Hachioji Castle was Built when Hideyoshi’s Punitive Force from West Japan Achieving East Japan
Hideyoshi was one of the most famous samurai leaders of Japan. His power was arising in west Japan and his army was proceeding to concur East Japan. Hojyo was, at the time, one of the most powerful clan leaders of East Japan needed to increase defensive force against Hideyoshi’s army. Hachioji Castle was built in Fukazawa mountain.
Hojo’s main castle was Odawara Castle near Yokohama. Hojo family was in power for about 100 years, and Hachioji castle was a very important branch castle of Odawara castle. Hojos undoubted their superior power over Hideyoshi the upcoming new power.
Remains of Hachioji Castle Indicate Luxurious Lifestyle of Hojo.
A race glass vase (must had been imported from Europe) was found in a goten area (residential building). This is the only a race glass found in Japan in that time period. The master of the castle Hojo Ujiteru was leading a artistic and elegant life as if he was in a peaceful time.
Hideyoshi’s Hojo Subdude
The main branch of troops was attacking Odawara castle and his subsidiary troops came to attack Hachioji Castle. When the castle was attacked the master Ujiteru was away to Odawara and the castle was protected by minimum troops. The castle fell in one night. Hideyoshi ordered to kill everyone including women and children. Soon after the main castle Odawara fell and that was the end of Hojo. Ujiteru too ordered to Harakiri (honorable suicide).
Hachioji Castle Ruins Irreconcilable Between Experts
There is no pictures of Hachioji Castle remaining. The design of the buildings are all in mystery.
It is a bridge to drop an enemy are approaching the castle. This bridge is a passageway extending from the Otemon Gate. There was a restored bridge, but it had been removed now because it became dangerous. It is said that there is a reconstruction plan now.
Waterfall of Gosyuden
Here is a waterfall outside of residential area. The legend says the women cut their throats and jumped into this fall when the castle fell… however you usually don’t jump into such a shallow fall nor cut their throats on top of it. In those days commonly survivors burn buildings and then cut throats when the castle fell. It is silly to think you can wonder off when there are full of enemy troops out side.
The castle was named after this shrine. The legend says, a renowned monk Myoko was in the mountain for a ascetic practice. While his training, he met a Gozutenno god and eight princes. Gozutennno asked Myoko to look after the area and vanished. Hachioji means eight princes. (I don’t know why not Gozutennno…)
Access from Tokyo
From the Tokyo station, take JR Chuosen Kaisoku distend to Takao. Get off the Takao Station and take a bus from Kitaguchi (Northe exit). On weekends, there are “Hachiojijyoato” bus runs every hour and on week days take a bus from #1 bus station and get off at “Reienmae”.
There is a guidance building by the bus stop. You can watch video of history of Hachioji Castle (only in Japanese) and replica of race glass. And there are clean washrooms and a lounge.