August 31, 2016
Mt. Akagi Area Castles
This series of castles lies in a string along the southern foothills of Mt Akagi in Gunma Pref.This are was particularly active during the late Sengoku Period when it was caught between the Takeda, Uesugi and Hojo clans who were fighting for territory. None of the castles have a very clear early history and the structures we see today were likely gradually built out during this period of unrest as the castles themselves changed hands several times.
A surprisingly interesting site. There are many more ruins there than I had imagined and you can see most of the structure of the castle. It is not far from Zen Castle so they can be easily visited together.
Just a short walk from Yamagami Castle, Zen Castle is also a must see if you are nearby. Each bailey is fairly small compared to Yamagami Castle but it has a very Sengoku Period feel with many baileys and trenches. The baileys are also zigzagged creating zones for flanking fire everywhere.
For the time period, it is quite rare to have a flatland castle and one that used water moats so extensively in the Kanto Region. For that alone it is a worthwhile trip. The outline of the castle is well preserved as well as the water moat but not much else.
The huge embankments and scattering of stone fortifications are worth the visit if you are in the area.
There only real remains are the embankments around the Honmaru bailey which is now the prefectural offices. There should be some stone wall foundation stones in the neighborhood but I could not find them.Comment
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