Sakasai Castle

From Jcastle.info

Sakasai12.jpg

History

Sakasai Castle was the easternmost frontier of the Hojo territory standing in opposition to the Satake, Yuki and other lords of the area. For the time period, it is a fairly large and tough castle that made use of the river and wetlands surrounding it as a natural defense. Sakasai Castle was abandoned after the Hojo were defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590.


Visit Notes

I've wanted to go to Sakasai Castle for a long time, but it is probably one of the most remote and difficult castles to get to in the Kanto area. I finally found a reasonable way to get there, but it still took all day just to go and come back because there was so much time riding or waiting for busses. Regardless, it was a great trip. They have done a fantastic job accurately rebuilding the structures here to reflect the feel of a castle from the Sengoku Period. Most castle reconstructions are based on later Edo Period castles, so this is a valuable site. Besides the reconstructions, the moats and castle layout are also well preserved with many signs. If you have a chance, please stop at the soba restaurant next to the castle. They have brochures for the castle and the people are incredibly nice. They called a cheaper taxi for me than the one I was planning to take and let me kill time in the restaurant on that hot day while waiting. Of course, I also had my fill of zaru soba before that too.




Gallery
  • 2 level yagura
  • yagura, walls, moat
  • 2 level yagura
  • seiro yagura
  • one story yagura
  • early wood and clay wall
  • yaguramon gate
  • yaguramon gate
  • moat, bridge and gate
  • Sekiyado Yakuimon Gate
  • lord's palace
  • moats
  • moat
  • moats


Castle Profile
English Name Sakasai Castle
Japanese Name 逆井城
Alternate Names Iinuma-jo
Founder Hojo Ujishige
Year Founded 1577
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features gates, turrets, bridges, palace, water moats, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access Moriya Sta (Tsukuba Express), 1 hr bus, 2100 yen taxi
Visitor Information The bu schedules and routes have changed a couple times since I visited. The buses now only go to Iwai which is quite far from the station. Plan well before going. It migt be better to go on a non-holiday weekday and use the local community bus, even though it only runs 4 times a day.
Time Required 75 mins
Website http://bandokanko.jp/modules/pico/index.php?content id=91
Location Bando, Ibaraki Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 8' 31.31" N, 139° 51' 9.11" E
Loading map...
Admin
Added to Jcastle 2008
Admin Year Visited 2008
Admin Visits September 23, 2008


3.71
(7 votes)
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FurinkazanHatamoto

one month ago
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On 14/12/2022, I saw a comment on Google Maps about the path to the newly built yagura of Mito castle to be closed until the 19th of January. And apparently, the museum at Tsuchiura is temporarily closed. So I completely changed my plans for today, 15/12/2022. I went to Sakasai castle in the morning. I visited this castle in 2009 and used my then 'smartphone' to take pictures. These are actually awful, and since long I wanted to visit this place again. Sadly, it's really out of the way, and no public transportation gets you there. On Navitime a suggestion was to take a train to Koga station(Ibaraki prefecture) and from there taking a bus to bus stop Ôtsuna(terminus) , for a 35min drive, and from there walk to the castle site, +/-5km. At the tourist information desk near Tôkyô Station, they told me to take the train to Koga Station and from there a taxi for about 45min to the site. I decided to take the taxi to win some time. I paid 6500¥.

Sakasai castle is one, if not the best, reconstruction of a Sengoku period castle. I went all around the place, and some elderly people played that golf game you see more on castle grounds. I like the fact that the castle is used in this matter. One thing that surprised me, there was only one watchtower. The first time I went there, there were 2 of them. So one was dismantled. I wanted to eat at the soba restaurant on the castle grounds, but it seems it closed down. I ate nice soba there in 2009. Because of it being closed and the elderly persons not being there anymore, and I didn't note the phone of the taxi, I was a little bit stranded there. I decided to walk to the Ôtsuna bus stop. When I arrived there, at 13 o'clock, I realised there were no buses from 12:30 to 14:00. Be warned, there are mostly only one bus per hour. I asked at the restaurant, nearby the bus stop, if they could call a taxi. During the wait, a customer chatted with me. He had learned English by himself, and spoke it very well imo. He proposed to bring me to the station, but the taxi driver came in at that moment.
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ARTShogun

one month ago
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Mallet golf!
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Kiddus i2003Gunshi

107 months ago
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Cycling anticlockwise from Tokyo to niigata and down to Kyoto will allow me to pick up a few castles that I normally would not get to. This was one of those, combined with the cherry blossoms and preparations for hanami it took on a whole new look. Well worth the trip, just hope the rest I want to see will yield as good photo opportunities .
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FurinkazanHatamoto

130 months ago
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I now see that my first post was anonymous. I probably forgot to put my name. I agree Kris, this site is really worth seeing and the soba are really good :-)
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Anonymous user #1

130 months ago
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I really liked this site. The grounds are nicely sign-posted and interesting to wander around and explore. The fact that you could climb a sengoku style watchtower was purely awesome. The curving moat was very Hojo-style; coming after heavy rains it was easy to see the defense value of the surrounding marshes. The pool where the princess drowned herself actually looked quite deep, dark and scary. Though there do seem to be some signs that they had planned to do more and ran out of money halfway it really shows that the town has pride in this site that they spent money reconstructing an out-of-the-way castle well rather than on, say, more of those expensive incomprehensible bronze artworks that litter Japan. For a castle that only existed for about 10 years and wasn`t such a major site this is truly worth seeing. I went by car and in the afternoon; the soba shop was closed which was a shame - it sounds good
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Anonymous user #1

146 months ago
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An easy drive, and well worth the effort. The reconstruction has a great feel, and the view out over the valley from the yagura is tremendous. Walking the grounds and surrounding woods give a great perspective. Very interesting to see an earlier wooden style in lieu of the usual white stucco.
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Jcastle.oldHatamoto

164 months ago
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\ I don't know how the webmaster managed to pay only 2100yen for a ride at least the double of mine."As I said above you need to take a bus from Moriya Sta. There is a highway bus from there to a spot along the highway that is much closer to the castle. Bus schedules and routes seem to change around here a lot so email me for more information about how to get there."""