6 new Tokyo area castles

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6 new Tokyo area castles

2020/07/07


These are a few minor castle sites around Tokyo that I visited in 2019. The history is not clear in some cases and there are few ruins to see, but if you've been to everything else around Tokyo and looking to get out of the city for a few hours and explore something new, they are worth looking into.


Akatsuka Castle / 赤塚城

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The castle ruins are on a hilltop in the Akatsuka Municipal Park.

There are three main baileys that can be seen today. There are also some slight trenches and cliff sides you can barely make out in some areas.

The website listed is not technically for the castle but is for the Itabashi Historical Museum on the same site. If you are going to visit the castle, you might as well visit when the museum is open. The museum is nice and has some information about the castle but the old farmhouse, firehose wagon and other Edo Period artifacts are worth viewing.
Mogusa Castle / 百草城

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The grounds today are occupied by a shrine in one part and the Keio Mogusa Gardens in another. The castle remnants are on the ridge line behind these structures. You can see an illustration of the castle on this site. It is the second illustration from the bottom. You will need to pay the 300 yen to enter the gardens to see most of the castle ruins. The gardens would be quite nice for fall colors and spring flowers, so I would recommend visiting during these seasons. There is also a nice old farmhouse on the grounds. I've included a few photos of it here. It is a short walk from the station and can be visited with Takahata Castle and other castles in the area.
Okiyama Fort / 沖山の塁

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The Okiyama Fort is part of the Akatsuka Park. There are a couple places identified on maps as possible trenches and a side bailey, but more serious study of the site is required to understand to what extent it was used as a fortification. The castle is best visited in combination with Akatsuka Castle a 10 min walk away and possibly Shimura Castle.
Shimura Castle / 志村城

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The Honmaru of the castle is now a school and an apartment. building. The Ninomaru is the Shimura Kumano Shrine. There is a slight trench remaining between the two but it's hidden in the trees and you might not notice it. There are also some earthen embankments of the Ninomaru around the shrine. Shimura Castle is not one you would go out of your way to visit, but it is worth visiting as a satellite castle of Akatsuka Castle
Takahata Castle / 高幡城

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The castle is located on the small hill behind the Takahata Fudoson temple. There is a walking path of 88 Buddhist statues that rings the hill. The top of the hill is the castle ruin. I actually did not realize that this was the family temple of Hijikata Toshizo of the Shinsengumi, so the Shinsengumi connection may appeal to bakumatsu fans as well. Kondo Isami is also from the area and there is a monument to the two of them.
Ushigome Castle / 牛込城

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Even though it's called a hilltop castle in the sources I searched, it was most likely a simple Fortified Manor. The castle ruins are on the site of the Koshoji Temple. There are signs saying "no photography" but I don't know what there is to actually photograph apart from the very small and not very photogenic temple. I assumed it was the graveyard which had some very old looking graves and statues.
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