Tsukui Castle

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The original fortification was built by the Tsukui clan during the Kamakura Period, but the castle remnants we see today all date from the Sengoku Period. In the latter half the the 1500's, it was an important castle in the Hojo castle network. Tsukui Castle was near the border of the Takeda lands and looked out over the Sagami River. It also served as a smoke signal tower to send signals to other points in the Hojo defensive network. Defense of Tsukui Castle was managed by the Naito clan, one of the chief retainers of the Hojo. The castle was defeated by Honda Tadakatsu and Hiraiwa Chikayoshi in Hideyoshi's campaign against the Hojo in 1590. After the fall of the Hojo, Tsukui Castle was decommissioned. In the Edo Period a jin'ya, or government administrative office, was established at the foot of the mountain just next to the current Park Center.

Visit Notes

You have to look hard to find castle remnants here but the park is well signposted which helps your enjoyment of the site. Stop by the park center before visiting the castle ruins to find maps, brochures, a model and other information about the castle. There are some trails to the east of the Takauchiba marked as "steep", proceed with caution. They are indeed very steep and there are no additional castle remnants to see. Much of the steep part is going up/down holding a chain or rope.

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  • Location of the lord's palace
  • Tatebori, vertical moat
  • vertical moat, tatebori
  • small bailey
  • Karoyashiki bailey
  • Stonework of the Karoyashiki bailey.
  • Karoyashiki stoneworok
  • Small bailey
  • Small bailey outside the honmaru
  • honmaru entrance
  • Honmaru map
  • small bailey outside the Honmaru
  • Entrance to the honmaru
  • Kome Kuruwa
  • Honjo Kuruwa
  • Earthen embankment of the Honjo Bailey
  • View from the top of the mountain
  • horikiri
  • Taiko Bailey
  • Path to the Iizuna Bailey
  • Entrance to the Iizuna Bailey
  • Along the side of the Iizuna Bailey
  • Takara-ga-ike pond
  • horikiri
  • The path to the Takauchiba.
  • Takuchiba Bailey
  • Steep hiking trail.
  • small bailey
  • Horse stabling area
  • Map of the full mountain
  • Map of the top of the mountain
  • Diorama in the park center.
  • Diorama in the park center

Castle Profile
English Name Tsukui Castle
Japanese Name 津久井城
Founder Tsukui
Year Founded 15th C.
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Hashimoto Sta. (JR or Keio Line); bus to Lake Tsukui Visitor Center, 20 min walk
Visitor Information The Park Center is open 8:30-17:15 daily except for the New Year's holidays
Time Required 120 mins
Website http://www.kanagawa-park.or.jp/tsukuikoshiroyama/index.html
Location Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 34' 58.80" N, 139° 16' 43.68" E
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Added to Jcastle 2013
Admin Year Visited 2013
Admin Visits Nov. 30, 2013

(2 votes)
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17 months ago
Score 0++

Tsukuijō is a castle site in two or three parts. There are the terraces at the foot of the castle mount which constituted the castle’s kyokan (residential area). These are located over a medieval-style bridge across a deep creek. On the other side of the creek where there are park facilities and a parking area there is also some terracing of the hillside; a latter day daikansho (feudal administrative centre) was located here after the abandonment of the medieval castle.

The main area of Tsukuijō is the yamajiro (mountaintop castle) portion, itself with eastern and western areas sprawling over the mountain. Features include earthworks such as kuruwa (baileys), dorui (earthen ramparts), horikiri (trenches) and tatebori (climbing moats). The tatebori are numerous and a half dozen of them or so are very long, streaking down the entire mountainside. Tatebori tend to be difficult earthworks to appreciate, but for a dedicated castle explorer they might well be the highlight at Tsukuijō.

The western portion of the castle is the Iidzuna Bailey complex. I went there first. A small main bailey, now a shrine, is surrounded by an obikuruwa (belt bailey), and beneath the main bailey complex is a well. Tsukuijō’s horikiri are located in this area of the castle, and, having been cut into stone, are quite impressive. The eastern area is where the castle’s main bailey complex is. Most of the castle’s tatebori are also located in this area. The main bailey has a large dorui segment, and it is cradled by several gate ruins. According to maps, detached baileys also sprawl to the northwest in the valley beneath the castle mount, but I had not the time to inspect them. Tsukuijō is a well maintained yamajiro site.