Makabe Castle

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Makabe Castle was built in 1172 by Makabe Nagamoto. The Makabe clan ruled their modest territory for generations as Oda, Edo and Yuki grew in strength around them. From the Sengoku Period, the Makabe allied with the Satake Clan and continued to control their lands until the Edo Period when the Satake were relocated to Akita. In the Edo Period, Makabe Castle was the retirement castle of Asano Nagamasa. His son Nagashige was relocated to Kasama Castle in 1622 and the castle was abandoned. A Makabe Jinya was established west of the Sengoku Period castle which continued to function until the end of the Edo Period.

Visit Notes

Makabe Castle was a fantastic castle to visit. They have done an incredible job developing the castle grounds. The signage is quite good and the paths are easy to follow. They've been slowly conducting excavations and rebuilding some of the earthen embankments and trenches at this National Historic Site for over 15 years. I don't know what the reconstruction plans are, I just wish they could do it a little faster! There is great potential to develop this into a treasured site for castle fans someday. I imagine it would be something like nearby Oda Castle but on a much larger scale. On the main road outside the castle you'll find the bus stop, a convenience store and the entrance to the civic gymnasium which is also the entrance to the castle. This road cuts through the Ninomaru Bailey following alongside the Honmaru moat, which has now been filled in. Everything West of here has been developed over but the parts East to the mountain have been reclaimed and are being studied and restored. The bit of embankment behind the small shrine in the far back of the castle is completely original showing what they would have looked like if they were untouched to today. The shrine seems to have saved the only original remnants.

The area of town between the castle and the Jin'ya has several old temples and gates that have been preserved in an historic district. You could probably spend most of a day here, but mine was cut a bit short by a hard rain and the fact that nothing was open due to COVID 19.

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  • studies continue...
  • small shrine mentioned in the description
  • original embankment
  • street with a lot of atmosphere
  • lots of these signs, I think I may have seen/heard one rooting around in one of the trenches with deep weeds

Castle Profile
English Name Makabe Castle
Japanese Name 真壁城
Founder Makabe clan
Year Founded 1172
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features bridges, trenches, castle town
Visitor Information
Access Iwase Station (JR Mito Line), 35 min bus
Visitor Information park, open 24/7
Time Required 90 mins
Location Sakuragawa, Ibaraki Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 16' 31.73" N, 140° 6' 29.09" E
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Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2021
Admin Visits May 5, 2021
Friends of JCastle
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28 months ago
Score 0++
looks like a great site