Bitchu-Takahashi, or Takahashi for short, first developed
as a castle town at the base of Matsuyama Castle. The
“Bitchu” part of the name is added to avoid confusion with
other places with the same name, Bitchu being the
surrounding region. Takahashi is distinguished for its
Matsuyama Castle, which is the oldest original castle in
Japan and is the only mountaintop castle remaining. The
city is also known for its preserved Old Town, which sits
at the base of the mountain. Majority of the town’s
attractions are all within walking distance, and the area
can be easily explored on foot. This includes Raikyuji
Temple, which has a Zen garden that was designed by
the famed Kobori Enshu.
The Takahashi Old Town was once a thriving castle town of craftsmen, merchants, and samurai. Its historic streets possess a few restored merchant and samurai homes that are open to public. There is also a temple and a couple of museums for visitors to learn of the town’s local history and culture. Not to mention, a discounted combination ticket is available for purchase so tourists can gain admission to the Matsuyama Castle, Raikyuji Temple, the Haibara Samurai Residence, the Orii Samurai Residence, and the Takahashi Historical Museum.
Chugoku | Okayama | Bitchu-Takahashi
The Bitchu-Matsuyama Castle is the only remaining mountain-top castle among Japan’s twelve original castles, and is the highest with an elevation of 430 meters.