There are various theories about the start of this castle and the history itself is not well known. The most likely theory is that it was built by Chiba Morotsuna of the powerful Chiba clan. After moving to this region, called Soma, he took on the name Soma and the castle was named Soma Castle. During Hideyoshi's siege of Odawara, Asano Nagamasa attacked the Soma and took the castle. When Tokugawa Ieyasu moved to Edo, he put Toki Sadamasa in charge of the Soma lands. The castle was decommissions in 1628.
This is a short walk from Moriya Sta and worth a visit if you are in the area. You could also visit nearby Takai Castle. I had actually planned to visit this as an extension of my Ushiku Castle cycling trip but got a flat tire on the way to Takai Castle and had to visit it another time. The castle itself was originally built on a small peninsula into the swamp giving it much natural protection. See this site for a good illustration. Much of the swamp has since been filled in and developed over.
|English Name||Moriya Castle|
|Alternate Names||Soma Castle|
|Year Founded||Kamakura Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Moriya Sta (Tsukuba Express line); 20 min walk|
|Visitor Information||park, open any time|
|Time Required||40 mins|
|Location||Moriya, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 57' 2", 140° 0' 20"|
|Visits||September 3, 2017|