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Castle Iwatsuki Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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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 essential fortification in defence of Edo. Nowadays, the former castle grounds are part of the Iwatsuki Castle Site Park.

Walking to the park from Iwatsuki Station I came across several traditional Hina doll shops. Legend has it that some of the craftsmen who built Nikkō Tōshōgū Shrine settled in Iwatsuki and started to manufacture dolls.

In less than ten minutes I arrived at Senkyokan (遷喬館), a historical school building dating back to the Edo Period (1600-1868). Though just a small building with a thatched roof, it immediately reminded me of an old classroom. It had been formidably restored. I had been there before its restoration, and I could still remember the textbooks that had been casually arranged on the shelves and a staff member showing me one.




A bell tower in the residential area; it was said that even people in Edo could hear the sound of the bell.

Then I finally arrived at the park. Although in case of many ancient castle sites the main or second enclosures were converted into parks, this park is situated in the former outer ring of the castle. The main enclosure had already been destroyed, and only the name of the place, Honmaru (inner bailey), reminds us of the former structure. The castle is now located in a plain area that was surrounded by marshland in the old days.



Only a few original structures remain. The black rear gates had been moved from another location and rebuilt at the castle site.



The earthworks and the dried moats were conserved to some extent as well.


The park is well maintained and a popular retreat for locals and tourists alike.



The park area encompasses only one of the former enclosures, thus giving us a good impression of the massive scale of the whole castle.

Date of visit: 9 June 2013


  • Address: 3 Chome-4-4他 Ota, Iwatsuki Ward, Saitama, 339-0052
  • Transportation: a 20-minute walk from Tobu Noda line Iwatsuki Station
  • Other sights: Senkyo-kan (the old school of the Edo Period); Bell Tower
Next article in the series 'Walking the Japanese Castles': Shakujii Castle
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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Iwatsuki Castle Shakujii Castle Oda Castle Tsuchiura Castle Miharu Castle Inohana Castle Setagaya Castle Konodai Castle Usui Castle Sakura Castle Kozukue Castle Masugata Castle Koga Castle Tenjinyama Castle Ogura Castle Sugaya Castle Sugiyama Castle Kogane Castle Kokokuji Castle Nagahama Castle (Izu) Nirayama Castle Hachigata Castle Futagamiyama Castle Edo Castle Kawahara Castle Kageishi Castle Wakasa-Onigajo Castle Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori) Tsuzurao Castle Ueshi Castle Jindaiji Castle Kururi Castle Mariyatsu Castle Narukami Castle Ryozen Castle Kori-Nishiyama Castle Tsutsujigasaki Residence Yogai Castle Kofu Castle Iwadono Castle Hachioji Castle Takiyama Castle Suemori Castle Nagoya Castle Inuyama Castle Kiyosu Castle Tatebayashi Castle Sano Castle Karasawayama Castle Ueda Castle Sanada Residence Sanada Honjo Toishi Castle Katsurao Castle Uchiyama Castle Hiraga Clan Castle Taguchi Castle Tatsuoka Castle Komoro Castle Matsushiro Castle Kajiki Castle Kakuto Castle Hitoyoshi Castle Ichiuji Castle Izaku Castle Chiran Castle Kiyoshiki Castle Kamo Castle Miyakono Castle Obi Castle Shibushi Castle Koyama Castle Mukasa Castle Sadowara Castle Tonokoori Castle Taka Castle Nerima Castle Kawagoe Castle Ashikaga Residence Koizumi Castle Kanayama Castle Shinagawa Battery (Odaiba) Tamba Kameyama Castle Yagi Castle Sonobe Castle Fushimi Castle Yodo Castle Shoryuji Castle Yamazaki Castle Tsukui Castle Katakura Castle Hirayama Castle Site Park Yamanaka Castle Sanuki Castle Sunpu Castle Koyama Castle (Shizuoka) Ryugenzan Castle Sagara Castle Tanaka Castle (Shizuoka) Ishiwaki Castle Hanazawa Castle Mochifune Castle Moriyama Castle (Aichi) Obata Castle (Aichi) Ryusenji Castle Gakuden Castle Komakiyama Castle Iwakura Castle (Aichi) Kano Castle Gifu Castle Kitagata Castle Sone Castle Ōgaki Castle Ōtaki Castle Obata Castle (Ibaraki) Mito Castle Kasama Castle Tanagura Castle Akadate Castle Inawashiro Castle Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle Mukai-Haguroyama Castle

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Hiroto Uehara
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