Pre Edo Period Castles of Edo


Pre Edo Period Castles of Edo


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


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


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


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


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


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


The site is now the Kongoji Temple.
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