Shimabara Castle 400th Anniversary Events


Shimabara Castle stands proudly in the land of Shimabara. This magnificent castle was completed by Lord Shigemasa Bungo Matsukura over a period of seven years in the 4th year of the Genna Era (1618). Centered around the five-story castle tower, 16 large and small turrets in the Honmaru and Ninomaru areas, and 31 flat turrets in the outer circle, make up this masterpiece of early modern castle architecture.

Looking around the castle, one can see a massive 5,320-meter-long yasama-wall, a magnificent fortification that combined the stone wall construction techniques of the early Edo period with the Momoyama period’s view of castle construction. The castle experienced actual warfare during the Shimabara-Amakusa Revolt in 1637, and suffered the historical catastrophe of the Shimabara Great Shimabara Earthquake of 1792, which resulted in the collapse of Bizan and a tsunami. However, in 1873, the castle was sold to the private sector in accordance with the “decree to abolish the castle,” and by 1876, regrettably, most of the castle tower and turrets were dismantled. Nevertheless, the castle tower was restored in 1964, and it remains the pride of the citizens to this day. In 2024, Shimabara Castle will celebrate the 400th anniversary of its construction. In this commemorative year, various events will be held to look back on the rich history and culture of Shimabara Castle and the castle town, and to hand them down to the future. Through these commemorative events, efforts will be launched to discover new attractions of Shimabara Castle and pass them on to the next generation. Please join us on the journey of Shimabara Castle from now on.

Shimabara Castle Countdown – Let’s welcome the 400th anniversary of the castle with a smile!

Time: December 31, 2023 (Sun.) 8:00 p.m. – January 1, 2024 (Mon., holiday) 1:00 p.m.
Place Shimabara Castle
Inquiries Shimabara Tourism Section or Shimabara Castle (0957-62-4766)

Shimabara Castle Sword Exhibition

Date: Saturday, January 6, 2024 – Sunday, January 21, 2024
Place: Shimabara Castle
Inquiries: Shimabara Castle (0957-62-4766)

Shimabara Castle Open to the Public Free of Charge

When Thursday, February 1 – Thursday, February 29, 2024
Place Shimabara Castle
Inquiries Shimabara Tourism Section or Shimabara Castle (0957-62-4766)

NHK (E-television) Teledomo! (Public recording)

(Public recording) Date February 17, 2024 (Sat.) Doors open 3:00 p.m. Concert begins 3:30 p.m. – Concert ends 4:30 p.m.
Place: Shimabara City Ariake Cultural Hall
Inquiries: City Promotion Division

Lottery Sports Fair Dream Soccer in Shimabara

Date February 17 (Sat.) – 18 (Sun.), 2024
Place Shimabara Athletic Field
Inquiries: Sports Division

Shimabara Castle Umehana Tea Ceremony

When Sunday, February 18, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Place: Shimabara Castle Gomamimisho
Fee 500 yen (with sweets)
Inquiries Shimabara Tourism Section

Business trip! Nandemo Kanteidan in Shimabara (public recording)

Date February 25, 2024 (Sun.) Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Concert begins at 1:30 p.m.
Place: Shimabara City Cultural Hall (Main Hall)
Inquiry Shimabara Tourism Section or City Promotion Section

Shimabara Castle Spring Festival

When Sunday, March 24, 2024
Place Shimabara Castle
Inquiries Shimabara Castle (0957-62-4766)

Shimabara Castle Cherry Blossom Tea Ceremony

When March 24 (Sun.), 2024 (10:00-15:00) ╱ March 31 (Sun.), 2024 (10:00-15:00)
Place Shimabara Castle Gomamisha
Fee 500 yen (with sweets)
Inquiry Shimabara Tourism Section

Shimabara Cosplay Rebellion Spring

Date Sunday, March 24, 2024
Place Various places in the city
Fee Participation fee 1,500 yen
Inquiries Shimabara Cosplay Ran Executive Committee (050-5216-0827)