Fushimi Momoyama Castle

Fushimi Castle, also known as Momoyama Castle, is a historical fortress located in southern Kyoto. Despite its current tranquil surroundings, the castle has a tumultuous past, marked by destruction, battles, and even mass suicide. Built in the late 16th century by an army of thousands of workers, Fushimi Castle quickly became a significant stronghold during the Warring States period in japan.

The construction of Fushimi Castle was an impressive feat, with an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 workers involved in its creation. This massive workforce reflects the importance and ambition behind the castle’s construction. However, the castle’s early days were plagued by misfortune. Just two years after its completion, an earthquake struck and destroyed much of the castle. This devastating event was a significant setback, but it did not deter those who saw the strategic value of the fortress.

One of the most notable events in Fushimi Castle’s history occurred during the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600. After the death of warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the castle came under the control of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who sought to unify Japan. However, Ieyasu eventually left the castle to engage in the battle, leaving it in the hands of loyal samurai Torii Mototada. Mototada valiantly defended the castle against a 13-day siege, but ultimately succumbed to the enemy’s forces. This battle marked a turning point in Japanese history, as it solidified Ieyasu’s power and led to the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate.

After the enemy declared victory, Fushimi Castle was dismantled and its materials were scattered throughout Japan. The castle’s floors were stained with the blood of Mototada and his men, who committed ritual suicide upon their defeat. These bloodstained floors were repurposed as ceilings in various temples across Kyoto, serving as a grim reminder of the castle’s tragic past. One such temple is Genkoan, located in the northwest of Kyoto.

Today, Fushimi Castle stands as a modern replica built in 1964 near the original site. While it may not bear a strong resemblance to the original fortress, it serves as a tribute to its historical significance. Visitors can freely explore the castle grounds and admire the twin keeps, but access to the interior is restricted. The castle’s remote location from other tourist attractions often results in a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for a secluded picnic during the spring or autumn seasons.

To reach Fushimi Castle, visitors can take the Kintetsu-Kyoto Line from Kyoto Station to Kintetsu-Tambabashi Station. From there, it is a 20-minute walk to the castle. The castle’s location in a residential area provides a glimpse into the daily lives of local residents, offering a unique perspective on Kyoto’s history and culture.

In conclusion, Fushimi Castle, also known as Momoyama Castle, is a historical fortress with a rich and dramatic history. From its construction by thousands of workers to its destruction by an earthquake and subsequent battles, the castle has witnessed significant events that shaped Japan’s history. The mass suicide of loyal samurai and the repurposing of bloodstained floors in temples serve as reminders of the castle’s tragic past. Today, visitors can explore the modern replica of Fushimi Castle and appreciate its historical significance in a serene and secluded setting.

Address And Maps Location:

45 Okura Momoyama-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu

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