Hachigata Castle 鉢形城
Founder Nagao Kageharu
Year 1476
Type Hilltop
Condition Other Buildings
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Historical Value Top 100 Castles
Location Yorii, Saitama Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Yorii Sta (Tobu Tojo Line), 25 min walk, or 800 yen by taxi.
Website Yorii Town
Visited March 25, 2006

The castle was first built by Nagao Kageharu around 1476 and was further fortified and renovated by Hojo Ujikuni when he became lord of the castle under his father Hojo Ujiyasu in 1560. The site of Hachigata Castle is one of the most ideal castle sites in all the Tokyo-Kanto area. It sits at the crossroads for much traffic coming from areas to the North (Shinshu and Joshu) and is nestled between two rivers (Ara River and Fukazawa River) with high cliffs on the Ara River side. Look at the photo of a map in the last picture to see this. These natural defenses along with the vast size of the castle made it a formidable defense for anyone attempting to attack the Hojo from this area.

In 1569 Hachigata Castle turned back the forces of Takeda Shingen, who was forced to go farther South. Then in 1590 when Toyotomi Hideyoshi made his final push towards Odawara to conquer the Hojo, Hachigata castle held off the combined armies of Maeda Toshiie and Uesugi Kagekatsu for a month with 3000 defenders. Ujikuni finally gave in and turned over the castle on the condition that the lives of his men were saved. The castle was later dismantled under the Tokugawa.

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  • furinkazan on My Page    May 14, 2017 at 10:51 PM
    Waiting for my train in Gyôdashi station, after visiting Oshijô, a man came to me and asked me directly from where i was and what i was doing. I told him i visit castles and the following one was Hachigatajô. He told me that there was a Hôjô matsuri today. We had a nice chat on the train. He asked me what the currency is in Belgium. Actually i had all the different coins in my wallet and a 50 € billet. I showed him and he gave me 130¥ for the 1€ coin. I told him it was too much , but he insisted. So i gave him also the 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20€ cents. When he got of the train he went directly to a vending machine. He throwed the can to me just before the closing of the doors. When i arrived at Yorii station, i teceived immediately a paper with the activities concerning the matsuri. Since my first objective was the castle i walked straight to it. Walking over the Arakawa i saw from afar that a reenactment was going to start along the river. Over the river you are already on the grounds of the castle. Sadly, like stated in the other comments, some roads cross on the grounds. There are also some houses build on parts of it. Because of the matsuri some kuruwa wete also used as parking lot. Nevertheless i enjoyed the moats and embankments. Since the reenactment had begun when i reached the castle, i heard teppô cracking, cannons blasting and signal flares booming. This gave a nice atmosphere on the site. The show was over when i finished my castle visit, but i still encountered some brave samurai(it was hot today) and enjoyed some signing and eating. I gave only 1.5 stars to this site, because there are no buildings, apart from the only reconstructed door. But if you're interested in nice dorui, i highly recommend this place.
  • RaymondW on My Page    May 03, 2016 at 09:44 PM
    Visited this castle in November 2015. This castle ruin is quite an impressive Hojo castle with some deep ditches, earthworks, a few very small sections of original stone wall remnants and lots of rebuilt stone walls in the Chichibu Bailey. The actual castle site is massive, roughly on par with Sakura Castle (Chiba) and Yamanaka Castle (Shizuoka). The museum on site is pretty good, too, with an interactive CG display of what the castle looked like during the Sengoku Period and a model of the whole castle.
  • Kris on My Page    November 14, 2010 at 11:58 PM
    Today was a misty Autumn day in the mountains, which made the ruins appear rather sombre. The plants by the reconstructed gate were a vivid red and by the river there were beautiful splashes of gold. I didn't enjoy Hachigata as much as other ruins near Tokyo, for example Kanayama or Hachioji; there were lots of roads and even a train track crossing the site which made it less relaxing to walk around. The museum's video display where sections lit up on the mini map was great, (the male narrator could do Taiga drama, possibly does, I didn't see the credits) and the site was adequately signposted. The 100 meijo stamp is in the Hachigata Rekishikan; they also have a stamp of Hojo Ujikuni's official seal. There were no Hojo omiyage or mascot characters but the rest area outside the museum was suitably Hojo-themed. Yorii station is also on the Chichibu Line and the JR Hachiko Line.
  • Eric on Castles of the Hojo    June 12, 2010 at 05:11 PM
    Hojo Ujikuni was lord of the castle when it fell on June 14 to a group including Maeda Toshiie, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Sanada Yukimura, and Honda Tadakatsu.
  • MM    March 17, 2008 at 03:41 AM
    While Hachigatajo has no original buildings and only a reconstructed gate, it is interesting to view the earthworks that rise in level after level.
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Yorii, Saitama Pref.
Hachigata Castle views
reconstructed gate to the third bailey koguchi gate remains and reconstructed gate
third bailey, bridge and gate
moat between second and third bailey moat and walls
Denchichibu bailey umadashi gate
second bailey
embankment and moat castle map