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  1. Edo Castle

    Travel Edo Castle

    Edo Castle (江戸城 Edo-jō) was built by Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌, 1432-1486) in 1457. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), it was the administrative headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the residence of the shōgun, and the largest castle in Japan at its time. Although it is classified as a flatland castle (平城...
  2. Futagamiyama Castle

    Futagamiyama Castle

    Futagamiyama Castle (二上山城 Futagamiyama-jō) is located in Iwami Town in Tottori Prefecture. It was a fortress constructed by Yamana Tokiuji (山名時氏), a commander of the Nanboku-chō Period (1336 to 1392) when the Northern Court, supported by Shogun Ashikaga Takauji, and the Southern Court...
  3. Castles of the Samurai

    History Castles of the Samurai

    From the Publisher The castles of Japan are both technical and aesthetic marvels. They are technical marvels in that they are perfectly suited to their roles of defensive fortresses and administrative centers in time of war. They are aesthetic marvels in that every curve and line reflects an...
  4. Sugaya Castle

    Travel Sugaya Castle

    Sugaya Castle (菅谷城) is located in Ranzan, Hiki District, in Saitama Prefecture and allegedly the site of the former residence of Hatakeyama Shigetada, an important retainer of the Kamakura Shogunate in the early Kamakura period (1185-1333). The castle was designated a National Historic Site in...
  5. Ogura Castle

    Travel Ogura Castle

    Ogura Castle (小倉城) is a Sengoku-era hilltop castle located in Tokigawa Town, Saitama Prefecture. It stretched over three mountain ridges and was situated just 600 metres from the Tsuki River, forming a natural stronghold that allowed to monitor the traffic on the river. It was fortified with...
  6. Tenjinyama Castle

    Travel Tenjinyama Castle

    This article is about castle ruins that are a little bit different from what we usually explore. Tenjinyama Castle (天神山城) is located in Nagatoro, Saitama Prefecture, on top of a hill on the eastern bank of the Arakawa River. The map is based on Google Earth; the location of the enclosure...
  7. Koga Castle

    Travel Koga Castle

    Koga City is situated on the westernmost tip of Ibaraki Prefecture, at the confluence of Tone River in the south and Watarase River in the west. The town prospered as an important traffic point along the Nikko Highway. Koga Castle (古河城 Koga-jō) was built in the late Heian Era on the banks of the...
  8. Hachigata Castle

    Travel Hachigata Castle

    Hachigata Castle (鉢形城), located in Yorii-machi, Saitama Prefecture, is a hilltop castle (山城 yamashirō) that formed a natural fortress between the Arakawa River and the Fukazawa River. Modern-day Yorii is a vital traffic hub where JR Hachikō Line, Tōbu Tōjō Line and Chichibu Railway intersect...
  9. Masugata Castle

    Travel Masugata Castle

    Masugata Castle (枡形城 Masugata-jō) is located in Tama Ward, Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. The castle was constructed on a hill facing the southern banks of Tama River. This map is based on Tokyo Terrain Map powered by gridscapes.net ). The castle site formed a formidable stronghold...
  10. Kozukue Castle

    Travel Kozukue Castle

    The remains of Kozukue Castle (小机城 Kozukue-jō) are located in present-day Kōhoku Ward, Yokohama. The castle was thought to be built by the Uesugi clan during the Eikyō Rebellion (永享の乱 Eikyō-no-ran) in 1438/39. The Uesugi were a powerful samurai family that descended from the Fujiwara, and that...
  11. Inohana Castle

    Travel Inohana Castle

    Inohana Castle (亥鼻城 ), also known as Chiba Castle, is located in Chiba City and was constructed on the Inohana Plateau, close to the present-day Chiba Prefectural Office. The Chiba clan (千葉氏), a cadet branch of the Kanmu Heike clan,* established a fortification there as early as 1126. For some...
  12. Miharu Castle

    Travel Miharu Castle

    Miharu Castle (三春城) is located in Miharu-machi in the Abukuma Mountains, 10km east of Koriyama in Fukushima Prefecture. Being an old castle town, Miharu has many temples and a picturesque town centre held in traditional Japanese style. The castle lies on a hill called Shiroyama and faces the...
  13. Tsuchiura Castle

    Travel Tsuchiura Castle

    Tsuchiura Castle (土浦城 Tsuchiura-jō) is a flatland castle (平城 hirajiro) located in the wetlands along the western shore of Lake Kasumigaura, at the mouth of the Sakuragawa (桜川), in Ibaraki Prefecture. It is also known as Kijō (亀城, Turtle castle), because in times of severe flooding it looked...
  14. Oda Castle

    Travel Oda Castle

    Oda Castle (小田城) is a Japanese flatland castle located in Ibaraki Prefecture. It faces the scenic Mount Tsukuba in the north. The map is based on Google Earth. Since the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), members of the distinguished Oda clan had been the successive lords of the castle. During...
  15. Shakujii Castle

    Travel Shakujii Castle

    Shakujii Castle (石神井城 Shakujii-jō) was located in what is nowadays Shakujii Park in Nerima Ward, western Tokyo. It was constructed in the late Kamakura Period (1185-1333) by the Toshima clan (豊島氏), very likely on older structures dating back to the Heian Period. I visited the castle grounds...
  16. Iwatsuki Castle

    Travel Iwatsuki Castle

    Iwatsuki Castle (岩槻城) was constructed in the mid-15th century in what is now Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture. It was the residence of the Ota (太田) clan in the early 16th century and afterwards taken over by the Late Hōjō. During Toyotomi Hideyoshi's siege of Odawara Castle in 1590, the castle...
  17. Minakuchi Castle

    Minakuchi Castle

    Signpost in front of Minakuchi Castle
  18. Map of Minakuchi-jo

    Map of Minakuchi-jo

    Historic map of Minakuchi Castle
  19. Minakuchi Castle

    Minakuchi Castle

    Gate, bridge and moat of Minakuchi Castle
  20. Minakuchi Castle

    Minakuchi Castle

    The bridge over and moat and the entrance gate to Minakuchi Castle