Arikoyama Castle 有子山城
Founder Yamana Suketoyo
Year 1574
Type Mountaintop
Condition Ruins
Admin's Rating ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Historical Site National Historic Site
Location Toyooka, Hyogo Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Toyooka Sta. (Line), bus to Izushi, 15 min walk from the last bus stop to the trail head
Visited September 26, 2013
Visitor Info. open anytime. The trail starts from the Inari Bailey of Izushi Castle (after the red torii gates). | Time Required: 200
Notes I was really amazed at the extensive stone walls that remain here. It's second only to Takeda castle in Hyogo Pref. and should be one of the top mountaintop castles in Japan. Recently they cleaned it up by cutting back brush and trees so you can see the walls very nicely and even see them from the city. Maybe I would not have been so impressed a year ago. The trail to the top is fairly steep with poor footing in some places. Wear good shoes and plan enough time to get up and back. Carry a hiking stick if you have one. The way up may be fine but coming back back down it can be hard to get a stable footing. This castle also offers stunning views and is absolutely worth the hike.
History Yamana Suketoyo built this castle in 1574 after his Konosumiyama Castle was defeated by Hideyoshi. Arikoyama Castle is just Xkm south of Konosumi Castle. Another name Konosumi Castle is Konusumiyama (盗山城) which looks like "stolen child". He named Arikoyama Castle (有子山城) "mountain where the child is" as a play on words from Konusumiyama. Arikoyama Castle was again attacked by Hideyoshi in 1580 when Seketoyo's son Akihiro was lord of the castle. After it fell to Hideyoshi, Maeno Nagayasu and then Koide Yoshimasa becams lords of Arikoyama Castle. Afer the Battle of Sekigahara, Koide fortified the foot of the mountain as Izushi Castle and abandoned the mountaintop Arikoyama Castle. After hiking up the mountain to get to the castle I can see why he wouldn't want to use it if it was no longer necessary. The Edo Period saw a more stable government with no local conflicts so many provinces moved from mountaintop castles to lower castles and put their efforts into building up the surrounding castle towns.
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Toyooka, Hyogo Pref.
Arikoyama Castle views
Honmaru stone walls Trailhead
Hiking trail Hiking trail
Hiking trail vertical moat
bailey Stone walls of the Ido Bailey
Stone walls Stone walls and small baileys
Stone walls Stone walls
Stone walls stone walls
Stone walls Stone walls
Stone walls Honmaru stone walls
view from the Honmaru
horikiri between the Honmaru and Senjojiki bailey Senjojiki Bailey
Honmaru stone walls Map