The Ruins of Saga Castle

The Ruins of Saga Castle

The Ruins of Saga Castle The ruins of Nabeshima's 0.36 million koku shogun castle are known as the symbol of Saga city. Originally, Saga Castle was completed in 1611 when a father and son, Naoshige and Katsushige Nabeshima, performed expansion and maintenance work on the Muranaka Castle built by the former lord Ryuzoji of Saga. Saga Castle is a castle built on the plains with the main enclosure of the castle stretching 70 ken (about 126 m) from east to west and 68 ken (about 122 m) from north to south. There was once a 5-tier castle tower in the northwestern part and the height of the stone walls is believed to have been 5 ken (about 9 m). The castle was surrounded by a moat with a bank that was 80 m in width. This moat was designed to prevent others from peeking inside the castle by planting pine trees and camphor trees around its bank. Due to repeated fires, the castle has been burnt down and reconstructed several times. In addition, although a portion of the castle was destroyed during the Saga Rebellion let by Shinpei Eto in 1874, the remaining buildings were dismantled regularly due to deterioration and today, only the Shachi no Mon, or Killer Whale Gate, remains leading to the main enclosure of the castle and linking the turrets and stone walls. The walls of Shachi no Mon are white, and two bronze killer whales, which are the origin of its name, are positioned on either side of the gate. Bullet holes from the Saga Rebellion can still be seen in the magnificent gate and doors, an indication of how furious the battles were at that time. Shachi no Mon and its linking turrets have been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Today, the entire moat surrounding the castle ruins has become part of Saga Prefectural Saga Castle Park, where water birds and Japanese carp swim around the moat and there are small and large water fountains and a recreational ground. The moat is graced by cherry blossoms, azaleas and lotus flowers, making it a perfect walking trail for showing off the seasonal colors. Another attraction is a row of huge camphor trees found at the end of the moat that are presumed to be over 300 years old. These camphor trees have been selected as a natural monument designated by the prefecture.


● Access:
From train station: 30-minute walk or 10-minute taxi ride from Saga Station on the JR Nagasaki Main Line
Car: 20-minute drive from Nagasaki Expressway Saga-Yamato IC
Bus: Get on Saga City Bus on the Saga Joseki Line at the Saga Station Bus Center. A minute walk from Saga Joseki stop

● Parking Lot: Accommodates 10 cars (free of charge)

● Contact: Division of Tourism Promotion, Saga City Government, Tel: +81-952-40-7110


  • Hi-res4K SAGA
  • Doganshitato? SAGA TRAVEL SUPPORT
  • Kyushu Expressway Pass
  • KYUSHU-SAGA International AIRPORT
  • Saga Trip Genius YouTube Channel
  • Saga Tourism Brochure