An unusual area in the shape of a pentagon created by a castle-building master
The castle was established in its current location in 1601 by Takatora Todo. The city of Uwajima is located in one of Japan’s foremost Rias coastal zones with the majority of the castle area skillfully taking advantage of the topography facing the sea during its construction. When looking at the exterior of the castle from the sky, the level pentagonal territory with unequal sides (akikaku no nawa) combined with the square castle creates an optical illusion of sorts which is seen as a design only possible by the master castle builder Takatora whose influence can be seen everywhere. Anyone attacking the castle would assume the territory was square-shaped, but since the area actually has five sides, one side is an empty corner. This empty corner is not only a defensive point but it is also a point to counterattack the enemy, a design that had never been seen in any other castle.
The excellently-preserved castle keep with its surviving sliding doors
The current keep which was rebuilt in 1671 by Munetoshi Date has continued to retain its basic construction since the days of Takatora. Currently, the moat has been completely buried and 280,000 square meters of the castle area starting with the outermost perimeter have been lost but the approximately 100,000 square meters of the castle hill with facilities such as the inner citadel and an inner perimeter are now recognized as a National Historic Site. The keep, or castle tower, of Uwajima Castle is one of the 12 remaining keeps in Japan and has been designated as a National Important Cultural Property. As well, the gate at the southern entrance to the castle has been recognized as a cultural property by the city. The 3-floor keep is well-preserved and the sliding doors on the inner side of the corridors have retained their original shape. From the top floor of the keep, you can get a panoramic view of the city of Uwajima. Also, the castle hill has avoided fire and deforestation for over 300 years so there is a luxuriant growth of 400 species of plants so that it is a paradise of giant trees and unusual flora.