Kasama Castle 笠間城
Founder Kasama Tokitomo
Year 1219
Type Mountaintop
Condition Ruins
Alternate Name Katsura-jo
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Location Kasama, Ibaraki Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Kasama Sta (Mito Line); 50 min walk
Website Kasama City Tourism
Visited May 4, 2011
Notes I visited this castle during Golden Week of 2011. There was a fair amount of damage from the recent earthquake which I was not expecting. You can see some of it in the pictures here. The above picture shows the stone steps to the main keep bailey. As you can see, some of the stones came loose.

During Golden Week, Kasama also has a pottery festival and azalea festival. The azalea festival is right next to where the castle is and an hourly shuttle bus makes the rounds between each festival and the station so why not make a day of it and enjoy them all.

History At the age of 16, Utsunomiya Tokitomo became lord of the Kasama area and changed his name to Kasama. He spent 16 years building up the original Kasama Castle, completing it in 1235. Many details of the Kasama clan are not well known, but it seems that they ruled over the area form Kasama Castle until the end of the Sengoku Period. In 1591, Kasama Tsunaie refused the summons from the Utsunomiya clan to go to the battle at Odawara so the Kasama clan was replaced by Tamanyu Katsumasa. After Ieyasu moved to Edo, the lord of Kasama Castle changed frequently. In particular the Gamo and Asano made modifications to the castle to make it more modern. Kasama Castle is rare among the Sengoku Period mountaintop castles because it lasted through the Edo Period without being abandoned, moved or entirely rebuilt in the Edo Period. Perhaps that is a sign of how well it was designed, deftly using of the terrain to its tactical advantage. It is also rare in the Kanto region for its stone walls.
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  • Kris on My Page    August 19, 2011 at 12:11 AM
    The tenshu-kaku area is still off limits as of August and I don`t recommend this castle in summer due to the mosquitoes. On the other hand it was cool in the shade and an easy walk; the forest was wonderfully green and overgrown which made the stone walls and stairs look ancient and mysterious. There is an abandonned(?) bitumen road through the site with a strange tunnel through the mountain reminiscent of `Spirited Away,` and a dilapidated picnic area. It is a shame that they built these here, if not for that and the fact that nothing or no one of major importance is really associated with the site then it could have got 100Meijo status with stonework like that. Besides the pottery another thing to see in the area is Kasama Shrine, which is quite old and high-ranking for the area. Also, on the way halfway down the mountain there is a giant stone with a niche in it. I don`t know if it was part of the castle but the legend says that if you throw three stones and can land one or more in the hole then you get a wish.
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Kasama, Ibaraki Pref.
Kasama Castle views
Stone steps to the main keep bailey Hachimandai Yagura
Hachimandai Tower otemon
stone walls outside the honmaru bailey Honmaru bailey
road to the to the main keep bailey temple in the tenshu bailey
roof tiles wall crumbled roof tile wall
stone wall Yakuimon Style Gate
Yakuiimon style gate another original gate
reconstructed bell tower Castle Map