Sakasai Castle

From Jcastle.info

Sakasai12.jpg

History

Sakasai Castle was the easternmost frontier of the Hojo territory standing in opposition to the Satake, Yuki and other lords of the area. For the time period, it is a fairly large and tough castle that made use of the river and wetlands surrounding it as a natural defense. Sakasai Castle was abandoned after the Hojo were defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590.

Visit Notes

I've wanted to go to Sakasai Castle for a long time, but it is probably one of the most remote and difficult castles to get to in the Kanto area. I finally found a reasonable way to get there, but it still took all day just to go and come back because there was so much time riding or waiting for busses. Regardless, it was a great trip. They have done a fantastic job accurately rebuilding the structures here to reflect the feel of a castle from the Sengoku Period. Most castle reconstructions are based on later Edo Period castles, so this is a valuable site. Besides the reconstructions, the moats and castle layout are also well preserved with many signs. If you have a chance, please stop at the soba restaurant next to the castle. They have brochures for the castle and the people are incredibly nice. They called a cheaper taxi for me than the one I was planning to take and let me kill time in the restaurant on that hot day while waiting. Of course, I also had my fill of zaru soba before that too.


Gallery



Castle Profile
English Name Sakasai Castle
Japanese Name 逆井城
Alternate Names Iinuma-jo
Founder Hojo Ujishige
Year Founded 1577
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, bridges, water moats, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Moriya Sta (Tsukuba Express), 1 hr bus, 2100 yen taxi
Visitor Information The bu schedules and routes have changed a couple times since I visited. The buses now only go to Iwai which is quite far from the station. Plan well before going. It migt be better to go on a non-holiday weekday and use the local community bus, even though it only runs 4 times a day.
Time Required 75 mins
Website http://bandokanko.jp/modules/pico/index.php?content id=91
Location Bando, Ibaraki Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 8' 31", 139° 51' 9"
Loading map...
Admin
Year Visited 2008
Visits September 23, 2008
Added to Jcastle 2008


3.43
(7 votes)
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Kiddus i2003Gunshi

57 months ago
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Cycling anticlockwise from Tokyo to niigata and down to Kyoto will allow me to pick up a few castles that I normally would not get to. This was one of those, combined with the cherry blossoms and preparations for hanami it took on a whole new look. Well worth the trip, just hope the rest I want to see will yield as good photo opportunities .
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Anonymous user #1

63 months ago
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Hi Eric, I was able to visit Sakai castle this past Saturday, it was wonderful! As a big fan of the Sengoku period I really enjoyed the layout of this castle as well as the remote and wooded surroundings. for my little kids back home I posted a funny video i did while at the castle and some of you might appreciate it. I posted the short video on facebook: https://www....246584709265 And here were some pictures I posted: https://www....&theater

As far as transportation, I took a bus from Tokyo JR bus station right outside Tokyo train station on the Yamanote line. The bus went from tokyo to Iwaikyokumae, close to Bando city. from the bus station in iwaikyokumae I took a taxi and although it was less than a 15 minute ride, it cost 4200 yen on the way there and then 4600 yen on the way back. As Eric has suggested, I stopped at the Soba shop next to the caste and it was GREAT! Also, they helped call a cab for me on the trip back. The earliest bus leaving Tokyo station was 9:00am and I got to the castle about 11am. I then took the 3:22 bus back to Tokyo though there was also an available 5pm bus. Great Castle and well worth the day trip!!
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FurinkazanHatamoto

80 months ago
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I now see that my first post was anonymous. I probably forgot to put my name. I agree Kris, this site is really worth seeing and the soba are really good :-)
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KrisGunshi

80 months ago
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I really liked this site. The grounds are nicely sign-posted and interesting to wander around and explore. The fact that you could climb a sengoku style watchtower was purely awesome. The curving moat was very Hojo-style; coming after heavy rains it was easy to see the defense value of the surrounding marshes. The pool where the princess drowned herself actually looked quite deep, dark and scary. Though there do seem to be some signs that they had planned to do more and ran out of money halfway it really shows that the town has pride in this site that they spent money reconstructing an out-of-the-way castle well rather than on, say, more of those expensive incomprehensible bronze artworks that litter Japan. For a castle that only existed for about 10 years and wasn`t such a major site this is truly worth seeing. I went by car and in the afternoon; the soba shop was closed which was a shame - it sounds good
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UsagiAshigaru

96 months ago
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An easy drive, and well worth the effort. The reconstruction has a great feel, and the view out over the valley from the yagura is tremendous. Walking the grounds and surrounding woods give a great perspective. Very interesting to see an earlier wooden style in lieu of the usual white stucco.
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JcastleHatamoto

113 months ago
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\ I don't know how the webmaster managed to pay only 2100yen for a ride at least the double of mine."As I said above you need to take a bus from Moriya Sta. There is a highway bus from there to a spot along the highway that is much closer to the castle. Bus schedules and routes seem to change around here a lot so email me for more information about how to get there."""
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Anonymous user #1

113 months ago
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I went there last april. It was a very beautiful site with the sakura in full bloom. It is very different than the other castles. The castlesite is totally free of charge. The remoteness of this castle is a real problem. Because i had a JR railpass i tried to find a JRstation by the site. The closest one i found was KURIHASHI (JR Tohoku Line). From there it is 18km to the site. I payed a taxi 6000yen to get there.And after dining at the soba-retaurant at the site(very tasty)i demanded a taxi back, another 6000yen. I don't know how the webmaster managed to pay only 2100yen for a ride at least the double of mine. Moriyastation is +/-40km from the site.

For the site itself i would gave 4 stars, but because of it remoteness 2 stars are enough.