Ne Castle

Revision as of 15:53, 20 August 2023 by Eric (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)



Moroyuki Nanbu built Ne Castle in 1334 during the period known as the Northern & Southern Courts Period. Under allegiance to the Southern Court, Nanbu established Ne Castle to become the center of imperial government in the area. Another branch of the same Nanbu family actually ruled the Sannohe and Morioka area for the Northern Court at the same time. In 1393 at the end of this Northern & Southen Courts period, the 2 families also made peace with each other. During the Sengoku Period, the 18th generation Nanbu (Masayuki Nanbu) was a daimyo loyal to Toyotomi HIdeyoshi. After the Battle of Odawara, Masayuki was made a retainer of Nobunao Nanbu from Sannohe. In 1627, Nanbu Naoyoshi was moved to Tohno (Iwate Pref.) and the Nanbu lord from Sannohe moved to Hachinohe where he established a new castle, Hachinohe Castle, to the East of Ne Castle closer to the ocean.

In the picture above, notice how the path splits after the bridge and goes to two different gates. The path on the left is covered with white gravel and goes to a more ornate gate. This gate was used for the lord and guests. The path on the right is a simple dirt path that leads to a simple gate of swinging doors (heijuumon). This gate was for servants and workers.

Visit Notes

The reconstructed buildings at Ne Castle are really fantastic. They were all done using original materials and techniques. Archeological excavations uncovered the locations for the pillars and walls of each building and found enough artifacts to understand the function of each building. What we don't know for sure is how each building was made so the park has reconstructed a variety of different building types and roof types to be representative of the architectures at that time. The signs are all in Japanese but they often have very good illustrations that help you understand without the explanation. If you can speak even some Japanese, ask one of the volunteer guides at the gate to go with you. They are a wealth of knowledge about the history of the castle, the excavations, and trivia about the different building techniques and types. I spent well over 2 hours visiting the site and chatting with a couple of the guides. Ne Castle is highly recommended for history, castle or architecture fans. Ne Castle is from the time period before the flourishing of castle construction so it is a little bit different from what you might expect. There are still gates, baileys, and watchtowers, but there is no main keep, little or not stonework, and the walls are wooden posts fences on the outside and slat wood walls in the central compound. Hachinohe City is also (until 2011) the final stop on the Tohoku Shinkansen.

Loading map...

  • main building
  • Inside one of the rooms of the main building.
  • Looking across the inner courtyard
  • One of the halls inside the main building
  • One of the halls inside the main building
  • middle stable
  • pillars showing the layout of a building
  • One of the outer sides of the main building.
  • workshop
  • workshop interior
  • smithy
  • inside of the smithy
  • storerooms
  • resthouse
  • Main gate entrance to the castle park
  • A moddel of the reconstructed grounds.
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Ne Castle
Japanese Name 根城
Founder Moroyuki Nanbu
Year Founded 1334
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Year Reconstructed 1994
Features gates, walls
Visitor Information
Access Hachinohe Sta. (Tohoku Main Line), 15 min bus, 5 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture
Coordinates 40° 30' 22.32" N, 141° 27' 37.51" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2010
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits May 21, 2010

(10 votes)
Add your comment welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.



75 months ago
Score 1++
Nejō is a reconstructed Muromachi Period castle. There are no other castles so extensively restored from this time period, making Nejō unique. Archaeological digs in the 1980s allowed experts to bring the site back to life and in 1994 it was reconstructed. Ancient style pit homes and the classical Shoin-style lord's palace can be seen on the site today, full of many interesting historical items and displays. Hachinohe City Museum is situated at the far end of the site. The exhibits that amused me showed Jōmon siblings and their dog: with their gormless, swarthy faces they looked like time travelling schoolgirls from the present, and I think the sculptor really captured the absentminded, mildly amused expression which is the default mien of the mid-teenaged female. Second there was a replica cylindrical old timey cot, or baby-containment vessel, as I call them.


110 months ago
Score 0++
I completely agree with the webmaster's notes. This is a very interesting site to visit. Exiting from the east exit of Hachinohe station, take the bus P8 at busstop #1, get off at Nejô busstop. Before arriving there you'll see the castle-site to your left. The ride costs 200¥. The entrance fee for the museum, which i also recommend, and the castle is 400¥. I had a chat with a guide at the honmaru. He told me several interesting things and he showed me a gingko tree which was 700 years old. It was there when the castle was build. The guide and other persons in the area liked my t-shirt. I wore one with the fūrinkazan on it. Apparently the Nanbu are related to the Takeda. One of their kamon is the yonbishi. The Nanbu moved from Kai province some time before the building of Nejô. The bus to Hachinohe station is the 60 or 63. There are several other busses passing at the Nejô busstop, but they don't go to this station.


142 months ago
Score 0++
Ben, thanks for sharing! That's a great story. I always thought about sending them a letter of thanks with a link to this writeup. It really underscores that you can never go wrong with volunteer guides at these sites.


159 months ago
Score 0++
Combined ticket with museum. Some interesting Jamon pieces in museum.


170 months ago
Score 0++
A 14th C. castle