Doi Toshikatsu started building this castle under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1610. It took 7 years to complete. Doi built upon the unfinished work of the Chiba who had started building a castle called Kashima Castle on this site in the Sengoku Period. Throughout the Edo Period, Sakura Castle saw several powerful lords loyal to the Tokugawa rule from here. It was considered a strategically important location to protect the Eastern flank of Edo.
The castle was a large expansive castle which was famous for the fact that it had absolutely no stone walls. Only deep dry moats or earthen embankments to mark off the baileys and provide protection. The tenshu (main keep) was actually a yagura moved there from Edo Castle.
Stop by the tourist information center just outside the Keisei Dentetsu station across the street. They have the best pamphlet of history, maps and photos I've ever seen for a site that is just ruins like this. The bukeyashiki (samurai houses) near the JR Station are very well preserved and definitely worth visiting if you have time. The grounds of the castle also contain a large museum of national history. You can also visit the ruins of Moto Sakura Castle nearby.
|English Name||Sakura Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Castles, Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Edo Period|
|Features||samurai homes, water moats, trenches|
|Access||Sakura Sta. (Keisei Dentetsu line), 15 min walk; Sakura Sta. (JR Sobu line), 20 min walk.|
|Location||Sakura, Chiba Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 43' 20.32" N, 140° 12' 57.17" E|
|Visits||March 22, 2008|
|Added to Jcastle||2008|