Utakata Castle (宇高多城 Utakata-jo) is one of the mission locations and also one of the most story-relevant in the series. It was introduced in Shinobido: Way of the Ninja as the main stronghold of the House of Ichijo and the residence of Nobuteru Ichijo, thus he can always be found here. Based on the picture of the whole map of Utakata, it appears as though Utakata Castle is in the Northern-most part of the province, with Rokudo Valley across the river ravine due West, Phantom Forest to the South-West, Dandala Peak across the river due East, Honcho Shimoyashiki due South and Murakumo Fortress to the South-East.
As Ichijo's stronghold, its exclusive to his faction and will never be occupied by other factions, not even after he is killed. The only exception is a pair of cutscenes in Way of the Ninja: If Ichijo is killed before accepting "The killer whale's eye" story mission, then whatever lord the player favors will be shown having a banquet in the castle instead of Ichijo.
The castle itself is a recent building commisioned by Ichijo to become his main residence. During Way of the Ninja the castle is under construction, process hindered by the war, and will remain so for most of the game until "The killer whale's eye" and even then the map model doesn't change. The castle can be seen fully constructed in Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen.
- Type: Castle.
- Navigation: Moderate.
- Amount of enemies: Many.
- Obstacles: Some.
- Total exits: One.
- Map size: Big.
- Frequency of missions: Moderate.
Despite being a "castle" map, exploration is much simpler than other maps of the same type. The player will always start at the only exit at the extreme West of the map, the castle itself can be reached via the main gate or by going North from the exit through the dried moat and climbing the stairs at the end, but be careful of the soldier that often spawns near the stairs.
The castle is usually very guarded, with watchtowers posted in the following locations:
- Two posts facing each other in an elevated part of the main path, before reaching the castle. One of the posts has a well under it and there are some boxes nearby. Usually at least one soldier will be stationed in one of the posts. Players who follow the main path without making a ruckus won't be detected.
- One post close to the west of the second gate, main castle area. Also has a well under. If a soldier doesn't spawn here, he will spawn in the post mentioned below.
- Another post directly in front of the one at the gate, some distance away. If a soldier doesn't spawn here, he will spawn in the post mentioned above.
In a small area in front of the castle, though a gate, there is another well and a dog kennel. During Collection missions it's common for mushrooms/herbs to spawn here, but be careful that the dog doesn't alert any soldiers.
Packages for Thievery missions spawn in two places: directly in front of the castle, or inside the castle, in a small room on the first floor.
Ichijo himself stays in the room at the top of the castle. The room can be entered either by climbing from the inside or reaching the roofs with a grapple hook and entering through the balcony.
- Assassination (Ichijo)
- Duel (Ichijo)
- Guard (Ichijo)
In Way of the Ninja:
- Tutorial Level
- Ichijo is hiding something (serving Sadame)
- The killer whale's eye
- Find your body (second part)
- Assassinate Ichijo (to get an opposing daimyo's ending)