Tsuchiura Castle

From Jcastle.info



A castle was likely established on this site as a fortified home by Imaizumi Saburo, a vassal of the Oda. The site was likely renovated into an Edo Period castle by one of the lords (Matsudaira, Nishio, Kutsuki) in the first half of the 17th Century. The lands ruled from Tsuchiura Castle grew to their greatest size under the Tsuchiya clan who ruled all but 5 years of the span 1669-1869. This was the second largest fief in Hitachi after that of Mito. After the Meiji Restoration, the castle was used for government offices and in 1898 the last Tsuchiya officially donated the castle to the city of Tsuchiura.

Visit Notes

A nice site with several buildings in a very small area. It's a short walk from the station so please stop by if you are in the area.

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  • Taiko Yagura Gate
  • Maekawaguchi Gate
  • Maekawaguchi Gate
  • Kasumi Gate
  • Kasumi Gate
  • Uchibori moat
  • Uchibori moat
  • Uchibori moat
  • Entrance
  • Ninomaru moat
  • Nishi Yagura
  • Honmaru embankment
  • Taiko Yagura Gate
  • Taiko Gate
  • Taiko Gate
  • Roof tiles of the Taiko Gate
  • Reconstructed wall
  • Reconstructed wall
  • Reconstructed wall with stone chute
  • Higashi Yagura
  • Masugata entrance
  • Honmaru entrance
  • Higashi Yagura, moat and walls
  • Taiko Gate
  • Ninomaru earthen embankment
  • Ninomaru moat
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Tsuchiura Castle
Japanese Name 土浦城
Alternate Names Kijo
Founder Imaizumi Saburo
Year Founded early 1600's
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Next 100 Castles, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 2 levels, 2 stories (higashi yagura)
Features gates, turrets, water moats, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Tsuchiura Station (Joban Line), 15 minute walk
Visitor Information Park is open any time. The Higashi Yagura is open irregularly.
Time Required 30 mins
Website http://www.city.tsuchiura.lg.jp/page/page001098.html
Location Tsuchiura, Ibaraki Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 5' 5.17" N, 140° 11' 53.63" E
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Added to Jcastle 2003
Admin Year Visited 2003, 2016
Admin Visits April 29, 2003; May 5, 2016

(8 votes)
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71 months ago
Score 1++
I went to this site this morning on my way to Mito. It's easy to access. The remaining buildings are interesting and the reconstructed towers and wall were done like they should, in wood. The higashiyagura was open and the employee was eager to give as much information he could when he heard i was a castle-fan. He also showed some photos of castles he visited. He is also a castle-fan. After the castle i wanted to visit the historical museum, but this was closed. From the board on the door i could make out that the museum was closed the whole week, but i couldn't figure out the reason. Probably some kind of inventory. I went then to the nagamon which is now the entrance of a middle school. When i went to the Nakajôdôri i passed another school. The walls are new and modern, but i liked the fact that they resemble castle walls. There are even teppôzama in the 3 forms. The Nakajôdôri has several Edo-period and Meiji-period buildings.


74 months ago
Score 0++
Though not so large, Tsuchiurajō is quite a pleasant castle site. There is a taiko-yaguramon, the only original yaguramon in Kantō, and two gates which date to the Edo-jidai, two yagura reconstructed out of wood, and the inner moat to see, as well as some ishigaki and wall segments. The site used to be much larger and had many more rings of moats, so many were the waterways in fact at this castle upon Kasumigaura Lake, that it came to be known as Kijō, “Turtle Castle,” as it sat over the moats like a floating turtle, and was categorised as a water castle. The moats enclosed the honmaru (main bailey), ninomaru (second bailey), sannomaru (third bailey), and sotomaru (outer bailey). The honmaru contained a go’den (palace), and the other parts of the castle had residences for samurai (this album contains models of such structures from the city museum located adjacent to the castle). The Oda Clan controlled a fort here during the Sengoku-jidai but they were defeated by the Yūki Clan. In the Edo Period the Yūki were transferred away and Matsudaira Nobukazu was given control of the territory as a reward for his rear-guard action during the Battle of Sekigahara. His son Nobuyoshi developed the castle town and built checkpoints along the Mito-Kaidō (a trade route between Mito and Edo). Meiji authorities filled in the moats which gave the castle its nickname of “Turtle Castle” and used the go’den palace as offices until it burnt down in 1884.

Kiddus i2003Gunshi

94 months ago
Score 0++
Small, well maintained sadly not a lot to see.