Kururi Castle

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Kururi33c.jpg

History

The original Kururi Castle was built by the Mariyatsu Clan, a descendent line of the Takeda, so you will see the Takeda Kamon (family crest) at the Shinshoji Temple at the foot of the mountain (photos below). When Satomi Yoshitaka absorbed these territories as the Takeda weakened, he established a new base at Kururi Castle. The Satomi were constantly in conflict with the expansion of the Hojo based in Odawara. After several unsuccessful attempts to attack Kururi Castle, it was eventually taken over by the Hojo (1564) but was then recaptured by Satomi in 1567. After Yoshitaka died in 1577, the remaining Satomi came to a peace treaty with the Hojo in 1577. They ceded significant territory, including Kururi Castle, and retreated to the nearby Okamoto Castle.

In the Edo Period, the castle was assigned to the Tokugawa allied Matsudaira Tadamasa. Tadamasa, did much of the work to renovate the castle. The Sannomaru Bailey was moved from the top of the mountain to the bottom, the daimyo moved his residence here and a castle town was established. The domain was abandoned from 1679-1742, when it was asssigned to Kuroda Naozumi whose descendents ruled this small domain until the Meiji Period.


Visit Notes

The castle was built roughly 500m from the original Kokururi Castle, but may have included some structures or built over some structures from Kokururi Castle too. Refer to the Kokururi Castle page for more information. The castle is an interesting combination of mountaintop castle and lowland castle. The Third Bailey (Sannomaru) is on the lowlands where the town is today and the Main Bailey (Honmaru) and Second Bailey (Ninomaru) are at the top. There are a few other small baileys and horikiri trenches at the top that are indicative of the original Sengoku Period mountaintop castle before it was built into an Edo Period castle. The castle's nickname, U-jo (rain castle), comes from the story that it rained at least once every three days during it construction for a total of 21 times.


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Gallery
  • you have to love their illustrations
  • Elevation 3 baileys
  • Kururi shopping area sign
  • Shinshoji Temple
  • Takeda family crest


Castle Profile
English Name Kururi Castle
Japanese Name 久留里城
Alternate Names U-jo
Founder Mariyatsu Takeda
Year Founded 1540
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles
Historical Period Edo Period
Year Reconstructed 1977 (concrete)
Features main keep, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Kururi Sta. (Kururi Tetsudo); approx. 30 minute walk
Visitor Information Museum open 9:00-16:30; closed Mondays (unless a National Holiday); closed Dec. 28 - Jan. 4
Time Required 45 mins
Website https://www.city.kimitsu.lg.jp/site/kanko/2189.html
Location Kimitsu City, Chiba Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 17' 15.18" N, 140° 5' 23.75" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2005
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2005, 2021
Admin Visits May 28, 2005; May 3, 2021
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2.14
(7 votes)
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ARTShogun

72 months ago
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Kururijō is a great mountaintop castle to visit. I spurned the tunnel road through the mountain and hiked over it instead. The trail I found (pictures of trail in included) followed a ridge and came out at the Sannomaru bailey where currently there is a museum. A gravel road passes the ridge between sannomaru and honmaru, a steep incline on either side, and the honmaru is on the summit of the mountain, commanding sweeping views. The reconstructed borogata (sentry tower style) tenshukaku is from 1979. It is next to rather on top of the original tenshukakudai (donjon platform). The Tenshukakudai was originally a koshimaki-ishigaki mound, meaning that the lower part was encased in stone whilst the top was naked earth. On top if this stood a squat two-tiered tenshukaku (main keep), making the current reconstructed tower a mock reconstruction. The view from the keep is beautiful mountain scenery. Whilst I leant against the balustrade a glittering tamamushi came and hovered about the parapet on jewelled wings.
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Anonymous user #1

118 months ago
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We went here on New Year`s Day, and one of the great things about it was that it was open on New Year`s Day. Well, the museum wasn`t open, but the reconstructed keep was, mostly because all they have inside is a rack of slippers for the guests. I think that was actually a smart move - that way it serves more as a vantage point to provide a sense of the location of the castle and also offers great views. This part of Chiba evidently takes a lot of pride in their history and the Satomi clan and it shows, which is great. Definitely take the road less travelled on the way up, not the road for cars.
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Anonymous user #1

137 months ago
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The structure itself doesn't have much to offer. It's reconstructed and the interior three floors are empty. What is nice about this castle is its location and ambience. When you look out from the top floor everything is relatively unchanged from days gone by. You see wooded mountains and valleys. There are no giant office buildings to ruin the imagination. And when you look toward the area of the old castle town, it still looks like the model in the museum lobby which shows how the town used to look.
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Anonymous user #1

142 months ago
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Upon arrival, resist the temptation to walk the road from the car park, and instead take the 800m trail up and over the ridge line and imagine you are an attacking warrior. The approach through the woods is quiet and the rustle of tanuki in the undergrowth adds to the feel. The castle itself is tremendous with both excellent views, and much detail in the surrounding grounds.