Watari Castle (Mikawa)

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MikawaWatarijou (1).JPG


Watarijō was constructed by Torii Nakatsukasa around 1167. The Torii Clan were originally from Kumano (Kii Peninsula), but left there following the Jōkyū War. In the Sengoku period the lord of Watarijō was Torii Tadayoshi who was a vassal of Matsudaira Hirotada. Torii Tadamune, son of Tadayoshi, died defending Watarijō from Oda Nobuhide, the 'Tiger of Owari', and the castle was destroyed. Torii Tadayoshi, a so-called model of frugality, re-built Watarijō and stored weapons and cash there in anticipation of Tokugawa Ieyasu's return to Okazaki Castle. Watarijō was abandoned at the latest in 1590 when Tokugawa Ieyasu relocated to Kantō as per his agreement with Toyotomi Hideyoshi, kampaku (regent) of Japan.

Visit Notes

Watarijō is an earthworks hirajiro (flatland) castle ruin the Watari Township of Okazaki Municipality. The township is made up of several small hamlets surrounded by rice paddies on the western bank of the Yahagi River at the point it is joined by the Oto River; the castle site is in the hamlet of Higashiura. Watari means 'Crossing', and so, it being the site of a confluence of rivers, this area was historically important as a river-crossing site; it is now spanned by a bridge for vehicular traffic and another for the railway of the Tōkaidō Main Line.

At Watarijō the castle's remains consist of dorui (earthen embankments) and the trace of a moat now used as rice paddies running between the road and the residences which occupy the site (the residences belong to the Nagashima family and Torii family, descendants of the Torii Clan). There are stelae attesting to the history of the site at the western end of the paddy-moat where there is also a mound of earth. The Nagashima Residence behind the eastern end of the moat retains dorui surrounding it in an 'L'-shape. The dorui is about 3m high and 30m in length, though it is now on private property and covered in trees.

  • Dorui and karabori (dry moat) trace

Castle Profile
English Name Watari Castle (Mikawa)
Japanese Name 三河渡城
Founder Torii Nakatsukasa; Torii Tadayoshi
Year Founded 1167; Mid' 16th Cntury
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Hori
Features water moats
Visitor Information
Access Nishi-Okazaki Station on the Tōkaidō Main Line; 22 minute walk
Visitor Information Access Limited
Time Required 10 minutes
Website https://blog.goo.ne.jp/midorishako/e/8da2da220b2600c17d47cb1c0ec3a436
Location Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 56' 34.87" N, 137° 8' 28.14" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Shashin Kiroku
Umoreta Kojō
Aichi Shiro
Jōkaku Hōrōki

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