Kawagoe Castle

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Kawagoe Castle was founded in 1457 by Ota Doshin and his son Dokan under the order of Uesugi Mochitomo. In 1546 it was taken over by the Hojo until it fell again to Hideyoshi as part of his attack on Odawara and the Hojo.

When the Tokugawa established their base of power at Edo (Tokyo), Kawagoe Castle functioned as an important defensive position for Edo. The city of Kawagoe likewise prospered as an important logistical hub for the transportation of food and other goods to and from Tokyo. This focus on logistics and trade also led to the abundance of storehouse style buildings you can still see today. In this old part of town you can also get a feeling for an Edo Period castle town

Visit Notes

The only real remnants of the castle are the lord's palace, but it is well worth the trip because there are very few extant palaces. You can also spend the day exploring other historical sites in Kawagoe.

  • honmaru goten entrance
  • Entrance to the honmaru
  • Nakanomon Moat
  • Gate at the nakanomon moat
  • Fujimi Yagura site
  • Area where the Fujimi Yagura stood
  • palace
  • Outside of the palace
  • honmaru palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • Honmaru Palace
  • bell tower
  • kurazukuri buildings
  • map of Kawagoe Castle

Castle Profile
English Name Kawagoe Castle
Japanese Name 川越城
Founder Ota Doshin
Year Founded 1457
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features palace, castle town
Visitor Information
Access Kawagoe Sta, Tobu Tojo Line, 20 min by tourist bus
Visitor Information 100 yen admission. Closed Mondays except National Holidays after which it is closed on Tuesday. Closed on the 4th Friday of each month except National Holidays. Closed Dec 28 - Jan 4.
Time Required 60 minutes
Website http://museum.city.kawagoe.saitama.jp/hommaru/
Location Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 55' 28.24" N, 139° 29' 29.15" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2006
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2006, 2012
Admin Visits March 25, 2006; Aug 4, 2012

(17 votes)
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86 months ago
Score 0++
I spend the whole day in Kawagoe. I visited a lot of temples and shrines. Like stated below, the Kita-in has the last buildings of the goten of Edojô. These were moved there to rebuild the temple. The goten of Kawagoejô is a must see. The mound of the Fujimiyaguraato is somewhat a letdown. If you buy a combination ticket of 600¥, you'll have access to the goten, the City museum, the City Art museum and the festival museum. There are several combinations, if you're not interested in the 4 musea. In the City museum you'll find a model of Kawagoe city during the Edo-period. The castle is very detailed. Another interesting museum, if you're interested in weapons and armors, is the small History museum. You are allowed to take pictures of everything. I spend more than 1h in that museum. The employees are eager to give some information. No really Kawagoe merits that you spend a complete day to visit.


92 months ago
Score 0++
I also checked out the yaguradai (sentry turret foundation) on a nearby hilltop, and a preserved moat segment. I found a wooden model of the Fujimi Yagura at Kita’in where more original castle palatial structures have survived, those originally from Edojō.


93 months ago
Score 0++
Not only does the Go'ten of Kawagoe Castle survive, but a nearby temple Kita'in has an original palatial building from Edo Castle too, including the room where Tokugawa Iemitsu was born.


143 months ago
Score 0++
This is a fine palace to visit. It is one of only four original castle palaces left at Japanese castle sites. I went there a few weeks ago when I was in Tokyo. Apart from the actual palace, there isn't a lot of Kawagoe Castle's fortifications / structures left. Only part of the Nakanomon Moat, one of the outer moats, and the site of where the Fujimi Turret used to be can be seen now. The rest of the castle site has been pretty much been built over by modern day Kawagoe. For castle fans who collect the 100 Meijo stamps, there is a display of what all the 100 stamps look like in one of the rooms in the palace. There is also a pretty good book (in Japanese only) about the castle with lots of old period maps and a map of the original castle overlaid on a map of present-day Kawagoe.

Anonymous user #1

165 months ago
Score 0++
I went here a long time ago on a bus tour with the local friendship centre in my area. I'd like to go back again now that I would have a better understanding of it all – still, it was interesting to walk around the different rooms.