Chigasaki Castle

From Jcastle.info

Chigasaki7.jpg

History

The early history of Chigasaki Castle is unclear. Based on the structure of the castle, it is of an older type than Kozukue Castle, but we know that it was a subordinate of Kozukue Castle under the Hojo. At this time the Hojo built a network of castles throughout the Kanto region. Around this area there was smaller network of castles centered around Kozukue. The castle fell to Hideyoshi during his siege of Odawara in 1590.

Seven excavations were carried out from 1990-2008. Many artifacts were uncovered and they were able to accurately determine the structure of the castle. The Chigasaki Castle Ruins Park opened in 2008 and was designated a Yokohama Historical Site in 2009.


Visit Notes

The castle park is kept up very well, with many signs (all Japanese unfortunately) explaining structures, history and more. It's great to see towns not only reconstructing main keeps and other buildings but taking the time to properly survey older ruins and establish parks like this.


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Gallery
  • dry moat and earthen walls.
  • west bailey
  • dry moat
  • dobashi bridge, east and central baileys
  • east bailey
  • east, central and west baileys
  • north bailey
  • central bailey
  • map


Castle Profile
English Name Chigasaki Castle
Japanese Name 茅ヶ崎城
Founder
Year Founded 1524
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Center Minami Sta. (Blue Line/Green Line), 10 min walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; park
Time Required 40 minutes
Website http://www.city.yokohama.jp/me/tsuzuki/guide/09museum/midokoro/midokoro-19.html
Location Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 32' 41.06" N, 139° 34' 44.76" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2009
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2010
Admin Visits April 10, 2010


1.50
(2 votes)
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avatar

ARTShogun

7 months ago
Score 1++

Chiǵasakijō is an hilltop fort ruin in Tsuzuki Ward, Yokohama Municipality. Chiǵasakijō is maintained as a park and features earthworks such as karabori (dry moats), dorui (earthen ramparts) and kuruwa (baileys). The castle has a central bailey, north bailey, east bailey and west bailey. There are signs and detailed information boards denominating castle features and sections throughout the park.

I stayed in Yokohama after attending the 2023 Shiro Expo, and visited Chiǵasakijō the next day. Chiǵasakijō is closest to Sentā-Minami Station, but I first got off at Sentā-Kita Station to visit the Ohtsuka-Saikachido ruins which contain a restored moated settlement from the Yayoi period. I then walked south to the site of Chiǵasakijō, which isn't far away. I'd left my bag at Sentā-Kita, so I cycled back from Chiǵasakijō using a city bicycle ('Hello Cycle').

Some complaints! It seems this site is now much less pruned than over ten years ago -- many pictures I'd seen were probably from then. Now many of the ramparts are overgrown with bamboo. Many bloggers show a nice shot of what appears to be the main bailey as seen from the east bailey across a dry moat. None of that is visible now. The sign indicating the dry moat stands before a dense wall of flora.

My impression was that the site was trying to do too many things at once. It wants to be park space for locals, a historical site, and a nature reserve. In a densely populated area all of these things will struggle for primacy. It seems nature is mostly winning at Chiǵasakijō. As with many castle ruin sites in the Tōkyō area, pathways with guide ropes limit where visits can wander, and prevent getting close to the ruins. The west bailey has been given over to nature and the dorui there is barely visible. At least with an unmaintained site a castle-explorer can get closer to see what's behind the bushes, but not so in Greater Tōkyō's parks and nature reserves.

If barriers are used to protect ruins, it seems strange that the ruins themselves are not maintained; has the intended purpose of the barriers been subverted? Meanwhile only a small, low-standing segment of dorui in the main bailey of Chiǵasakijō has been cleared of bamboo grass. Seeing the tall ramparts wrapping around the whole bailey would be amazing, but if the park management is deliberately going to let the earthworks be obscurred by bamboo thickets, what's the point in highlighting the site as a castle ruin at all?
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EricShogun

6 months ago
Score 0++
I see that I visited shortly after the excavations and studies were done. I'll bet they never gave it any attention since then. Was it as bad as Yuhigaoka? ;)
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ARTShogun

6 months ago
Score 0++
Eric, that's propbably the case. Not quite Yuhigaoka levels yet! It's still preserved, what with barriers and stuff, but now so as a nature reserve rather than castle ruin.
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FurinkazanDaimyo

55 months ago
Score 0++

On december 17th 2019 i visited Chigasaki castle. It wasn't my initial intention to visit this site, but since it's only 1km from the Otsuka/Saikachido iseki, it was a bonus. I actually began wiyh the castle. From ShinYokohama station i took the blue line subway to Center Minami station. From this station you can see the site of the castle to the east. It's easy to walk to the site. There are 2 entrances to the site, both on the northern side. The first leads to the karabôri(dry moat) between the Nakakuruwa(inner bailey) and the nishi kuruwa(west bailey). The other entrance, where i began my tour, leads to the kita kuruwa(north bailey). There are 4 main baileys, only the higashi kuruwa(east bailey) i didn't yet mentioned. The site is quite small and there are no buildings, but it is very well maintained. Even better than Kozukue castle, i visited yesterday. The amount of explanation boards is enormous for such a small site, but again everything only in japanese. The West bailey is off limits. It's a nesting area of karasu(crows).

The Otsuka/Saikachido iseki, i mentioned above, is a Yayoi period settlement where some dwellings and a palisade have been rebuilt. There is also the displaced residence of the Nagasawa, a mid Edo period home.