Pre Edo Period Castles of Edo

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Pre Edo Period Castles of Edo

2022/02/06


The plain around modern day Tokyo is relatively flat, so any higher areas, including the site of Edo castle itself, were popular places for building castles and fortifications. I've covered a few such sites in the past but I tend to go outside Tokyo when I'm in the mood to go castle-ing. I recently took advantage of an unexpected break in the schedule on a nice weather day to visit some of these sites that had been on my radar for years. There's not a lot to see at most of these sites as they've become shrines but combined together they make a nice story and day out walking around Tokyo.

You can walk (as I did) from DokanyamaHiratsuka CastleAsukayama CastleTakinogawa Castle but from here I took a bus from Oji Station to Itabashi Castle and then took a train to Shibuya Castle to round out this busy and long day.


 

Asukayama Castle / 飛鳥山城

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The park/castle grounds also contain a kofun evidencing the long interest in this ridge. In the Edo Period, Tokugawa Yoshimune planted many sakura trees here making it a popular site for viewing cherry blossoms. There is also an original 'ichiri-zuka' or milestone marker along the road to Nihonbashi between Asukayama Castle and Hiratsuka Castle. Shibusawa Eiichi also had a luxurious villa at Asukayama. The park is like a theme park for history fans of any period!
 
Dokanyama / 道灌山

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The site is now the Nishinippori Park and Suwa Shrine
 
Hiratsuka Castle / 平塚城

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Following the ridge from Dokanyama you will eventually reach the Hiratsuka Shrine. The site is now the Hiratsuka Shrine.
 
Itabashi Castle / 板橋城 

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The castle grounds today are the Chomyoji Temple and an elementary school. In front of the school (behind the gate) is a proper stone pillar and sign for the castle but I could not get in and didn't want to look like some weird creep leaning over the fence taking pictures of a school in session!
 
Shibuya Castle / 渋谷城

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Walking from the station and around the outside of the shrine, you can tell it would have been a good location for a castle. A nice rounded hilltop with good views of the area and a good water supply.
 
Takinogawa Castle / 滝野川城

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The site is now the Kongoji Temple.
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