Kawagoe Castle 川越城
Founder Ota Doshin
Year 1457
Type Flatland
Condition Other Buildings
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Kawagoe, Saitama Pref
Map Google Map
Access Kawagoe Sta, Tobu Tojo Line, 20 min by tourist bus
Website Kawagoe Honmaru Palace
Visited March 25, 2006; Aug 4, 2012
Visitor Info. 100 yen admission. Closed Mondays except National Holidays after which it is closed on Tuesday. Closed on the 4th Friday of each month except National Holidays. Closed Dec 28 - Jan 4. | Time Required: 60 minutes
Notes The only real remnants of the castle are the lord's palace, but it is well worth the trip because there are very few extant palaces. You can also spend the day exploring other historical sites in Kawagoe.

Kawagoe Castle was founded in 1457 by Ota Doshin and his son Dokan under the order of Uesugi Mochitomo. In 1546 it was taken over by the Hojo until it fell again to Hideyoshi as part of his attack on Odawara and the Hojo.

When the Tokugawa established their base of power at Edo (Tokyo), Kawagoe Castle functioned as an important defensive position for Edo. The city of Kawagoe likewise prospered as an important logistical hub for the transportation of food and other goods to and from Tokyo. This focus on logistics and trade also led to the abundance of storehouse style buildings you can still see today. In this old part of town you can also get a feeling for an Edo Period castle town

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  • furinkazan on My Page    May 11, 2017 at 10:24 PM
    I spend the whole day in Kawagoe. I visited a lot of temples and shrines. Like stated below, the Kita-in has the last buildings of the goten of Edojô. These were moved there to rebuild the temple. The goten of Kawagoejô is a must see. The mound of the Fujimiyaguraato is somewhat a letdown. If you buy a combination ticket of 600¥, you'll have access to the goten, the City museum, the City Art museum and the festival museum. There are several combinations, if you're not interested in the 4 musea. In the City museum you'll find a model of Kawagoe city during the Edo-period. The castle is very detailed. Another interesting museum, if you're interested in weapons and armors, is the small History museum. You are allowed to take pictures of everything. I spend more than 1h in that museum. The employees are eager to give some information. No really Kawagoe merits that you spend a complete day to visit.
  • ART    November 03, 2016 at 08:25 AM
    I also checked out the yaguradai (sentry turret foundation) on a nearby hilltop, and a preserved moat segment. I found a wooden model of the Fujimi Yagura at Kita’in where more original castle palatial structures have survived, those originally from Edojō.
  • ART    October 24, 2016 at 05:30 PM
    Not only does the Go'ten of Kawagoe Castle survive, but a nearby temple Kita'in has an original palatial building from Edo Castle too, including the room where Tokugawa Iemitsu was born.
  • RaymondW on My Page    August 26, 2012 at 09:33 AM
    This is a fine palace to visit. It is one of only four original castle palaces left at Japanese castle sites. I went there a few weeks ago when I was in Tokyo. Apart from the actual palace, there isn't a lot of Kawagoe Castle's fortifications / structures left. Only part of the Nakanomon Moat, one of the outer moats, and the site of where the Fujimi Turret used to be can be seen now. The rest of the castle site has been pretty much been built over by modern day Kawagoe. For castle fans who collect the 100 Meijo stamps, there is a display of what all the 100 stamps look like in one of the rooms in the palace. There is also a pretty good book (in Japanese only) about the castle with lots of old period maps and a map of the original castle overlaid on a map of present-day Kawagoe.
  • Kris on My Page    November 14, 2010 at 11:55 PM
    I went here a long time ago on a bus tour with the local friendship centre in my area. I'd like to go back again now that I would have a better understanding of it all – still, it was interesting to walk around the different rooms.
  • ava    August 12, 2009 at 05:56 PM
    this website was very helpful with my japanese assignment. it was the only site i needed to complete this section of the assign. because it gave me all the info i needed! cheers :) xx
  • Anonymous    May 07, 2009 at 07:39 AM
    This was very usefull. :) I just wish there was more info. I had to use this site for a school project :) THANKS!!
  • Anonymous    May 02, 2009 at 06:29 PM
    Kawagoe is now receiving maintenance and will be closed for the next couple of years. I was dissappointed to find this out when I got there, but there are lots of other things to see there.
  • Paige    November 03, 2008 at 09:13 PM
    Thankyou for this usefull website, this website was usefull to me for a school project, we had 2 find intersesting places to visit in Japan! ONCE AGAIN THANKYOU!!!!!!
  • MM    March 17, 2008 at 03:22 AM
    If you're a Shiro-lover like me, this is a good castle to go to because of its Honmaru palace. the only thing that exists besides this is a mound on which a Yagura stood.
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Kawagoe, Saitama Pref
Kawagoe Castle views
honmaru goten entrance Entrance to the honmaru
Nakanomon Moat Gate at the nakanomon moat
Fujimi Yagura site Area where the Fujimi Yagura stood
palace Outside of the palace
honmaru palace Honmaru Palace
Honmaru Palace Honmaru Palace
Honmaru Palace Honmaru Palace
Honmaru Palace Honmaru Palace
Honmaru Palace Honmaru Palace
Honmaru Palace Honmaru Palace
bell tower kurazukuri buildings
map of Kawagoe Castle