Shibuya Castle




Shibuya Castle starts with a fortified home of Kawasaki Motoie in the Heian Period. His son Shigeie took on the surname Shibuya. The castle is situated atop a hill with the Shibuya River along one side. The castle was captured and burned down by the Hojo in 1524. A stone in front of the temple is supposedly from the original castle.

Visit Notes

Walking from the station and around the outside of the shrine, you can tell it would have been a good location for a castle. A nice rounded hilltop with good views of the area and a good water supply.

Recent considerations by castle experts, namely Nishimata Fusao, legendary Kanto castle expert, downgrade this to barely a fortified manor and certainly not a castle as legends would have you believe. It looks like it is on a hilltop but it is actually only partway up a gradual slope and there are no other natural defenses leaving it vulnerable to attack. It is close to the main highway of the Kamakura Kaido, but it would have been too insignificant to have any major effect on the highway in terms of monitoring or controlling it. This type of location was common for Kamakura Period samurai residences, but samurai residences were not typically used as castles at this time. For any significant attack they would have left their homes.

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Castle Profile
English Name Shibuya Castle
Japanese Name 渋谷城
Founder Shibuya Clan
Year Founded Heian Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line); 10 mins walk
Visitor Information Shrine, open 24/7
Time Required 15 mins
Website en.html
Location Tokyo, Tokyo
Coordinates 35° 39' 26.89" N, 139° 42' 22.68" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2021
Admin Visits Dec 27, 2021
Friends of JCastle
Kojodan: Shibuya-jo
Shirobito: Shibuya-jo

(2 votes)
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23 months ago
Score 0++
I've added a picture of the model of the fort in the shrine's treasure room.