Under the orders of his Lord, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Doi Toshikatsu started construction of this castle in 1610. It was completed in 1617. It was based on the foundations and unfinished work of the Chiba clan, who had started building Kashima Castle on the same site, in the earlier Sengoku period.
During the Edo era, it was ruled by powerful lords, all loyal to the Tokugawa rule. Sakura Castle was considered a location of strategic importance, in particular as it protected the eastern flank of Edo. At its peak it was a large complex; however, it was noted for having no stone walls. The defensive lines were reinforced by deep, dry moats, and earthen embankments (ramparts) demarcated the baileys. The main keep was actually a yagura relocated from Edo Castle.