Kokura Castle

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The keep
Kokura Castle from the nearby Japanese garden

Kokura Castle (小倉城, Kokura-jō) in Kitakyushu, Japan was built by Hosokawa Tadaoki in 1602. It was the property of the Ogasawara clan (from Harima) between 1632 and 1860. The castle was burnt down in 1866 during the war between the Kokura and Chōshū clans.[1]

Mori Ōgai was based at the castle at the turn of the 20th century, when it was a military base.

The keep was reconstructed in 1959, and the castle was fully restored in 1990. The Seichō Matsumoto museum and castle garden were opened in 1998. The old Japanese-style pre-Brunton lighthouse from Shirasu is in the castle grounds.

The old Shirasu lighthouse
The keep or donjon of Kokura Castle


The castle is about a ten-minute walk from JR Kyushu's Kokura Station. The North side of the moat is next to the Riverwalk shopping complex (completed in 2003).

Closer look at east side of the castle


The keep contains a modern folkloric museum and admission is charged to the keep (350 yen), garden (300 yen) and Matsumoto Seicho museum (400 yen). A joint ticket to the three attractions costs 700 yen.

The keep is not an accurate reconstruction. When it was reconstructed in 1959, the designers opted for a more aesthetically appealing design instead of faithfully rebuilding the simpler structure that once stood on the site.[1]

Cherry blossoms (sakura) and the keep of Kokura Castle, March 2002

Kokura castle in western kokura
Kokura Castle floors information


  • Schmorleitz, Morton S. (1974). Castles in Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Co. ISBN 0-8048-1102-4. 
  1. ^ a b "Jcastle: Kokura Castle". Archived from the original on 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°53′04″N 130°52′27″E / 33.884444°N 130.874256°E / 33.884444; 130.874256