Built in 1606 by Matsumae Yoshihiro, it burned down in 1637 but was rebuilt in 1639. Later, modern defences were built on the site in 1850. The donjon of Matsumae Castle was 30 metres (98 ft) high. In 1875, the administrative building, three turrets, and an artillery position were torn down, before the remaining donjon and main gate burned down in 1949; it is now all a park.
It once controlled all passengers through Hokkaidō to the rest of Japan.