18.Hachigata Castle Part2

In this article, let us simulate walking from the outer southern edge of the castle through the center to the tip.


Castle becomes Hachigata Castle Park

Today, the ruins of Hachigata Castle have widely been developed as Hachigata Castle Park of about 5 hectare.s Many people visit to see the historical artifacts on display in the castle, as well as enjoy walking and relaxing in a nature setting. For example, there is a big cherry blossom tree which has recently become popular, called “Ujikuni Sakura (Cherry Blossom)”, named after the lord of the castle, Ujikuni Hojo. I recommend you allow yourself enough time to walk around the park to check the important artifacts of the castle and hopefully discover more interesting things to you. In this article, let us simulate walking from the outer southern edge of the castle (the outside of the Third Enclosure) through the center (the Main Enclosure) to the tip (near the meeting point of the rivers).

The big cherry blossom tree, “Ujikuni Sakura”

The front of the castle is near the railway crossing between the path and the Hachiko Line. The path after the crossing will divide into three – the centeral paved one which visitors usually go, the right one which was the Main Route, and the left one which leads to the Third Enclosure. The first route is convenient for casual visitors, however, we will take the second and third this time, in order to follow the original routes as closely as possible.

The map around the castle, the red broken line shows the route similar to the original Main Route and the blue broken line shows the route to the Third Enclosure

The railway crossing
The junction of the three routes

Going on Main Route

The right Main Route goes over some large deep moats beside the Main Route Enclosure, which could have been defensive.

The right Main Route
The moat beside the entrance of the route (on the left)
The Main Route Enclosure on the right

The route next turns left at a square Umadashi enclosure, which was the key to the castle’s defenses. From there, it goes towards the center of the castle and finally reaches the border of the Third and then Second Enclosures.

The route turns left at the Umadashi Enclosure
It goes to the Second Enclosure
The part of the Main Route in the castle diorama

You can see another Umadashi enclosure from the outside at the point, but originally, the route would have passed through it.

Another Umadashi is outside on the right
The route goes straight to the Second Enclosure, not thought the Umadashi
The route passed thought the Umadashi according to the diorama

Going to Third Enclosure via Suwa Enclosure

The left route is currently the approach to Suwa Shrine, also called the Suwa Enclosure. It is a square patch of land, still surrounded by earthen walls and deep dry moats, which are obviously a type of Umadashi system.

Entering the Suwa Enclosure
The earthen walls surrounding the enclosure
The dry moat outside the earthen walls

Another narrow path connects one side of the Umadashi to the entrance of the Third Enclosure, which looks very defensive. These are typical of the Hachigata Castle defense system.

Going from Umadashi of the Suwa Enclosure to the Third Enclosure
The entrance of the Third Enclosure, viewed from inside
The part of the Suwa Enclosure, the red arrow indicates the direction of the current route

Third Enclosure as Important Site

The Third Enclosure is the highest point of the castle. Tall, thick earthen walls, supported by stone mounds inside, (looking like stone walls), surround the enclosure. These structures were restored in the present time based on excavation records. A four-legged gate was also restored based on the research. Other evidence of buildings like halls has not been found so far, but the enclosure must have been important for the castle.

The Third Enclosure
The earthen walls, supported by stone mounds, surround the enclosure
The restored four-legged gate

To be continued in “Hachigata Castle Part3”
Back to “Hachigata Castle Part1”

投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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