Kururi Castle 久留里城
Founder Mariya Takeda
Year 1540
Type Mountaintop
Condition Reconstructed
Alternate Name U-jo
Reconstructed 1977 (concrete)
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Location Kimitsu City, Chiba Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Kururi Tetsudo, Kururi Station; approx. 20 minute walk to the grounds and 10 minutes to the top
Website Kururi-Joshi Museum
Visited May 28, 2005
Notes The castle itself is tucked away atop a mountain in the deep forests of Chiba Pref. Unlike some castle reconstructions, well placed signs identify each part of the castle showing the city's care for preservation. A small but enjoyable castle visit.

The castle was originally established by Mariya Takeda, but was taken over by Satomi Yoshitaka and became Satomi's home base and main fortification in his opposition to the Odawara based Hojo. After several unsuccessful attempts to attack Kururi Castle, it was eventually taken over by the Hojo (1564) but was then recaptured by Satomi in 1567.

After the coming of the Tokugawa, the castle was controlled successively by the Osuga, Tsuchiya, and Kuroda until it was eventually destroyed in 1872 after the Meiji Restoration.

The castle's nickname, U-jo (rain castle), comes from the story that it rained at least once every three days during it construction for a total of 21 times.

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  • ART    October 27, 2016 at 11:17 PM
    Kururijō is a great mountaintop castle to visit. I spurned the tunnel road through the mountain and hiked over it instead. The trail I found (pictures of trail in included) followed a ridge and came out at the Sannomaru bailey where currently there is a museum. A gravel road passes the ridge between sannomaru and honmaru, a steep incline on either side, and the honmaru is on the summit of the mountain, commanding sweeping views. The reconstructed borogata (sentry tower style) tenshukaku is from 1979. It is next to rather on top of the original tenshukakudai (donjon platform). The Tenshukakudai was originally a koshimaki-ishigaki mound, meaning that the lower part was encased in stone whilst the top was naked earth. On top if this stood a squat two-tiered tenshukaku (main keep), making the current reconstructed tower a mock reconstruction. The view from the keep is beautiful mountain scenery. Whilst I leant against the balustrade a glittering tamamushi came and hovered about the parapet on jewelled wings.
  • Kris on My Page    January 12, 2013 at 11:19 PM
    We went here on New Year`s Day, and one of the great things about it was that it was open on New Year`s Day. Well, the museum wasn`t open, but the reconstructed keep was, mostly because all they have inside is a rack of slippers for the guests. I think that was actually a smart move - that way it serves more as a vantage point to provide a sense of the location of the castle and also offers great views. This part of Chiba evidently takes a lot of pride in their history and the Satomi clan and it shows, which is great. Definitely take the road less travelled on the way up, not the road for cars.
  • jory.nori on My Page    July 03, 2011 at 08:01 AM
    The structure itself doesn't have much to offer. It's reconstructed and the interior three floors are empty. What is nice about this castle is its location and ambience. When you look out from the top floor everything is relatively unchanged from days gone by. You see wooded mountains and valleys. There are no giant office buildings to ruin the imagination. And when you look toward the area of the old castle town, it still looks like the model in the museum lobby which shows how the town used to look.
  • Usagi on My Page    January 08, 2011 at 07:15 PM
    Upon arrival, resist the temptation to walk the road from the car park, and instead take the 800m trail up and over the ridge line and imagine you are an attacking warrior. The approach through the woods is quiet and the rustle of tanuki in the undergrowth adds to the feel. The castle itself is tremendous with both excellent views, and much detail in the surrounding grounds.
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Kimitsu City, Chiba Pref.
Kururi Castle views
Kururi Castle donjon Kururi Castle donjon
castle foundation Yakushimaru bailey
sannomaru bailey Kururi Kuruwa.
Kururi shopping area sign.