The Shimizu-mon Gate is a simple but interesting square gate with a Korai-mon gate and a turret gate

Shimizu-mon Gate
Shimizu-mon Gate at Edo Castle
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From Uchibori Street, there is a narrow path extending into the inner moat towards the Imperial Palace. The inner moat on the right is Ushigafuchi Moat and the one on the left is Shimizu Moat. At the end of the narrow path, there is a small bridge called Shimizu-mon Bridge, and once you cross it, the Shimizu-mon Gate, built in 1658, awaits you.

Shimizu-mon Gate is a modest gate. Not many people pass through this gate, so there is no need to have a gate here nowadays. However, the site of the indeside of the gate used to be the residence of the three noble families, the Tayasu Tokugawa and Shimizu Tokugawa families. When you pass through this gate, you are inside Edo Castle.

For this reason, even the unassuming Shimizu-mon Gate was built in consideration of what would happen if the enemy attacked. There is a space in front of the gate (the first gate) built into the stone wall surrounding Edo Castle, so that you have to make a right-angle turn once to enter the castle. This is to prevent the enemy from approaching the gate in a straight line. In addition, there is another gate in front of the gate (the second gate) so that allies can prepare in the space between the gates, and if the enemy should enter, they can shoot them here. This type of gate is called a Masugata. In this picture, the Korai-mon gate in the foreground is the second gate, and the Yagura-mon gate in the background is the first gate.

The Shimizu-mon Gate, which was built with an attack on the castle in mind, has never been the scene of a castle siege. It's no wonder that Edo Castle has never been attacked throughout the Edo period. The highlight of the unassuming Shimizu-mon Gate, which has no history of battles, was when the imperial princess Kazunomiya entered the palace of the 14th shogun Tokugawa Ieshige through this gate in 1862 as part of the policy of unification of the shogunate and the Imperial Court.

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Shooting Date

Feb 2021

Posted On

August 31, 2021

Modified On

August 18, 2023


Kitanomaru Park, Tokyo


Architectural Photography



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