Takatome Castle

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The castle was built around 1492-1500 as the main castle of the Nagano Clan. They may have been using Matsuyama Castle (Gunma) partway up the same mountain as their home castle before building Takatome Castle. Takatome Castle became a branch fortification of Minowa Castle after it was constructed. As one of the castles along the borderlands between the Takeda and Nagano, Takatome Castle was a vital fortification for Minowa Castle and was involved in multiple skirmishes. The castle fell when it was cutoff form Minowa Castle in 1566 by Takeda forces. Minnow Castle also fell shortly thereafter.

Visit Notes

There are 2 easy ways into the castle. The first is via the Otemon. Check the location of the Otemon Photo to find the road to take you there. The second is via the Karametemon. If you are going by bus, the easiest way is to walk to the Otemon and you can visit Matsuyama Castle (Gunma) along the way. There are no signs or maps on site. it is best to take a map if you can find one. The books 群馬の城三◯選 and 境目の城と館(上野編) have good maps. Even though these photos don't do it justice this was a fascinating site to visit. Each of the main baileys is well preserved and the huge horikiri trenches are something to behold.

Bus Schedule

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Castle Profile
English Name Takatome Castle
Japanese Name 鷹留城
Founder Nagano Narihisa
Year Founded 1492-1500
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Takasaki Sta. (Takasaki Line), 30 min bus for Haruna get off at Shimomuroda Shogakkoumae, 25 min walk to the Otemon trail
Visitor Information Mountains, open any time; not recommended in summer
Time Required 75 mins
Website http://www.city.takasaki.gunma.jp/docs/2013121701099/
Location Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 23' 39.73" N, 138° 53' 24.18" E
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Year Visited 2017
Visits November 24, 2017
Added to Jcastle 2017

(one vote)
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Anonymous user #1

32 months ago
Score 1++
As you say, absolutely no signs! I got to the castle from Chonen-ji temple off the main road, then found it through Yaseoiinaka Shrine, hiking around the base of the ruins. It is very secluded and quiet up there! I then went the back way to drop down into Matsuyama Castle below. Thanks for the great info and photos as always.


32 months ago
Score 0++
That's pretty hardcore. I wouldn't expect many people to visit here unless they lived nearby. From your description, I think we took the same course to get there and back again. There was supposedly another trail up through some houses and a field to get there too but once into the mountain, the trail was so overgrown I couldn't go on and had to turn around and go by Yaseoiinaka Shrine and back up through the Karamete entrance.