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Saitama

Articles and travel guides on famous and not so famous destinations in Saitama Prefecture

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  • Hundred Caves of Yoshimi

    The Hundred Caves of Yoshimi (吉見百穴 Yoshimi Hyakketsu) are ancient burial sites carved into the sandstone of the Yoshimi Hills in Saitama...
  • Iwatsuki Castle

    Iwatsuki Castle (岩槻城) was constructed in the mid-15th century in what is now Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture. It was the residence of the Ota...
  • Tenjinyama Castle

    This article is about castle ruins that are a little bit different from what we usually explore. Tenjinyama Castle (天神山城) is located in Nagatoro,...
  • Ogura Castle

    Ogura Castle (小倉城) is a Sengoku-era hilltop castle located in Tokigawa Town, Saitama Prefecture. It stretched over three mountain ridges and was...
  • Hachigata Castle

    Hachigata Castle (鉢形城), located in Yorii-machi, Saitama Prefecture, is a hilltop castle (山城 yamashirō) that formed a natural fortress between the...
  • Sugaya Castle

    Sugaya Castle (菅谷城) is located in Ranzan, Hiki District, in Saitama Prefecture and allegedly the site of the former residence of Hatakeyama...
  • Sugiyama Castle

    Sugiyama Castle (杉山城 Sugiyama-jō) was a hilltop castle located in modern-day Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture. Constructed on a mountain ridge at the...
  1. Sugiyama Castle

    Sugiyama Castle (杉山城 Sugiyama-jō) was a hilltop castle located in modern-day Ranzan, Saitama Prefecture. Constructed on a mountain ridge at the edge of the Kantō plain it was overlooking the old Kamakura Highway, the modern-day Kanetsu Expressway. Making perfect use of the steep topography more than ten enclosures consisting of dry moats and clay walls were built across an area of eight hectares. The designers of the castle used complex earthworks and moats as well as sophisticated construction techniques such as yokoya-kakari (横矢掛かり or 横矢掛り), structures that allowed defenders to attack...
  2. Sugaya Castle

    Sugaya Castle (菅谷城) is located in Ranzan, Hiki District, in Saitama Prefecture and allegedly the site of the former residence of Hatakeyama Shigetada, an important retainer of the Kamakura Shogunate in the early Kamakura period (1185-1333). The castle was designated a National Historic Site in 1973 and has been added to the "Continued 100 Finest Castles of Japan" (続日本100名城) on 120th position in April 2017. The castle is situated close to the confluence of the Tsukigawa and the Tokigawa River, a large tributary of the Arakawa River. Its location was of strategic and commercial importance,...
  3. Ogura Castle

    Ogura Castle (小倉城) is a Sengoku-era hilltop castle located in Tokigawa Town, Saitama Prefecture. It stretched over three mountain ridges and was situated just 600 meters from the Tsuki River, forming a natural stronghold that allowed to monitor the traffic on the river. It was fortified with elaborate stonewalls, an unusual feat for most Sengoku castles in the Chichibu region. The map is based on Google Earth. The location of the enclosures may not be completely accurate. It is not quite clear who constructed the original castle. Some claim it was Toyama Mitsukage (遠山光影), a vassal of the...
  4. Tenjinyama Castle

    This article is about castle ruins that are a little bit different from what we usually explore. Tenjinyama Castle (天神山城) is located in Nagatoro, Saitama Prefecture, on top of a hill on the eastern bank of the Arakawa River. The map is based on Google Earth; the location of enclosure may not be absolutely accurate. The castle was constructed around 1540 by Fujita Shigetoshi (藤田康邦, 1513-1555), a vassal of the Yamanoue branch of the Uesugi. After the Hōjō clan defeated the Uesugi in the famous "Night Battle of Kawagoe" in 1546, the Fujita clan served the Hōjō. Hōjō Ujikuni took over the...
  5. Hachigata Castle

    Hachigata Castle (鉢形城), located in Yorii-machi, Saitama Prefecture, is a hilltop castle (山城 yamashirō) that formed a natural fortress between the Arakawa River and the Fukazawa River. Modern-day Yorii is an important traffic hub where JR Hachikō Line, Tōbu Tōjō Line and Chichibu Railway intersect, and Kanetsu Expressway runs nearby. In the Middle Ages, it played an important role not only as an administrative center to control the Northern Kantō area along the Kamakura Highway by linking Kozuke (present-day Gunma Prefecture) and Musashi (present-day Saitama and Tōkyō), but also as a...
  6. Iwatsuki Castle

    Iwatsuki Castle (岩槻城) was constructed in the mid-15th century in what is now Saitama City in Saitama Prefecture. It was the residence of the Ota (太田) clan in the early 16th century and afterwards taken over by the Late Hōjō. During Toyotomi Hideyoshi's siege of Odawara Castle in 1590, the castle fell within a few days. In the early Edo Period, many fudai daimyō (feudal lords who were hereditary vassals to the Tokugawa family) became lords of Iwatsuki Castle which was regarded as an important fortification in the defence of Edo. Nowadays, the former castle grounds are part of the Iwatsuki...
  7. Hundred Caves of Yoshimi

    The Hundred Caves of Yoshimi (吉見百穴 Yoshimi Hyakketsu) are ancient burial sites carved into the sandstone of the Yoshimi Hills in Saitama Prefecture. The 219 caves date back to the sixth and seventh century C.E. and are located east of Higashimatsuyama, about fifty kilometers northwest from Ikebukuro, Tokyo. Yoshimi Hyakketsu, or Yoshimi Hyakuana, as they are called by the locals, can be translated as “the Yoshimi one hundred caves” and are ancient tombs unearthed in 1888 by Tsuboi Shogoro (坪井正五郎, 1863-1913), who is considered to be one of the founders of Japanese anthropology and...
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