Shimabara Castle, Shimabara

#3 of 8 in Historic Sites in Shimabara
Shimabara Castle, also known as Moritake Castle and Takaki Castle, is a Japanese castle located in Shimabara, Hizen Province (present day Nagasaki prefecture). This five-story white building stands in stark contrast to the black Kumamoto Castle in neighboring Kumamoto Prefecture.DescriptionShimabara Castle is a flatland castle, located between Ariake Bay and Mount Unzen. The outer moats, some 15 meters deep and between 30–50 meters wide, extended 360 meters east-west and 1260 meters north-south, with the enclosed area divided into three baileys. The walls extended for 3900 meters and had 16 yagura of various sizes at key points. The main donjon had five stories, and a height of 33 meters, and was connected to two secondary keeps, each with three stories. In terms of scale, it was far larger than normal for a daimyō with revenues of only 40,000 koku.HistoryThe Arima clan, who were Kirishitan daimyō, ruled over Shimabara Domain in the late Muromachi period from Hinoe Castle and Hara Castle. After the start of the national isolation policy, the Tokugawa Bakufu banned Christianity from 1614 and replaced Arima Naozumi with Matsukura Shigemasa. Matsukura, who strictly enforced the prohibition against Christianity with mass executions, also severely raised taxes to pay for the construction of his new Shimabara Castle from 1618-1624. This oppression of the peasants was a major factor leading to the Shimabara Rebellion.
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Shimabara Castle Reviews
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42 reviews
  • August 15, 2017
    Shimabara Castle and the Samurai residence area remains with the old. Throughout the spring, good atmosphere. However, in mid-July, summer climax was so hot anyway. During good weather, and great walks.
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  • July 8, 2017
    Without enough hot peak of summer it was felt the streets and serene environment. We crossed by ferry from choshu, observing the Shimabara Kumamoto port en route to enjoyed like a bus stop.
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  • April 10, 2017
    Lower class Samurai I if castle-town atmosphere remains slightly Teppo-Cho lived. Only extant Samurai are slightly 3. There is a scenic waterway and only the stone walls remain on the system in the middle of the road, but what little part. Wanted there seems to be little the town atmosphere. The imagined looking at pictures and have followed this view more, wet blanket. You'd better not expect overly Castle.
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  • December 25, 2016
    Excellent small history museum, lovely gardens with exhibition statues. Café and souvenir shop both excellent. Castle has great views of Mount Unzen on fifth floor.
  • January 2, 2017
    Beautiful castle and its surrounding stone sculptures. Very nice panoramic views from the top deck
  • May 26, 2016
    The 5-floor castle was ruined and now rebuilt. Definitely worthy to visit and take a look. By the way, the Top 100 Castle stamp is located at the ticket booth when you enter the castle.
  • January 5, 2016
    Another castle on my list to tick off. I was pleasantly surprised by th a sculptures in the grounds. Nearby is a really nice buke yashiki, samurai street.
  • June 7, 2016
    360° big view of shimabara on top floor

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