Setagaya Castle




The Kira Clan was awarded with the Setagaya lands by Ashikaga Motouji in 1366. The residence of the Kira clan was established around 1394-1426 and further fortified into a small castle by Kira Naritaka in the mid 1400's. Naritaka also became a close ally of Ota Dokan and was entrusted with the defense of Edo Castle when Ota Dokan left to put down the Nagao Kageharu Rebellion. This is actually the only record of the Kira clan participating in any battles. Naritaka also established an alliance with the Hojo who were gradually swallowing up the Kanto plain. The Kira ruled until the fall of the Hojo in 1590. Following the fall of the Hojo, Tokugawa Ieyasu put the Setagaya area under the control of the Hikone Ii clan. The Ii established their funerary temple here at Gokokuji and administered the area from the nearby Daikansho which still exists today (sorry, no picture). It is said that the stones from the castle were taken and used for the construction of Edo Castle.

Visit Notes

There's really very little to see here besides the outlines of some earthen embankments. The stone walls were recreated with the park for atmosphere. Combined with a trip to nearby Gotokuji Temple, it is a worthwhile trip if you live in Tokyo. Gotokuji Temple houses the graves of the Hikone lords, the Ii clan. One legend states that the world famous Japanese manekineko cats also derive from a story at this temple and that means it's also related to the Hikone Castle mascot, Hikonyan. Click through to the photo for these exciting details.

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  • Park entrance
  • Park entrance
  • Earthen embankment
  • Path up the embankment
  • Earthen embankment
  • bailey
  • Embankment and bailey
  • Moat separating two baileys
  • dry moats
  • Dry moats
  • dry moats and baileys
  • Main gate of Gotokuji Temple
  • Entrance to the family graves of the Ii clan.
  • Manekineko Shrine.
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Setagaya Castle
Japanese Name 世田谷城
Alternate Names Kira Gosho, Setagaya Gosho
Founder Kira Haruie
Year Founded 1366
Castle Type Flatland
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Miyanosaka Sta. (Tokyu Setagaya line), walk 7 mins
Visitor Information Park is open anytime
Time Required 20 mins
Location Tokyo, Tokyo
Coordinates 35° 38' 46.00" N, 139° 38' 51.00" E
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Added to Jcastle 2014
Admin Year Visited 2013
Admin Visits Sept 7, 2013

(2 votes)
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54 months ago
Score 0++
It seems that Setagayajō once extended across the grounds of what is now Gōtokuji, but the modern castle park is only a part of it. Gōtokuji is now a temple famous for originating (perhaps) the famous maneki neko (waving cat), and, history fans will note, as the bodaiji (family temple) of the Ii Clan, lords of Hikone Castle. The sites are quite separate today and fenced off property stopped me from attempting a shortcut between them. This castle site is rather odd. Modern stone walls have been built here and there. One portion of this modern ishigaki forms a circle: is it meant to suggest a turret platform? I've not seen its like before. To see modern attempts to give a castle site ishigaki which it never had historically is a novelty, I suppose, if only a little confusing. The ruin features dorui (earthen embankment) remains and a hori (trench) which appears to fork into two. When I came there were spider lillies a-blossom.


114 months ago
Score 0++
Really? Can't wait for the next article !


114 months ago
Score 0++
Awesome! This is exactly what I was looking for.