Travel and Adventure

Marugame Castle

Marugame Castle has some of the most impressive stone walls in Japan.

Marugame Castle

From the elevated tracks of the station, Marugame Castle presents a peculiar appearance — a single, small tower perched atop massive stone fortifications. This is because the walls were intended for a grander edifice.

Marugame Castle was originally built between 1597 to 1602 by Ikoma Chikamasa, the feudal lord who also built Tamamo Castle in Takamatsu. But due to a new shōgunal ruling that limited the number of castles in each province to one, Marugame Castle was dismantled only thirteen years after its completion. When the province was divided in two, Yamazaki Ieharu was permitted to rebuild Marugame, and most of what remains today dates from his reconstruction in 1664.

Marugame is defined as a hilltop castle. In the Edo period, it lay within the borders of Sanuki Province. It was in use from 1597 to 1871. Besides the stone walls, only a few of the buildings at Marugame Castle still stand today —  the Ōte Ichino Gate, Ōte Nino Gate, and the keep, which underwent a major restoration in 1950.

The castle is located a short walk from the train station. A bridge across the moat leads into a square enclosure, which would have been lethal to attackers. The magnificent gateway to the right is topped with a long guardroom that you’re free to enter. A series of concrete pathways lead up through a ziggurat of massive walls with various defensive features. Some of the stones in the walls are marked with symbols indicating which vassals provided them. You emerge in the honmaru inner enclosure at the top, which affords a 350-degree panorama of Marugame, including the distinctively shaped Mt. Iinoyama.

Inside the keep, various exhibits present the life and culture of the samurai. A fresh breeze blows through the windows of the top floor, which offers views of the scenery framed by roof tiles.


Nipponia Hotels offers a luxurious castle stay in a three-hundred-year-old samurai residence within the walls of Marugame Castle.


Name in Japanese: 丸亀城

Pronunciation: maru-game-jō

Address:Ichibancho, Marugame, Kagawa 763-0025

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