The castle was constructed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1583, following his victory over Takeda shingen's heir, Takeda Katsuyori, the previous year. Kōfu Castle was the strongest castle, apart from Edo Castle, in the Kanto region. It was also considered to be the residence of the lord closest to the shogun, up until Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu became lord of Kōfu Castle.
From 1724 to the end of the Edo Period, the lordship of Kōfu Castle changed regularly, with around 200 lords the end of Edo Period. While Kofu was a castle town of the Takeda, though they ruled from the Tsutsujigasaki Yakata.
A serious fire in 1727 destroyed the Honmaru (central building) and the Akagenenmon Gate. The castle was eventually abandoned during the Meiji Era (1868 — 1912). After that, it was used for a while as an industrial testing ground.
There is a fair amount of reconstruction of the important castle features on site by the city of Kofu. An authentic replica of Inari Yagura tower was completed in 2004, which functions as a museum that features many artifacts from the castle's original buildings. Other reconstructions include the Inari Yagura and Yamanote Gomon gate, and reconstructed towers and a park.
A train station was built in the middle of the site, which inhibits reconstruction.
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