Bitchu Matsuyama Castle: Sea of clouds view from the mountain castle in the sky│Okayama Japan

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle, located in Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture, is proud to be one of Japan’s top 100 castles due to its magnificent mountain castle and historical value.

This castle is the only mountain castle among the 12 existing castle towers, and due to its uniqueness, it is also called the ”Castle in the Sky”.


Overview and characteristics of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

This mountain castle is spread out over the four peaks of Mt. Gagyusu, and the Honmaru, Ninomaru, and Sannomaru are arranged in a staircase pattern.

In particular, the main enclosure is located at the summit of Mt. Gagyusan, Komatsuyama, and can be reached by hiking 1,500 meters from the castle town at the foot of the mountain, which takes about an hour.

Bicchu Matsuyama Castle is said to have been built mainly in preparation for war, and was not used much during peacetime.

This castle ruins has been designated as a national historic site, and part of the castle tower, double turret, and earthen wall built in the Edo period have been designated as important cultural properties.

In addition, stone walls, restored turrets, gates, and earthen walls still exist, making it one of Japan’s three great mountain castles.

Townscape of Bitchu Takahashi

The castle town surrounding Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is also full of historical value and charm.

This castle town was lined with the palaces and samurai residences of the feudal lords of the Bicchu Matsuyama domain, and prospered as the center of domain government.

Today, it is still considered a townscape preservation district, and includes the site of Onegaya, the Takahashi samurai residence, and the former Hanihara family.

Spectacular view of the sea of clouds and observation deck at Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is known not only for its historical charm, but also for its sea of clouds.
When the time and conditions are right, this castle offers a beautiful view of floating in a sea of clouds.
Its appearance is as beautiful as a castle in the sky, and it has fascinated tourists.

The best time to see a sea of clouds at Bitchu Matsuyama Castle is from late September to early April, and especially from late October to early December.

However, please be aware that there may be snowfall from December to the end of February.
In addition, the conditions for the appearance of a sea of clouds include (1) clear skies with no wind, and (2) a large temperature difference between day and night. We recommend checking local weather information and dense fog advisories.

A special spot to enjoy the sea of clouds is the Bitchu Matsuyama Castle Unkai Observatory.
From this observation deck, you can see Bitchu Matsuyama Castle floating in a sea of clouds, and the magnificent view is worth a visit.

Basic information about Bitchu Matsuyama Castle

Basic InfoBitchu Matsuyama Castle
 Yamashita 1, Takahashi City,
 Okayama Prefecture
Business hours
 April-September: 9:00-17:30
 October to March: 9:00 to 16:30
 Adults 500 yen,
 elementary and junior high school
 200 yen
 *Group discount available
 Fuigotoge parking lot: 14 spaces
 *20 minutes walk to the castle tower
 Shiromachi Station: 110 spaces
 *50 minutes walk to the castle tower

Restaurant search/reservation

Have a great trip with delicious food!

Surrounding touring spots


Bitchu Matsuyama Castle stands in Takahashi City, Okayama Prefecture, and is the pride of Japan’s 100 famous castles, and its presence stands out even among mountain castles.
In this article, we have delved into the charm of Bitchu Matsuyama Castle.

Bitchu Matsuyama Castle’s historical background and magnificent natural environment are in perfect harmony, providing visitors with a moving experience.

As a tourist attraction in Japan, this castle represents a combination of history and beauty, and is definitely worth a visit.

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