Karakai Castle

From Jcastle.info



The castle was founded by Mita Tsunahide around 1558. At that time, the Mita's home was at nearby Katsunuma Castle. Mita Tsunahide switched allegiances from the Hojo to Uesugi in 1560 when Uesugi Kenshin made advances into the central Kanto region. Uesugi forces retreated from Kanto in 1561, but the Mita continued to defy the Hojo and moved their home to Karakai Castle. Hojo Ujiteru eventually defeated the Mita and captured the castle in 1563.

Visit Notes

This is an easy day trip from Tokyo and very accessible for castle fans around Tokyo. Much of the central (honmaru) bailey was carved out as it was used as a stone quarry in the Edo Period but the edge remains and you can see several koshiguruwa (small side baileys) down the side. Past the Honmaru Bailey you'll run into a sign for the peak of Mt. Karakai. Follow the trail down the back side of this as it continues on to Mt. Raiden to see an impressive horikiri trench marking off the end of the castle. The trails are well maintained and connect to trails for many of the surrounding mountains which could be combined for a good hiking trip. I combined Karakai Castle with a detour to neighboring Masugatayama Castle on the way down. If you have some energy and time remaining I highly recommend a visit to the nearby Katsunuma Castle on the way back to Tokyo too.

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  • Entrance to the castle proper. Don't miss it !
  • Trailhead. Just a short walk from the train station.
  • Along the trail
  • Another small sign indicating the castle trail.
  • Horikiri trench
  • Horikiri trench
  • Horikiri trench and small bailey
  • First large bailey
  • Trail to the next bailey
  • Bailey
  • Small side bailey off the previous one
  • Entrance to the main bailey
  • Main bailey. The middle was all carved out when this was used as a stone quarry.
  • Main Bailey and highest point of Mt. Karakai.
  • Main bailey
  • Main bailey
  • Main bailey
  • Main bailey
  • Small bailey off the main bailey
  • Horikiri trench
  • Large horikiri trench marking the end of the castle.
  • Large horikiri trench as seen from above
  • View from the horikiri

Castle Profile
English Name Karakai Castle
Japanese Name 辛垣城
Founder Mita Tsunahide
Year Founded 1558
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Futamato Sta (Oume Line), 10 min walk to the trailhead
Visitor Information mountains, open year round
Time Required 90 minutes at the castle; 120 mins from the trailhead
Location Oume, Tokyo
Coordinates 35° 48' 42.84" N, 139° 13' 13.51" E
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Added to Jcastle 2017
Admin Year Visited 2017
Admin Visits December 10, 2017

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