Kashiwabara Castle (Omi)
Kashiwabarajō, also known as Kashiwabara-yakata, was built as the fortified residence of Kyōgoku Ujinobu, fourth son of Sasaki Nobutsuna, in 1283 after he became the governor of Ōmi. He moved his bodaiji, or clan temple, to Tokugen'in. The temple still remains and contains the Kyōgoku Clan graves which are designated as a national historic site. When Kyōgoku Takatoyo became lord of Marugamejō during the Edo Period, he petitioned the shogunate to regain control of the ruins of Kashiwabarajō so as to tend to the graves of his ancestors. Trading control of a couple of villages in the area he was successful in this and, the land restored to Kyōgoku ownership, Lord Takatoyo restored the temple, building the beautiful three-tier pagoda which can be seen today.
Kashiwabarajō is now the site of Tokugen'in. Tokugen'in has unfortunately now closed its doors to visitors, citing pandemic concerns, so we couldn't enter the temple precincts to see the historic architecture. But then a miracle occured. A troupe of monkeys appeared and guided us (I chased them) to around the side of the temple. From here we could see the majestic pagoda behind an aging earthen wall which one of the monkeys ran the whole length along. As for the castle, however, nothing significant remains. A marker for the castle stands besides ishigaki (stone-stacked walls), but this was built for the temple. The temple site had formerly been the fortified residence of the Kyōgoku Clan in 1283, the hegemonic rulers of Ōmi, and their graves are all that remain, the residence only having served as their headquarters briefly, until 1286. A fort also existed on the mount behind the temple, presumably where the monkeys now live, but we hadn't time to visit.
|English Name||Sakata Kashiwabara Castle|
|Castle Type||Fortified Manor|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Kashiwabara Station on the Tōkaidaō Main Line; 20 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Temple|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Maibara, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 20' 44.30" N, 136° 23' 18.53" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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