Silver Linings Castlebook (3 new castles in Saitama)

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Silver Linings Castlebook (3 new castles in Saitama)

2023/06/26


Recently, on a work trip to Tokyo there was a typhoon induced massive rainstorm on a Friday that caused flooding around Aichi/Shizuoka and stopped the shinkansen from Tokyo for nearly 24 hours. Stuck in Tokyo for the weekend with nothing to do, I took the opportunity to visit some castles in Saitama on Sunday after the rain stopped. These are sites that I always wanted to visit but had never gotten around to. The only problem was that I had to take pictures with my iPhone which I really don't like to do. They always seem over saturated.

The Nagata Jin'ya and Akayama Jin'ya were both much better than I had expected making it a worthwhile trip out to Saitama.


 

Akayama Jin'ya / 赤山陣屋

Akayamajinya1.jpg

The castle site is much bigger than expected and the moats are beautifully preserved and maintained. This is also one of the most extensively signposted castle ruins I've been too. The photos here only show a small representation of the informational signs on the site that talk about not only the castle but the Ina Clan and their contributions to waterways management. The site is mostly a park today but parts of it are occupied by various plant, flower and bonsai nurseries. Even on the site, the signs mix castle and jin'ya regularly. It seems that the books I have and websites tend to call it jin'ya more often so that is what I've gone with.
 
Ashikaga Masauji Yakata / 足利政氏館

Ashikagamasauji2.jpg

The castle retains 2 sections of the moat around the temple today but originally it was much larger with two large baileys, both surrounded by water moats. The Kantoin temple houses the grave of Masauji and a painting of him which is a Prefectural Historic Artifact. I don't know if the temple is ever open to the public but it definitely was not this day. I've seen some reports that if you ask kindly to be allowed in to pray for the Ashikaga the priest will let you in and will allow pics of the grave, but that's not really my thing and I didn't see anyone around anyway.
 
Nagata Jin'ya / 永田陣屋

Nagatajinnya1.jpg

The Nagata Jin'ya was a surprisingly nice site. The main feature is the huge, well preserved nagayamon and pounded earth walls (tsuijibei) on either side. The original shinobi-gaeshi in the corner between the gate and wall are a nice feature too. The current gate dates to the latter Edo Period and is a Prefectural Historic Building. Three sides of the site also retain remnants of the moat so you can see the size of jin'ya too.
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RaymondWDaimyo

2 months ago
Score 0++
Great discovery of several yakata ruins in Saitama, Eric. Thanks for sharing them with other castle fans on Jcastle. I guess that unintentional weekend stay in Tokyo did have a silver lining for you. The jin’yas and the single yakata look a bit off the regular trail for visiting castle ruins in Saitama if one is using public transport to get around. I remember using mostly the Tobu Tojo Line to get round to some of the castle ruins in Saitama.