Added 22 New Castle Profiles From Users
While working on my own updates, I've been steadily adding several profiles contributed by Jcastle users. Over the last 2 months I've added the following 22 profiles donated by ART and Furinkazan. Thanks guys !! You really help to make this site the premier source for information about Japanese Castles.
If anyone is interested in contributing castles or photos, please see the User Contributions page linked in the footer. Please be sure of the correct name and location and add at least one photo.
There are several ways to get at Asuke. I departed from Nagoya. I took a Ltd. Express at the Meitetsu Nagoya Station, on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line, bound for Toyohashi. I got off at Higashi-Okazaki Station, after a 30min ride(660yen). At the North Exit, at bus stop 4, i took the bus n°8 bound for Asuke. After a 70min ride(800yen) i got off at bus stop Korankei Ichinotaniguchi. From there it's 1.5km to the castle.
I tried another way to get back at Nagoya. I took a bus at bus stop Korankei(in front of Asuke Hachiman shrine). It's also bus n°8, but of the Toyota-city bus company. It is bound for Toyota Welfare Hospital. After a 50min ride(500yen) i got off at Josui Station. This station is on the Meitetsu Toyota Line. I bought a ticket for Nagoya Station for 890yen. At Akaike Station the line becomes the Nagoya Subway Tsurumai Line. I decided to continue in the same train, but this one doesn't go to Nagoya Station. I wanted to visit a little bit of the centre of Nagoya, so after a 50min ride, i got off at Marunouchi Station. The ticket was not valid to get out of the station, but when i showed it to a staff member, he told me i could pass.
Asuke is very well known for it's momiji(red maples) in november. The Korankei is a valley with 4000 maple trees. During this period there are frequently traffic jams, which lenghtens the time considerably with the bus.
After i visited the castle i went through the Korankei valley. i visited also the Sanshu Asuke Yashiki. There are several old buildings used by different artisans : paper makers, weavers,...
Fujita Castle is a small hilltop castle with some reconstructed palisades and a lookout. There are several large boulders dotting the hillside, and the castle ruin forms a sort of “U” shape enclosing a mossy pine grove, so it’s all rather scenic. The ruin’s features are well sign-posted.
Funaoka Castle is now probably most famous for the large number of blossoming trees located on its grounds but is an impressive mountaintop fort in terms of scale with multiple baileys, chiefly the sannomaru (third bailey), now park space, and honmaru (main bailey) at the summit which is now dominated by a statue of Bodhisattva Kannon. From the honmaru you have a nice view, and the honmaru has a distinctively pleasing castle shape to it, but mostly there’s not much to see so you may as well go in spring to see the blossoms.
I actually walked from Torigoe castle to the Ikkô-ikki no sato. It's at +/-3km from Torigoe castle site. It relates the stories of Torigoe castle and Futoge castle. Admission is 300 yen; open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on mondays(if monday is a holiday, closed the day after), new year and special occasions. From Ikkô-ikki no sato it's about 400m to the entrance of Futoge castle.
Take bus number 8 from Himeji Station or Himeji Castle to the terminal stop "Mount Shosha Ropeway" (書写山ロープウェイ, 30 minutes, 270 yen one way, departures every 15-20 minutes). Then, take the ropeway up the mountain (500 yen one way, 900 yen round trip, departures every 15 minutes). Alternatively, it is possible to hike up the mountain in about 45-60 minutes.
Iwaseyama Castle is a mountaintop castle ruin in Midorigaoka Park. The current site of Atago Shrine was the castle’s central compound and it is still ringed by dorui (earthen ramparts). One of the castle’s outer enclosures is now the site of the Sukagawa City Museum. The castle spread southward roughly where the park does today.
Kanbejō is a plains castle with a tenshukakudai (platform for main keep), dorui (earthen ramparts) and mizubori (water moat) remaining. The site is now a pleasant park and the honmaru (main bailey) is cleared. The rocks used in the castle’s ishigaki (stone ramparts) have a primitive, natural quality to them, being roughly hewn in the Sengoku Period.
Kaneyamajō is a mountaintop castle ruin. It is well maintained and sign posted. There are many well-defined baileys to explore and the honmaru (main bailey) at the top of the castle offers vast views of the surrounding plain. Kaneyamajō’s highlight is an impressive, jutting segment of uchikomi-hagi ishigaki (rough-hewn stone wall). The lower blocks project out forming a staircase-like shape at the base. The Abukuma River flows by the castle. We took the winding road following the river to the castle. It has great scenic beauty with towering rocks and kawakishi (river beaches) hemming the river bank.
Minokubi Castle has a surviving Sengoku period Ōtemon gate. Behind the honmaru (main bailey), now the site of Sakamoto-jinja, is a row of dorui (earthen embankment) and horikiri (trench). The Sannomaru (third bailey) was also accessible when I visited, there was a pond there and an abandoned home. The Ninomaru (second bailey) is now the site of a school.
Moriyama Castle’s main enclosure is now the current site of Shiroyama-Hachimangū. Before the shrine is a field, no longer cultivated, and this is the third enclosure which is ensconced with ishigaki (stonewall) on its south side. Below the ishigaki is a depression with a tarn and earthen bridge. Beyond this is a bamboo-choked gorge and stream overlooked by the third enclosure. The second enclosure is now the site of a school.
I went by Ōedajō going between Yanagawajō and Kaneyamajō. From the bridge over the Abukuma River one can see clearly the shape of the castle worked into the hillside.
Ōkusajō is a hilltop castle with a mock yagura serving as an observation platform, although with all the trees growing around it there’s not much of a view. On the first floor of which there are some snippets of local history presented (in Japanese). The site also possesses dorui (earthen embankments) and mizubori (water moats). The whole site apart from the cleared honmaru (main bailey) is heavily wooded.
Ōmorijō is a mountaintop castle featuring dorui (earthen ramparts) and a Sengoku Period style reconstructed (mock) miyagura (watch tower).
Ōnojō is a hilltop castle with reconstructed gates and a mock yagura (sentry tower) serving as an observation tower and small museum. Beneath the honmaru (main bailey) is a karabori (dry moat) and dorui (earthen embankment). According to a depiction in the mock tower, there used to be ishigaki (stone walls) at the site, though I could find no such remains.
I came to this site because I was visiting Saimyōji and happen to see it marked on my map. I climbed the mountain behind the temple and found only a single board (in Japanese only) about the castle, from which I gleaned its history. There are no sign posts indicating where the castle is and no markers indicating castle features at the site itself. Walking around I found the “shiroato hiroba” which I took for the honmaru. The honmaru atop the hill has a ring of deformed dorui (earthen embankments) surrounding it. There is at least one sub-bailey between the honmaru and the largest visibly remaining gate ruin. At the base of the hill is a trench, looks like a horikiri. Unfortunately it was a futile effort trying to photograph these details because young bamboo blanketed everything. Crossing the horikiri to climb to the main bailey we passed through a bamboo thicket. Luckily the honmaru is cleared except for a few trees and boulders. Only see this site if you visit Saimyōji. There is actually some old looking ishigaki beneath the pagoda (1536) at the temple.
Profile and photos contributed by ART
It's a long walk from Iwama Station on the Joban line, about an hour each way.
Taharajō is a plainsland castle with a reconstructed ōtemon (main gate) and yagura (sentry tower) in the ninomaru (second bailey). It also has mizubori (water moat), horikiri (trench) and ishigaki (stone rampart) segments ensconcing the ninomaru. There is a museum in the ninomaru containing a few armour sets and mostly written documents. There is a fee and photography is prohibited. However, it is free to go inside the yagura where there is a model of Taharajō as well as more armour and pottery (Tahara was known as a center of ceramics production during the Sengoku Period). The honmaru (main bailey) of Taharajō is now the site of Hakō-jinja.
Tanagura Castle has large dorui (earthen ramparts) surrounded by a mizubori (water moat) with two entrances into the central compound, one from the north and one from the southeast. When I came the cherry blossoms were blooming and Tangura Castle Festival was in full swing.
I didn't found a suitable public transportation to this site so i took a taxi from Tsurugi station as stated above. When you visit this site go also to the Ikkô-ikki no sato. It's at +/-3km from the castle site. It relates the stories of Torigoe castle and Futoge castle. Admission is 300 yen; open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed on mondays(if monday is a holiday, closed the day after), new year and special occasions. The internet site is only in japanese : http://www.city.hakusan.ishikawa.jp/kankoubunkabu/ixtuki/ikkifolda/ikkoikkirekisikan.html
From Ikkô-ikki no sato it's about 400m to the entrance of Futoge castle.
A mogi-tenshu (mock donjon) serves ostensibly as an observation platform at the castle site today. Whilst not historically accurate, as such a structure never existed at the site, it is built from wood and contains exhibitions, such as weapons, letters and samurai armour. Traces of earthen embankments and moats also remain at the site. Another mountaintop ruin castle, Takadate Castle, is located directly opposite.
A short trip from Kyōto, Ōyamazaki is a very pretty little town packed full of tradition and history, famous for oil production. The castle ruin is an ideal destination for hiking fans if they visit here. Ascending the mountain one passes by many murals erected by the municipality showing the history of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and the Battle of Yamazaki.
Profile and photos contributed by ART
All that remains at this site is a length of ishigaki (stone rampart), but it overlooks a pretty garden, creating a very picturesque scene. Recently a building was moved away from the site allowing for the excavations which are currently being carried out.