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Bitchu Matsuyama Castle
Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is one of the best three mountain castles in Japan. It is the highest among existing 12 castle towers in Japan. It is on top of a 480 m high mountain and heavy stone walls stand to guard it. The castle tower, the double turret, and a part of mud walls are designated as important cultural properties in Japan. From autumn to spring, you can see the castle floating in a sea of clouds from "Bitchu Matsuyama castle observation deck" in early morning and under certain conditions. This is the reason why it is called "Tenku no yamashiro (mountain castle in heaven)."
- Uchisange, Takahashi-shi, Okayama
- Contact No.
- Take a taxi from Bitchu Takahashi station on JR Line. After 10-min ride, walk 20 min.
- Opening Hours / Holidays
- April-September: 9:00-17:30
- Official Website
- Time Required
- 60 min
- Admission fee
- Adults: 300 yen
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
A castle tower located in the highest place in Japan
There are only 12 castle towers existing in Japan. Among them, the one located at Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is the highest, on top of the mountain and about 480 m above sea level. There are comparatively rare Irori (Japanese fireplace) and costume rooms on the 1st floor and a room to enshrine a god on the 2nd floor.
Heavy and tall "stone walls"
The castle is surrounded by forest with many tall trees and you will feel its long history since 1240. Heavy and tall wall stones stand to guard the castle. The view of the great and tall stone walls made with big rocks are just amazing. It reveals the magnificent figure of the old days.
Fantastical scene of a castle floating in a sea of clouds
In early morning from autumn to spring, you can see Bitchu Matsuyama Castle floating in a sea of clouds when the weather conditions are right. Bitchu Matsuyama Castle observation deck is on the next mountain to the one where the castle is located and is popular as a shooting spot. Known as Tenku no yamashiro (mountain castle in heaven), the fantastical view has unrealistic beauty and tourists from all over Japan visit.
Tenku no shiro (castle in heaven)
Speaking of a Tenku no shiro (castle in heaven) floating in a cloud sea, Takeda Castle in Hyogo is famous but it is rather similar to Machu Picchu, a ruin city in Peru. By contrast, Bitchu Matsuyama Castle still has an existing castle tower and that makes its view different and fantastical compared with Takeda Castle with only stone walls. It's fun to see the difference between them (Left: Takeda castle, Right: Bitchu Matsuyama castle).