Hachioji Castle 八王子城
Founder Hojo Ujiteru
Hojo
Year 1570
Type Mountaintop
Condition Ruins
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Hachioji, Tokyo
Map Google Map
Access Takao Station (Chuo Line), bus for Reienmae (get off at Reienmae), 10 minute walk
Website Hachioji City Historical Sites
Visited January 26, 2002; June 29, 2013
Visitor Info. Free; the Visitor Center (Guidance Center) is open 830am-5pm. Closed 12/29-1/3 | Time Required: 200 mins
Notes There is a bus from Takao Station to the castle every hour on weekends and holidays. I recommend visiting when you can use this bus.

Even though there are no buildings, the walls, bridge and entrance to the lord's palace are enough to stimulate visitors to imagine what the original castle was like. This is one of the top castles to visit in the Tokyo area. Please be sure to walk out to the huge horikiri (大堀切) and pay attention to the former stone embankment along the way. Most people turn back at the Honmaru. The volunteer guides are also very knowledgeable. If you can speak even a little Japanese why not take a tour.

History

Hojo Ujiteru was one of the powerful lords of the Hojo family. He built this castle to strengthen the Hojo position in the area and help defend Odawara Castle from attack. After Odawara Castle was surrounded by Hideyoshi forces, Hojo Ujiteru, Hojo Ujimasa and Hojo Ujinao left to fight in Odawara leaving Hachioji Castle nearly defenseless. Soon after, the castle came under attack from Hideyoshi forces on June 23, 1590 and fell in one day. Hideyoshi later went on to defeat the Hojo at Odawara and complete the unification of Japan. It is said that Hideyoshi feared Ujiteru for his intelligence and prowess and that is a large part of why he demanded Ujiteru to commit suicide (seppuku) after he was captured.

Hachioji-jo was a great sprawling castle across the mountaintop with barricades built in strategic places to stall would be attackers or spies. The picture above of the entrance to what was originally the lord's palace. It is at the base of the mountain while the castle was actually at the top. There are a few small pieces of stone walls around the mountain but that is all that remains. The palace stood at the top of the hill across the bridge and was heavily fortified.

Photo Tags

4
Viewer Comments

Comment on this castle
  • Usagi on My Page    January 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM
    Nice grounds and ruins to walk around with interesting reconstructions of bridges and walls. Lots of interesting hiking and Buddhist monuments scattered through out the hills and grounds, making it a peaceful and satisfying journey.
  • Kris on My Page    October 26, 2010 at 01:41 AM
    Hachioji castle was a defining moment for me in (getting lost) visiting castles. On Midori-no-Hi 2008 I went to Mt Takao. From the top of Takao I hiked down the Jitaki waterfall course. Then, following the outdated map a friend had lent me I went across the train tracks, up the next mountain and was lost for about four hours. At one stage I came across a crude map burnt into a picnic table. I finally found some ishigaki but the trail I had been following from the monument ended in tangled, impenetrable scrub. I scrambled back up to the monument - the sun was setting and I was starting to worry - when finally I burst out on to the strangest of things, a perfect green square of lawn surrounded by ruined, grey walls. It was at this point that I fell in love with ishigaki. There were giant stairs and a giant bridge and a giant stone moat – after wandering around in a forest then coming on this in the gathering twilight the effect was surreal. That is the way you should see Hachioji-joshi! I didn't get the 100meijo stamp but it looks like you can camp inside the castle grounds so I might go back if I find someone who will let me borrow their tent.
  • Eric on Castles of the Hojo    June 13, 2010 at 12:45 AM
    Hojo Ujiteru fled to Odawara. His retainers put up a good defense against Maeda Toshiie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Yukimura and others but the castle fell on June 23.
  • Anonymous    May 02, 2009 at 06:33 PM
    This is definitely a nice place to do some hiking and enjoy the ruins. Noone has bothered to fix the English directions on how to get there on all the websites that I've seen. You need to catch the bus to Reinenmae bus stop, as the Hachioji joseki bus stop is no longer in use.
Average Rating
Sign in to add this castle to your castle visits or to rate it.
  • Global rating average: 2.83 out of 5
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83
  • 2.83

Hachioji, Tokyo
Hachioji Castle views
bridge, stone walls Ashida Bailey
Otemichi road Stone walls of the palace
Stone walls of the palace entrance stonework palace entrance
road to the palace gate to the palace grounds
entrance to the palace entranceway to the palace
view of the entrance from the palace grounds palace grounds
Palace grounds Stone walls in the woods
stone walls in the woods. Stone walls
Stone walls in the woods Honmaru bailey
Komabiyashi horikiri Stone covered earthen embankment
stone covered embankment stone embankment
Great Horikiri Great Horikiri
Tsume-no-shiro, yagura foundation view towards Tokyo
terraced baileys Map