Odori Castle, at least the Odori Castle we see today, was likely built during the unrest of the 15th C. during the conflicts between the Ogigayatsu Uesugi and Yamanouchi Uesugi, but some stories date it back to the 12th C. when Minamoto no Yoritomo had an encampment at a place called "Odori" which may have been the same site. It was quite a large castle for the time and could have held thousands of soldiers. Ota Dokan used the site as an encampment. The Hojo launched their attacks against Matsuyama Castle from here and it played an important part of their castle network. At the end of the Hojo era, Odori Castle was also used by Maeda Toshiie as his base when he launched attacks against the Hojo at Matsuyama Castle. The castle was abandoned in 1590 after the Siege of Odawara.
Despite having a rich history and being a Prefectural Historic Site, most of this vast castle has been developed over by a residential area, some fields and an old hotel that looks abandoned. The main features visible are the trench and embankments around part of the Honmaru Bailey. The center of the honmaru is a vegetable field and some fruit trees. The trench is quite deep and the high embankments make it interesting to visit if you can find your way into them and through the trees and bamboo that have grown over most of the trench.
The castle is about a 30 minute walk from Shinrin Koen Station, but there is also a bicycle rental shop near the station where you can rent a bicycle to visit not only Odori Castle but also Sugaya Yakata and Ogura Castle or others if interested. The area is rich with great castle ruins and Odori is the first after Matsuyama Castle (Saitama) connecting all the way to Hachigata Castle including Sugaya Yakata, Sugiyama Castle, Ogura Castle, Koshigoe Castle, and Hachigata Castle. All of these are must-see castles. I would like to revisit them all, but unfortunately, Odori Castle is probably the only castle in Japan that I never want to visit again. There is some kind of fertilizer or industrial waste processing facility in the Ninomaru that creates a stench that permeates every inch of the grounds. It's nearly unbearable. I can't imagine what the site would be like on a humid August day instead of a cold dry January one.
|English Name||Odori Castle|
|Year Founded||15th C.|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Shinrin Koen Sta (Tobu Tojo Line); 30 mins walk|
|Visitor Information||mostly private property|
|Time Required||30 mins|
|Location||Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 1' 52.50" N, 139° 22' 38.75" E|
|Visits||January 19, 2020|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Friends of JCastle|
|Shirobito - Odori Castle|
|Kojodan - Odori Castle|
|Jokaku Horoki - Odori Castle|