Ishihama Castle


Ishihamajou (1).JPG


Ishihamajō was a medieval fortification site situated on the right bank of the Sumida River. The location was an important ferry-crossing point. It is not known when Ishihamajō was first built, but from the Kamakura period the Edo Clan used the castle as its main base. In 1352, during the Musashino War, when Nitta Yoshisada pushed back Ashikaga Takauji, it is thought that Takauji retreated to Ishihamajō and used it as his base. The Musashi-Heiiki, a confederation of local clans supporting Ashikaga Takauji, repelled Nitta Yoshisada at the castle (but other castles are theorised to have been the site of this battle too).

Ishihamajō further saw conflict during the Kyōtoku no Ran, a period of civil strife in Kantō lasting from 1455 to 1483. In the conflict Chiba Sanetane was pushed out of Shimōsa Province. Allying with the Ōgitani-Uesugi Clan, he made Ishihamajō his new headquarters. After the fall of the Ōgitani-Uesugi, the Chiba Clan became vassals of the Later Hōjō. In 1590 the Hōjō were defeated in Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s conquest of Kantō, and Ishihamajō was either abandoned or destroyed at that time.

Visit Notes

Ishihamajō is a medieval castle of which nothing remains. The site is known principally from historical documents. The site today, the location of which is deduced rather than unearthed, is that of Ishihama Shrine and Ishihama Castle Park (the exact location of this site is disputed as there are different theories, but Tōkyō Metropolitan authorities list it as a buried cultural property just north of Ishihama-jinja). Ishihama Castle Park is basically a small, local park with some sports cages and benches. I’ve never been to a park named for a castle with so little castle to see. The shrine is nice, and it does have some modern mock-up ishigaki, which is the closest one gets to the feeling of a castle here. Other castle sites in Tōkyō are now things like office blocks, so Ishihamajō is lucky it got a park! It is considered of some historical importance and also has a Japanese language Wikipedia article.


Castle Profile
English Name Ishihama Castle
Japanese Name 石浜城
Founder Edo Clan; Chiba Sanetane
Year Founded Kamakura Period; Muromachi Period
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Minami-Senju Station; 15 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; park / shrine
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Tokyo, Tokyo
Coordinates 35° 43' 42.56" N, 139° 48' 29.59" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed, 2020
Admin Visits June 19, 2020
Friends of JCastle
Shiro Meguri

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12 months ago
Score 0++
Actually I have been here many times! It was on my cycling course from Ryogoku up Sumida River. There are some nice wide cycling paths along the river after Asakusa. I never really thought about posting it here because it seemed there were no actual ruins and the history/location seemed a bit vague or dubious like "Here's the history of a castle we call Ishihama Castle, we think it was generally around this area, probably, but maybe it was the other side of the river or maybe under the river since they changed the course" kind of thing. But you're right, it does have it's own "pocket park" !


12 months ago
Score 1++
Sasuga, you went there! I was a little disappointed to be honest considering all of the major castling blogs cover it. You're right about the location; it could be a river now. I visited between going from Hitachi Fuchu to the Edo Asakusa Metsuke gate ruin.


12 months ago
Score 0++
I have some photos on my iPhone somewhere but I was always going to go back with a proper camera and then it must have kind of slipped my mind. Thanks for posting!!