Nishikata Castle




Nishikata Castle was a satellite fortification of the Utsunomiya clan. After moving to the Nishikata area and founding the castle, Utsunomiya Kageyasu took the surname Nishikata for himself and his descendants. Nishikata was the Utsunomiya's westernmost stronghold against the Minagawa and Hojo and their allies. In 1587, the 7th generation Nishikata lord flipped to the Hojo. The Utsunomiya were outraged and threw Tsunayoshi in prison (where he died), the Utsunomiya absorbed the holdings of the Nishikata and Tsunayoshi's descendants were given much smaller landholdings elsewhere.

Visit Notes

The castle is behind the Chotokuji Temple and you should easily find the signs once you reach the temple.

This is a fantastic site, one of the best in the region. It's a typical Kanto style earthworks castle with lots of complex trenches and embankments and baileys. What makes this site particularly good is that it actually has clear trails and is well signposted. The signs have some good illustrations to teach you a lot about the castle structures. I would highly recommend this for any Kanto area castle fans. You can also visit nearby Nijo Castle (Tochigi) and Manago Castle in a day.

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  • Tatebori
  • Trench used as the current hiking trail
  • Tatebori - and current trail into the castle
  • Looking back down the tatebori trench
  • Design of the Kitanomaru Umadashi entrance
  • Trenches around the umadashi
  • North Bailey entrance
  • Umadashi structure at the entrance to the North Bailey
  • Kitanomaru trench
  • Umadashi of the North Bailey
  • Kitanomaru Bailey
  • Kitanomaru Bailey and embankment
  • Yagura foundation in the Kitanomaru Bailey
  • Design of the entrance to the Ninomaru Umadashi
  • Ninomaru umadashi entrance from the previous map
  • Ninomaru umadashi entrance from the previous map
  • Ninomaru Bailey
  • Obikuruwa Bailey
  • Obikuruwa Bailey
  • Ninomaru entrance
  • View from the Ninomaru
  • Ninomaru Bailey
  • Trench
  • Earthen embankment of the Honmaru
  • Honmaru entrance
  • Honmaru Bailey
  • Honmaru trenches
  • Honmaru entrance
  • Trench
  • Map of complex entrance
  • Entrance south of the Honmaru bailey
  • Below the entrance of the previous photo
  • Below the entrance of the previous photo
  • Trenches around the umadashi
  • Bailey around the Honmaru
  • South Bailey
  • A small Bailey around the South Bailey
  • A small Bailey around the South Bailey
  • South Bailey
  • South Bailey
  • Earthen embankment
  • Twisting entrance to the castle
  • Well Bailey on the left and overlooking the entrance
  • View from the well are looking up through the twisting entrances
  • Twisting Mizunote entrance
  • Umadashi entrance
  • Bailey and embankment
  • embankments
  • East Bailey trench
  • East Bailey
  • East Bailey entrance
  • Bailey
  • Bailey
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Nishikata Castle
Japanese Name 西方城
Alternate Names Tsurugaoka-jo
Founder Utsunomiya Kageyasu
Year Founded 1293
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Tobu Kanasaki Sta. (Tobu Nikko Line), 30 mins walk. There is also an infrequent bus from the station to about a 10 min walk away.
Visitor Information mountaintop, open any time
Time Required 150 mins
Location Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 28' 25.50" N, 139° 43' 12.00" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2019
Admin Visits March 17, 2019

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