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Castle Mariyatsu Castle

This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
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Mariyatsu Castle (真里谷城 Mariyatsu-jō) was a hilltop castle located in modern-day Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture.


The castle was constructed on a hill 160 metres above sea level in the mountains overlooking the Takeda River, a tributary of the Obitsu River. Nowadays, the castle site is used as a camping ground for the Kisarazu Youth Nature House (木更津市立少年自然の家 Kisarazu-shi Shonen Shizen-no-Ie).

Mariyatsu Castle consisted of four enclosures built along the ridge from the main to the fourth enclosure. The area around the current campground management office was a large artificial trench constructed between the main and the second enclosure.


The map was based on Digital Japan Portal Web Site by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan.

Takeda Nobunaga (武田信長, d. 1477), an ancestor of Takeda Shingen who first served under the shōgun Ashikaga Yoshinori, then under the Kamakura Kubō Ashikaga Shigeuji had invaded Kazusa Province (上総国 Kazusa-no kuni, modern-day central Chiba) and restored Mariyatsu Castle and Chōnan Castle in 1456 in order to establish firm control over the district. Takeda Nobuoki, a grandchild of Nobunaga, changed their family name to Mariyatsu. The Mariyatsu clan had been at its peak for about twenty years from the 1510s to the 1530s. After the alliance of the Mariyatsu and the Satomi had been defeated by the Hōjō in the Battle of Konodai in 1538, they lost their hold over Kazusa. The castle was abandoned after Toyotomi Hideyoshi subjugated Kantō in 1590.

I went to the campground by car and parked close to the management office. I did not have great expectations of the castle site, as it had been turned into a campground. It was not even designated as a national or prefectural historic site. However, the remains of the castle structure turned out to be excellent.

Several paths crisscrossed the main enclosure. The following photographs show some of the remains within the perimeter of the main enclosure.





Below the centre of the main enclosure called Senjojiki (千畳敷).


This was a koguchi (虎口, the entrance of the castle, literally "tiger's mouth") of the main enclosure. The defenders could intercept enemies trying to scale the slope through the earthwork in the front of the gate.


I also went to the second enclosure which is located just across the management office. Though there was no path, in particular, I found my way easily, as the long grass had been mowed. The remains there were in good shape as well.



Date of visit: 9 August 2013


  • Address: Mariyatsu, Kisaradu-shi, Chiba
  • Transportation: 9km from Ken-oh Expressway Kisaradu-higashi Interchange via Prefectural Route 168
  • Other sights: Kururi Castle
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Hiroto Uehara
Hiroto is an ordinary Japanese office worker, but his true mission is searching for castles on the weekend.


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Hiroto Uehara
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木更津市役所 少年自然の家キヤンプ場

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