Sakasai Castle was the easternmost frontier of the Hojo territory standing in opposition to the Satake, Yuki and other lords of the area. For the time period, it is a fairly large and tough castle that made use of the river and wetlands surrounding it as a natural defense. Sakasai Castle was abandoned after the Hojo were defeated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1590.
I've wanted to go to Sakasai Castle for a long time, but it is probably one of the most remote and difficult castles to get to in the Kanto area. I finally found a reasonable way to get there, but it still took all day just to go and come back because there was so much time riding or waiting for busses. Regardless, it was a great trip. They have done a fantastic job accurately rebuilding the structures here to reflect the feel of a castle from the Sengoku Period. Most castle reconstructions are based on later Edo Period castles, so this is a valuable site. Besides the reconstructions, the moats and castle layout are also well preserved with many signs. If you have a chance, please stop at the soba restaurant next to the castle. They have brochures for the castle and the people are incredibly nice. They called a cheaper taxi for me than the one I was planning to take and let me kill time in the restaurant on that hot day while waiting. Of course, I also had my fill of zaru soba before that too.
|English Name||Sakasai Castle|
|Castle Condition||No main keep but other buildings|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||gates, turrets, bridges, water moats, trenches, walls|
|Access||Moriya Sta (Tsukuba Express), 1 hr bus, 2100 yen taxi|
|Visitor Information||The bu schedules and routes have changed a couple times since I visited. The buses now only go to Iwai which is quite far from the station. Plan well before going. It migt be better to go on a non-holiday weekday and use the local community bus, even though it only runs 4 times a day.|
|Time Required||75 mins|
|Location||Bando, Ibaraki Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 8' 31.31" N, 139° 51' 9.11" E|
|Visits||September 23, 2008|
|Added to Jcastle||2008|