Tamamo Park.
Kagawa used to be called Sanuki and Sanuki udon noodles are a very famous dish originating from this area. If you visit Kagawa, you must try the noodles as they are simply delicious. The Shikoku area is also famous for the Ohenro 88 Temple Pilgrimage.
All of this and more help to Marukame Castle even more interesting visit than it already is.
(Please note that in order to stop the spread of Covid-19, the castle is temporarily closed to visitors . Please check the official website for further information.)
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