Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Hachioji Castle Ruins: Silence in the City

EMU JR East E233 series arrives at Takao Station on the Chuo main line

I recently visited Hachioji City in the western part of the Tokyo Metropolis for a meeting. After finishing my meeting, I enjoyed walking in the suburban area of the city. My destination was the ruins of Hachioji Castle. The castle was constructed by Hojo Ujiteru, a feudal lord of Musashi Province, in the 16th century. Along with the ruins of Takeda Castle in Hyogo Prefecture, Hachioji Castle was nominated as one of Japan's Top 100 Castles by the Japan Castle Foundation in 2006.

The ruins were located in the steep mountains and surrounded by deep forests. It was a very dark and quiet place even in the daytime, and the only sound was the songs of the birds. Although most of the buildings had been destroyed by the battles in the 16th century, the stone foundations of the castle still remain in the mountain. The scenery of Hachioji City and the western part of Tokyo Metropolis from the top of the mountain were very beautiful.

To visit Hachioji Castle ruins, the nearest station is Takao on the Chuo main line and the Keio Takao line. As you know, the Chuo main line is one of the busiest commuter routes in Tokyo Metropolis. The orange-colored commuter train, the EMU E233 series, is frequently operated, whose electric system is 1,500 V DC overhead. A total of 688 units were built by Tokyu Sharyo, J-TREC, and Kawasaki Heavy Industries.

Superb view from Hachioji castle ruins near Takao station on the Chuo main line

Official information about the EMU JR East E233 series (in Japanese):