When you imagine coming to Japan go visit, one thing you really need to try to visit is a proper castle. While medieval conflict over the centuries resulted in a lot of wooden structures being burned down, and many more destroyed during U.S. air raids during World War 2, you would think it quite improbable to find much remaining.
But there are castles yet to see, and places to explore and enjoy. Marugame Castle is no exception. Marugame castle was first established in the year 1587, and changed hands several times over the next few hundred years. First owned by Ikoma Chikamasa, he passed the castle on to his son, Ikoma Kazumasa. The castle was later in the hands of Yamasaki Ieharu who had supported the daimyo in suppressing an uprising in the 1638 Shimabara Rebellion. Some time later, in 1644, the castle was taken over by the Kyougoku clan who maintained and expanded the facilities. In 1869 there was a serious fire that destroyed many wooden buildings. What we see today in Marugame is a mostly restored construction upon the original high castle walls. Even so, the site is impressive and gorgeous to see and photograph from all sides.
The site is quite expansive and you can see the whole city from the top, after you climb a fair number of stairs to get there! A great trip and a terrific place to take in the scenery! Highly recommended as a day trip, and easily accessible by train. Once you get to Marugame just look up. You will see the castle on the hill, and you just can’t miss it!