A historical building that symbolizes Shimabara

History of Shimabara Castle

Shimabara Castle was built by “Matsukura Bungo-mamoru Shigemasa” over a period of seven years starting in the 4th year of the Genna Era (1618). The castle was built on a highland called Moridake at that time, with stone walls piled up and a moat dug.

All of the walls are made of nurigome (thickly painted walls made of clay). The five-tiered chalk keep (five-tiered keep with white walls) is at the core of the building. The five-story white-walled castle tower is the core of this structure, with 50 turrets of various sizes placed at strategic points…. The walls, with small windows for shooting arrows from the inside looking out, were 2,233 m long in total, and were built in the magnificent Azuchi-Momoyama period construction style.

Since then, the castle has been the residence of 19 generations of four clans for approximately 250 years, and has been the source of much history.
However, the decision was made to abandon the castle after the Meiji Restoration. The castle was dismantled in 1874, and for 90 years, only the ruins of the castle remained without the castle tower. In 1960, the west turret was restored, followed by the castle tower in 1964, the tower in 1973, the tower in 1973, the tower in 1973, and the turret in 1955, along with a long wall with an arrow between and a narrow space between guns.

Currently, the castle tower exhibits Christian materials as well as local and folk materials from the era of the feudal government.

Yazama Fence



1-1183-1 Jonouchi, Shimabara City, Nagasaki

Opening hours

9:00 – 17:30 (Admission until 17:00)


Shimabara Castle Keep Office (Shimabara Tourism Bureau Co., Ltd.)

Main Keep Admission Fee

Adults 700 yen, Junior high school and high school students 350 yen

*Tenjyukaku, Seimochi Memorial Hall, and Tourism Reconstruction Memorial Hall are all included in the admission fee.
*Groups of 15 or more people receive a double discount.
*Discounts for the handicapped are two off the regular price, including one accompanying person.

Parking Fee
  • Passenger cars: 500 yen
  • Small buses: 750 yen
  • Large buses: 1,500 yen
  • Motorcycle: 200 yen
Stamp locations for the 100 best castles in Japan

Shimabara Castle Keep Reception Desk
What is the 100 Greatest Castles of Japan?


About 10 minutes walk from Shimabara Station


Shimabara Castle 70,000 Koku Bushotai

The bushotai at Shimabara Castle appears every day to welcome visitors. There are four members in total. On weekends and public holidays, they also perform dances.

Facilities in Shimabara Castle

Tourism Reconstruction Memorial Hall / Shimabara Castle Honmaru Shop / Seibo Memorial Museum / Folk Tool Museum / West turret / Shimabara castle Onumamisho / Furuno Plum Garden / Shigemasa Matsukura Shrine of Ritual

Tourism Reconstruction Memorial Hall

The Tourism Reconstruction Memorial Hall was opened in May 1996. The museum is a two-story building, and visitors may enter from the second floor.

On the first floor, there is a theater room where visitors can watch a 15-minute video about the eruption of Unzen Fugendake and the subsequent reconstruction of the area. On the second floor, a limited-time exhibition is held.

Shimabara Castle Honmaru Shop

At the Shimabara Castle Honmaru Kiosk, we have a wide variety of Shimabara’s specialties and souvenirs. We also have “Kanzarashi”, a local sweet of Shimabara, “Gusoni”, a local dish, and other souvenirs of Nagasaki.

Inside the store, there is a teahouse where you can have a light meal. Here, you can enjoy Shimabara’s specialties such as “hand-pulled somen noodles,” “kanzarashi,” and “rokubee,” a specialty made from sweet potatoes and eaten in noodle form. The firm udon noodles are also very popular.

Seibo Memorial Museum

The Nishimochi Museum is a unique museum in the world that traces the nearly century-long creative activities of local artist Seibo Kitamura, who was awarded the Order of Cultural Merit. The Peace Statue, which exploded with his desire for peace after living through the turbulent period of World War II, is on display at the museum. Their wish for peace has left a strong impression on our hearts and minds.

Folk Tool Museum

The museum exhibits a variety of nostalgic folk tools that remind us of life in the Meiji, Taisho, and Showa eras. The clock in the photo is still running and showing almost accurate time by winding a spring every day.

West turret

Exhibits paintings of famous castles throughout Japan and other items. Paintings of castles throughout Japan on Japanese towels and various kokeshi dolls characteristic of each prefecture are on display. The front lawn area is used as a spot for commemorative photos with the castle tower in the background, and is also used for events.

Shimabara castle Onumamisho

This building was originally located in the San-no-maru area of Shimabara Castle and was relocated. It was built during the reign of feudal lord “Tadakazu Matsudaira” at the end of the Edo period, and was used as a place for the feudal lord to inspect the training of feudal warriors. It is a valuable sukiya-style building that has remained from the Edo period and is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan.

Furuno Plum Garden

The Furuno Plum Garden is located next to the shrine dedicated to Shigemasa Matsukura, a lord of the castle, on a high hill at the corner of the castle.

Shigemasa Matsukura Shrine of Ritual

There is a shrine located beside the Furuno Plum Garden. This is the shrine of “Lord Shigemasa Matsukura. Shigemasa Matsukura is the man who built Shimabara Castle here.

About the Matsukura Shigemasa Memorial Service

Outdoor Exhibits

Experience Shimabara Castle!

Experience staying at Shimabara Castle! “Shimabara Castle Camping”

Overnight stay experience with camping trailers and campers installed at Shimabara Castle! Permanently installed camping trailers are also available for overnight stays. Both camper car users and non-camper car users can enjoy this experience.

Shimabara Castle Camping

One-Coin Quiz for Enjoyable History Learning

Solve quiz questions installed on the 1st, 2nd, and 5th floors of the Main Keep for just one coin (100 yen) and learn through experience. The difficulty level of the questions is low, so anyone can enjoy learning history.

Riddle solving game at Shimabara Castle at night

Answer the riddles one after another and meet the giant Lord (shadow picture) who sits on the top floor of the castle tower! The free smartphone application “LINE” will be used. Let’s aim for the top floor by answering the LINE (Four Heavenly Kings)!

Castle Monster

Sneak into Shimabara Castle at night!

Shimabara Castle Keep at night is usually inaccessible. The atmosphere of the castle is dimly lit with flashlights as you walk through the castle, which has a different atmosphere from the daytime.
Each floor has a different theme color and original background music. On the top floor, you can enjoy the fantastical shadow play “Castle Monster” floating in the night sky and the night view of Shimabara.

Shimabara Castle Night Battle