Hachigata Castle 鉢形城
Founder Nagao Kageharu
Hojo
Year 1476
Type Hilltop
Condition Other Buildings
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Yorii, Saitama Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Yorii Sta (Tobu Tojo Line), 25 min walk, or 800 yen by taxi.
Website Yorii Town
Visited March 25, 2006
Notes The scale of ruins preserved and the amount of research that has gone into this castle is impressive. The museum (200 yen) is one of the best I've seen for a castle of this size and type. Go here first to see the model of the castle and watch the VR presentation before visiting the ruins. This castle is a must see for any castle fans in the Tokyo area or fans in the area with some time to spend here. Make it a day trip and visit Kawagoe afterwards.
History

The castle was first built by Nagao Kageharu around 1476 and was further fortified and renovated by Hojo Ujikuni when he became lord of the castle under his father Hojo Ujiyasu in 1560. The site of Hachigata Castle is one of the most ideal castle sites in all the Tokyo-Kanto area. It sits at the crossroads for much traffic coming from areas to the North (Shinshu and Joshu) and is nestled between two rivers (Ara River and Fukazawa River) with high cliffs on the Ara River side. Look at the photo of a map in the last picture to see this. These natural defenses along with the vast size of the castle made it a formidable defense for anyone attempting to attack the Hojo from this area.

In 1569 Hachigata Castle turned back the forces of Takeda Shingen, who was forced to go farther South. Then in 1590 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi made his final push towards Odawara to conquer the Hojo, Hachigata castle held off the combined armies of Maeda Toshiie and Uesugi Kagekatsu for a month with 3000 defenders. Ujikuni finally gave in and turned over the castle on the condition that the lives of his men were saved. The castle was later dismantled under the Tokugawa.

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  • Kris on My Page    November 14, 2010 at 11:58 PM
    Today was a misty Autumn day in the mountains, which made the ruins appear rather sombre. The plants by the reconstructed gate were a vivid red and by the river there were beautiful splashes of gold. I didn't enjoy Hachigata as much as other ruins near Tokyo, for example Kanayama or Hachioji; there were lots of roads and even a train track crossing the site which made it less relaxing to walk around. The museum's video display where sections lit up on the mini map was great, (the male narrator could do Taiga drama, possibly does, I didn't see the credits) and the site was adequately signposted. The 100 meijo stamp is in the Hachigata Rekishikan; they also have a stamp of Hojo Ujikuni's official seal. There were no Hojo omiyage or mascot characters but the rest area outside the museum was suitably Hojo-themed. Yorii station is also on the Chichibu Line and the JR Hachiko Line.
  • Eric on Castles of the Hojo    June 12, 2010 at 05:11 PM
    Hojo Ujikuni was lord of the castle when it fell on June 14 to a group including Maeda Toshiie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Yukimura, and Honda Tadakatsu.
  • MM    March 17, 2008 at 03:41 AM
    While Hachigatajo has no original buildings and only a reconstructed gate, it is interesting to view the earthworks that rise in level after level.
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Yorii, Saitama Pref.
Hachigata Castle views
reconstructed gate to the third bailey koguchi gate remains and reconstructed gate
third bailey, bridge and gate
moat between second and third bailey moat and walls
Denchichibu bailey umadashi gate
second bailey
embankment and moat castle map