Kakegawako Castle

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Kakegawakojou (1).JPG


Kakegawakojō was built in 1473 by Asahina Yasuhiro (朝比奈泰煕) under the orders of his lord, Imagawa Yoshisada. Castellan Asahina Yasuyoshi would follow Yasuhiro. Kakegawakojō was abandoned or sidelined for a time with the construction of Kakegawajō by Yasuyoshi (until this time Kakegawakojō had of course been called 'Kakegawajō'), but it was repurposed by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1569 when he attacked Kakegawajō, defended by Asahina Yasutomo, and used Kakegawakojō as a base from which to close the siege of Kakegawajō. There is some conflation during this period of Kakegawakojō and Kakegawajō, but Kakegawakojō was certainly abandoned by 1590 when Yamanōchi Kazutoyo, a vassal of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, built Kakegawajō as we see it today (more or less). The temple institution on the site of Kakegawakojō today dates to 1648 when Hōjō Ujishige, then lord of Kakegawajō, built it to enshrine Tokugawa Iemitsu.

Visit Notes

Kakegawakojō, or 'the Old Kakegawa Castle', overlooks Kakegawajō. Many large and famous castles have earlier versions nearby, did you know that? Usually they don't have much to see, but Kakegawakojō is actually quite impressive. The hilltop site, now a park and temple (Ryūgein), is carved into various baileys, and one has a great view of Kakegawajō's reconstructed tower from one of the lower sub-baileys, but the main feature of Kakegawakojō is the Ôhorikiri (Great Trench, or 'Monster Trench' is what I said when I saw it), located to the rear of the site. As the name would suggest, this long trench, which bores through the hillside like a hot knife through butter, is deep and wide. Dorui (earthen ramparts) are also banked up in the bailey above, creating a formidable defence.

  • Ohhorikiri / Great Trench
  • Tokugawa Mausoleum, 1648

Castle Profile
English Name Kakegawako Castle
Japanese Name 掛川古城
Founder Asahina Yasuhiro (朝比奈泰煕)
Year Founded 1473
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Kuruwa, Horikiri
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Kakegawa Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line; 15 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; temple / park
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Kakegawa, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 46' 40.22" N, 138° 1' 2.35" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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