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Tamamo Park, Spring 2024 (part two – the Sakura Gomon)

So, remember, a little more than a month ago, I went to Tamamo Park (aka Takamatsu Castle‘s grounds) for the first time in way too long. And while the cherry trees were still in bloom (see the link) the purpose of my visit was not flowers, but history and architecture. I wanted to see the rebuilt Sakura Gomon that I hadn’t seen yet for some reason.

Well, here it is:

Sakura Gomon Spring 2024 1

Some background information.

The “cherry gate” is one of the main and probably one of the oldest gates of Takamatsu Castle, it is present in some of the oldest representations of the castle, which was built in the late 16th Century. As you can see it’s a “tower gate.” It was designed as a National Treasure (nowadays we say “Important Cultural Property”) in 1944, but on July 4th, 1945, it was destroyed by American bombs along with most of the city.

Contrarily to many other cities throughout the country, the historical buildings that were destroyed in Takamatsu were not rebuilt as soon as tourism became a thing postwar. It is somewhat of a good thing, as all the castles that were rebuilt postwar were rebuilt in concrete, only vaguely looking like the original from the outside and not at all inside (think Osaka Castle, Okayama Castle and Hiroshima Castle to name the most famous in the area.)

So, when it was decided to rebuild Takamatsu Castle (the main keep was destroyed in the 19th Century, not because of WW2) it was decided to rebuild it as close as possible to the original, including the same materials and with traditional techniques. This has been posing a problem with the main keep as no blueprint was found and photographic evidence is scarce. Photography was not that widespread in this part of Japan when that part of the castle was destroyed.

Luckily, there are plenty of pictures of the original Sakura Gomon, but it was only in 2011 that the reconstruction project was started.

Sakura Gomon Spring 2024 4
Picture of the original gate (and the wall after its destruction)


After eight years of research, the gate’s reconstruction was started in 2019. It was finished in 2022 and I have no idea why it took me a year and a half to go see it at last.)


Sakura Gomon Spring 2024 2


Everything was rebuilt as close to the original at possible, and it was rebuilt by the finest traditional craftsmen possible.

(Note: the curtains were made by Okawahara-sensei of Team Ogi fame if you’re a long time reader of the blog or familiar with the Setouchi Triennale)


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It is possible to go inside where you’ll find a small exhibit explaining the reconstruction (only in Japanese if I’m correct)

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On the other side of the gate:


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And I’ll finish this post with a few close-ups of the door and the lantern:

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Alright, that’s all for today. There is a third part to that short visit to the park, I’ll try to post it as soon as possible, it’s mostly random pictures.


If you liked what you saw and haven’t done it yet:

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