Jindaiji Castle (深大寺城 Jindaiji-jō) is adjacent to Jindai-ji temple (深大寺) in Chōfu, Tōkyō, on the northern banks of Tama River. It is unknown when the castle was constructed, but according to excavations conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Chōfu City Board of Education Jindaiji Castle was built in the 15th century.
When the Hōjō advanced into Sagami Province (modern-day Kanagawa Prefecture) in the 16th century, the Ogigayatsu Uesugi clan integrated the castle into their line of defensive fortresses in southern Musashi. However, it lost its strategic importance after Hōjō Ujiyasu won the Battle of Kawagoe in 1545, annihilating the allied forces of the Uesugi and Ashikaga Haruuji. The castle was later abandoned. As it had never been reconstructed, it had never been affected by later developments in castle construction and therefore remained a valuable example of medieval Japanese castle architecture.
The site of the former castle is located southeast of Jindai-ji temple, just south of Jindai Botanical Garden (神代植物公園 Jindai shokubutsu kōen). At the entrance of the garden, I turned right and walked towards the hill.
Further up the hill was the second enclosure. Stones had been placed in its open space to indicate the outline of the former walls.
The enclosure was surrounded by an earthwork.
Dried moats spanned between the first and the second enclosure. Originally, the moats were deeper, but they were covered with soil to protect the remains.
The first enclosure was overgrown by thick vegetation. The castle must have been a rather simple structure.
In contrast with the deserted castle site, Jindai-ji temple closeby was full of worshipers.
On the day of my visit, Hozuki (ground cherry) Fair was held in the precincts of the temple.
Date of visit: 20 July 2013
- Address: Jindaiji-motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo
- Transportation: Jindaiji-mae bus stop from Keio line Chofu station by bus, 3 kilometres from Chuo Expressway Chofu Interchange via Prefectural Route 12
- Other sights: Jindaiji Temple - Jindaiji Sightseeing Course（Japanese: Choufu Sightseeing Association Website)