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Travel Sakura Castle

  1. Hiroto Uehara
    Sakura Castle (佐倉城 Sakura-jō) is located in the city of Sakura in Chiba Prefecture and was constructed on the 30-meter-high Kashima plateau. Due to its elaborate use of the natural topography it was an impregnable location surrounded by marshes and rivers.

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    The map is based on Google Earth. The location of enclosures or others are my speculation, so they may not be correct.

    Built on the unfinished remains of Kashima Castle that had been started by the Chiba clan in the Sengoku Period, Doi Toshikatsu (土井利勝, 1573-1644), a high-ranking official in the Tokugawa shogunate and advisor to the second shogun, Hidetada, completed the castle in 1617 under the orders of Ieyasu himself. Thereafter, it served as one of the important defense lines of the capital Edo under several fudai daimyō (feudal lord in hereditary vassal to the Tokugawa family). Though none of the original structures remain, enclosures, ramparts and moats in the large castle are well-maintained.

    I went there by bus, which took about 5 minutes from Keisei-Sakura Station to “Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan iriguchi” (the entrance of the National Museum). You can also reach the castle grounds in a 20-minute walk. I entered the castle from the bus station. There was a huge moat in the vicinity of the entrance.

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    I climbed up the short slope and walked along the side of the National Museum of Japanese History. It’s a site history buffs shouldn't miss, but I had to pass on as I was pressed for time.

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    An excavation site close to the museum.

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    The path was around the castle grounds was well-maintained and easy to tackle.

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    The most impressive sight were the vast dry moats deeply carved into the hill, a formidable line of defense.

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    The inner bailey: the three-storied castle towers was originally located at the corner.

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    otemon-sakura-castle.jpg
    This is a historical picture of Ote Gate. There were several huge gates in the castle.

    Date of visit : 19th May 2013

    Access Information
    • Address: Jounai-machi, Sakura-shi, Chiba - Map 
    • Transportation: get off at "Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan Iriguchi" bus stop from Keisei Main line Keisei-Sakura station by bus, or 20 minutes walk
    • Other sights: the National Museum of Japanese History
      Sakura Town Walking Map (Japanese: Sakura City HP)


    Map

    About Author

    Hiroto Uehara
    Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.


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