Hachioji Castle

From Jcastle.info



Hojo Ujiteru was one of the powerful lords of the Hojo family. He built this castle to strengthen the Hojo position in the area and help defend Odawara Castle from attack. After Odawara Castle was surrounded by Hideyoshi forces, Hojo Ujiteru, Hojo Ujimasa and Hojo Ujinao left to fight in Odawara leaving Hachioji Castle nearly defenseless. Soon after, the castle came under attack from Hideyoshi forces on June 23, 1590 and fell in one day. Hideyoshi later went on to defeat the Hojo at Odawara and complete the unification of Japan. It is said that Hideyoshi feared Ujiteru for his intelligence and prowess and that is a large part of why he demanded Ujiteru to commit suicide (seppuku) after he was captured.

Hachioji-jo was a great sprawling castle across the mountaintop with barricades built in strategic places to stall would be attackers or spies. The picture above of the entrance to what was originally the lord's palace. It is at the base of the mountain while the castle was actually at the top. There are a few small pieces of stone walls around the mountain but that is all that remains. The palace stood at the top of the hill across the bridge and was heavily fortified.

Visit Notes

There is a bus from Takao Station to the castle every hour on weekends and holidays. I recommend visiting when you can use this bus.

Even though there are no buildings, the walls, bridge and entrance to the lord's palace are enough to stimulate visitors to imagine what the original castle was like. This is one of the top castles to visit in the Tokyo area. Please be sure to walk out to the huge horikiri (大堀切) and pay attention to the former stone embankment along the way. Most people turn back at the Honmaru. The volunteer guides are also very knowledgeable. If you can speak even a little Japanese why not take a tour.

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  • bridge, stone walls
  • Ashida Bailey
  • Otemichi road
  • Stone walls of the palace
  • Stone walls of the palace entrance
  • stonework palace entrance
  • road to the palace
  • gate to the palace grounds
  • entrance to the palace
  • entranceway to the palace
  • view of the entrance from the palace grounds
  • palace grounds
  • Palace grounds
  • Stone walls in the woods
  • stone walls in the woods.
  • Stone walls
  • Stone walls in the woods
  • Honmaru bailey
  • Komabiyashi horikiri
  • Stone covered earthen embankment
  • stone covered embankment
  • stone embankment
  • Great Horikiri
  • Great Horikiri
  • Tsume-no-shiro, yagura foundation
  • view towards Tokyo
  • terraced baileys
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Hachioji Castle
Japanese Name 八王子城
Founder Hojo Ujiteru
Year Founded 1570
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Takao Station (Chuo Line), bus for Reienmae (get off at Reienmae), 10 minute walk
Visitor Information Free; the Visitor Center (Guidance Center) is open 830am-5pm. Closed 12/29-1/3
Time Required 200 mins
Website http://www.city.hachioji.tokyo.jp/kyoiku/rekishibunkazai/bunkazai/shiseki/8216/006898.html
Location Hachioji, Tokyo
Coordinates 35° 39' 11.30" N, 139° 15' 10.94" E
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Added to Jcastle 2002
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2002, 2013, 2015
Admin Visits January 26, 2002; June 29, 2013; May 2, 2015

(7 votes)
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18 months ago
Score 0++

The scale of Hachiōjijō is immense, containing several distinct groupings of baileys. Roughly the castle ruins can be divided into three or four areas... I went to the Kyokan (living area), then on to the honmaru (main bailey), then on to the tsumenoshiro (branch castle), and even beyond there...

1. Kyokan / Go'shuden (居館・御主殿) Area: this is the area most people recognise at Hachiōjijō and contains a reconstructed bridge spanning a gorge and linking up with an ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) clad terraced enclosure which once contained a palatial complex. These lower reaches of the castle also contain the Ashida Bailey Cluster (アシダ曲輪郡). I guess near 100% of visitors to the castle come here.

2. Yamajiro (山城) Area: this is the mountain castle proper and contains the fortification's most significant baileys constructed as part of the mountain redoubt for the palace. It is the site of Hachiōji-jinja and offers spectacular views of the Tōkyō vicinity. I guess about 50% of visitors come here.

3. Tsumenoshiro (誌ノ城) Area: Tsumenoshiro refers to a branch fortification. Few visitors come here, although there is a popular hiking spot called the Fujimidai (富士見台) beyond. One passes the nameless baileys to a large trench, and this is the beginning of the extraneous fortifications. The centre of the Tsumenoshiro is the Ôtenshu (大天主), "Great Keep". One approaches from the south ridge of the Tsumenoshiro. To the rear of the Ôtenshu is the Ôhorikiri (大堀切), ‘Great Trench’. One can go beyond the Ôhorikiri to reach Fujimidai, a look-out point. I guess 1% of visitors reach the Ôtenshu. I went even further, however, and followed several spurs of the Ôtenshu along the castle mount's northern ridge, stumbling upon dishevelled masonry in chaotic ruin. Of those that make it to the Ôtenshu how many come down to this very furthest bastion of the castle? I guess 1%. Or, 0.01% of those who visit the kyokan - maybe less.

So I went as far as I could go. Though there are still some parts of the castle site I haven't seen. There is apparently a switchback trail with four tiers of ishigaki leading directly from the palace site to the yamaōdai beneath the main bailey complex, but I didn't see where this was marked. I went to the honmaru via the kanekomaru (金子丸), a terraced ridge where the main trail up is. A fourth area of the castle is the Drum Bailey (太鼓曲輪), which is a flattened mountain ridge perforated with horikiri (trenches), located opposite the gorge from the main body of the castle.


85 months ago
Score 4++
I hiked to the honmaru of this castle this morning. After that i went to the Tsumenoshiro and even to the Fujimidai. The trail to these last 2 destinations is fairly difficult. You really need to watch your step. Since it rained a little bit today, i slipped several times and i fell once on my bottom, but no harm. To get to the site i took a bus at busstop #1 at the north exit of Takao station. I asked the busdriver if he went to the castle. Since it's a weekday i had to get off at Reienmae-Hachiôjijôato. The ride is 180¥. From there it's about 1.5 km to the guidance centre, where i got my 100 meijô stamp. On the trails after the honmaru i encountered nobody. At some times i thought i was no more on track, but then i saw a signpost. The site is very well signposted.(sometimes only in japanese).

Anonymous user #1

97 months ago
Score 1++

As of June 2016, the bus from Takao Station (platform 1) is bound for 八王子城跡. It lets off at a round-about where it returns to the station about 10 minutes later. The 100名城stamp is located inside the guidance center.

Great castle site, it's very relaxing and the part up the slope to the 本丸跡 makes for a good hike.

Anonymous user #1

150 months ago
Score 1++
Nice grounds and ruins to walk around with interesting reconstructions of bridges and walls. Lots of interesting hiking and Buddhist monuments scattered through out the hills and grounds, making it a peaceful and satisfying journey.

Anonymous user #1

165 months ago
Score 1++
Hachioji castle was a defining moment for me in (getting lost) visiting castles. On Midori-no-Hi 2008 I went to Mt Takao. From the top of Takao I hiked down the Jitaki waterfall course. Then, following the outdated map a friend had lent me I went across the train tracks, up the next mountain and was lost for about four hours. At one stage I came across a crude map burnt into a picnic table. I finally found some ishigaki but the trail I had been following from the monument ended in tangled, impenetrable scrub. I scrambled back up to the monument - the sun was setting and I was starting to worry - when finally I burst out on to the strangest of things, a perfect green square of lawn surrounded by ruined, grey walls. It was at this point that I fell in love with ishigaki. There were giant stairs and a giant bridge and a giant stone moat – after wandering around in a forest then coming on this in the gathering twilight the effect was surreal. That is the way you should see Hachioji-joshi! I didn't get the 100meijo stamp but it looks like you can camp inside the castle grounds so I might go back if I find someone who will let me borrow their tent.


170 months ago
Score 1++
Hojo Ujiteru fled to Odawara. His retainers put up a good defense against Maeda Toshiie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Yukimura and others but the castle fell on June 23.