Tenjinyama Castle 天神山城

Picture Donated by ART
Founder Unknown, possibly Iwaki Clan
Year Late Sengoku Period
Type Hilltop
Condition Ruins
Admin's Rating ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Location Naraha, Fukushima Pref.
Map Google Map
Access Tatsuta Sta. (Jōban Line), 20 min walk
Visitor Info. 24/7 free | Time Required: 60 mins
Notes Tenjinyamajō is a castle ruin within 20km of the infamous Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Powerplant. Although it has been possible to visit here since 2012, the residents have only been able to return permanently since Semptember 2015 after decontamination efforts made the area safe again for long term inhabitation. Tenjinyamajō is now a park and the Honmaru is the site of a shrine to the scholar god, Tenjin. The site has lots of moats and earthen ramparts which are very well delineated, encompassing the baileys honmaru (main bailey), ninomaru (second bailey), sannomaru (third bailey) and Sotomaru (Outer Bailey). The whole castle sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. At the castle’s outermost edge are the ruins of a wide moat which has partially returned to nature, as a swamp, the rest of it turned into a water feature for the park.

Profile and photos by ART

History It seems this castle was built in the closing years of the Sengoku Period and then abandoned. It is not known by whom the castle was built or why it was abandoned. The location, on the border of Iwaki-shi (clan) territory facing the Sōma-shi, means that it probably functioned as a border castle. The Iwaki had assigned their vassals at Naraha Castle to guard the area, and so Tenjinyama Castle possibly functioned as a satellite castle of Narahajō. Tenjinyamajō is thought to have been abandoned after the Battle of Sekigahara, possibly before construction was even wholly complete.

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Naraha, Fukushima Pref.
Tenjinyama Castle views