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This article is in the series Walking the Japanese Castles
Oda Castle (小田城) is a Japanese flatland castle located in Ibaraki Prefecture. It faces the scenic Mount Tsukuba to the north.

Oda Castle (小田城)

Oda Castle (小田城)

The map is based on Google Earth.

Since the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), members of the distinguished Oda clan had been the successive lords of the castle. During the period of the Northern and Southern Courts in the 14th century, the Oda supported the Southern Court. The high court noble Kitabatake Chikafusa (北畠親房, 1293-1354), a senior advisor to the Southern Court, once stayed at the castle, where he wrote parts of the Jinnō Shōtōki (神皇正統記, Chronicles of the Authentic Lineages of the Divine Emperors). Oda Ujiharu (小田氏治, 1534–1602), a warlord ruling Hitachi province (常陸国, current Ibaraki Prefecture) during the Sengoku Period, was the last lord of Oda Castle. In 1559, he was defeated by the rivalling Satake clan (佐竹氏) and lost the castle in 1569. It was abandoned in 1602 and designated a National Historic Site in 1935.

As the castle site is quite remote from the centre of Tsukuba City, I went there by car. To reach the castle grounds in Oda village, I had to drive through some very narrow alleys (I recommend using a navigation system when you visit there by car).

In the past, railway tracks ran right through the site, and a station was situated in the middle of the main enclosure. The first time I visited more than ten years ago, it felt peculiar to see the remains of a train platform right in the centre of the square earthwork. After the railway line had been put out of service, the tracks were replaced with a cycling road.

Oda Castle (小田城)

The castle is now under restoration, and the old platform will be removed. Furtively, I entered the no-entry zone.

Oda Castle (小田城)

Here is a corner of the main enclosure.

Oda Castle (小田城)

Not only the main enclosure but also other bridges and earthworks seemed to be under renovation.

Oda Castle (小田城)

Oda Castle (小田城)

Date of visit: 3 May 2013


  • Address: 2377-1 Oda, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 300-4223
  • Transportation: 8km from Joban Expressway Tsuchiura Interchange via National Route 125
  • Other sights: Tsukuba-san Shrine
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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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