124.Shinagawa Batteries Part3

The ruins of Shinagawa Batteries are very useful for telling people about what happened in the past. Visual historical items are significantly better than only records or explanation boards.


Looking around N0.3 Battery Ruins

The ruins of the No.3 Battery as the Daiba Park is connected to the seaside by a marine walkway. The walkway was added when the park was established, that means the battery had originally been isolated. As you get close to the battery, you will see its characteristic stone walls using the Hanedashi system. The system refers to all the stones on the top row are layered to prevent enemies from invading, which emulated European castles. This system is rarely seen in other Japanese castles only in Goryokaku, Tatsuoka Castle and Hitoyoshi Castle which were built or renovated at the end of the Edo Period. In fact, this is the only spot where you can see them close by because it is prohibited for visitors to approach the stone walls from the other sides.

The aerial photo of the No.3 Battery

The marine walkway to the park
The Hanedashi system of the No.3 Battery
You can’t approach other stone walls of the battery in other places
The Hanedashi system of Goryokaku

You can land at the battery by using steps like boarding a ship. You can next see a close view of the battery. It is a large square with one side being 160m long and its perimeter is higher than the center. There are few remaining original items, so some visitors might not notice that it is a ruin without the knowledge of its history. If you walk on the perimeter which is made with earthen walls from the entrance, the view is so nice. You can see Odaiba Seaside Park on the left, the Rainbow Bridge and the No.6 Battery on the right, and Tokyo Bay ahead.

You can land the battery by using these steps
The close view of the battery
Walking on the earthen walls of the perimeter
The view of Tokyo Bay ahead
The No.6 Battery on the left and the Rainbow Bridge on the right

Ruins regarding Guns

There are two imitations of gun platforms on one side of the perimeter opposite the entrance. However, they are not actually real and should not be considered even as replicas, according to historians. In addition, there were thick and long earthen protective walls called “breastworks” in front of cannons, but they seem to have collapsed. There were also earthen side walls dividing the canons to protect gunners from blasts, but were removed after the battery being abolished. This side was definitely the front line against enemies.

The two imitations of gun platforms
The protective walls around the guns have been lost

The ruins of the gun powder magazines are facing downward inside the front side walls, which are surrounded by earthen banks. There was the building for the magazine inside the banks, but it was demolished. There is now a stone-made item like a cocking stove instead, but it is not original for the battery. In addition, the banks are partially supported by stone walls which were built to recover them from the damage of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923.

The ruins of the gun powder magazines
The inside of the ruins
These stone walls were built after the earthquake

The ruins of the ammunition chambers are at other sides. The chambers were solidly built with a stone hut and wooden racks deep in the earthen walls. This was because ammunition was the most dangerous item in the battery, which might have caused accidents or explosions. We can now see the stone hut ruins behind earthen mounds around which were added later than when the battery was active, maybe for preservation.

One of the ruins of the ammunition chambers

Ruins of Pier and Barrack

In the flat central part of the battery, there are only the stone foundations of the barrack. The barrack was a simple wooden building with no baths for the warriors to rest in. They would escape from the barrack if a battle happened before it would be burned.

The central part of the battery
The ruins of the battery

The ruins of the pier are at the next corner to the current entrance. Visitors can not enter it, but only see it from the inside. The concreted part was worked in the later period, which might have been used when the park was developed.

The ruins of the pier
You can’t enter the pier

There are also remaining earthen walls in front of the pier, which is called “Ichimonji-tsutsumi” (meaning the bank like the Chinese letter for one which is a horizontal line). This structure was made to ensure visitors could not see inside and the defenders could protect the battery from enemies’ attacks from the tier as the original entrance.

The remaining earthen walls called Ichimonji-tsutsumi

My Impression

I think the ruins of Shinagawa Batteries are very useful for telling people about what happened in the past. Visual historical items are significantly better than only records or explanation boards. The waterfront area of Tokyo has been very important for the economy of the whole country. All the batteries ruins could have been removed. The decision of Tokyo Metropolitan which owns the ruins was so great. Now, just one thing, I would like the government to replace the imitation of gun platforms at the site with realistic replicas to make visitors better understand what the battery would have looked like.

The two imitations of gun platforms on the No.3 Battery

That’s all. Thank you.
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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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