Although it is not known for sure, Kaesa Castle is thought to have been constructed upon the orders of Takeda Shingen in 1564, at the same time that Uesugi Kenshin was constructing Iiyama Castle. Kaesajō was built along with Hekidajō located to the northeast across the Chikuma River. Kenshin and Shingen famously contested Shinano, often clashing near Kawanakajima. Shingen wanted to complete his conquest of the province but that would've left Kenshin vulnerable to attack in his home province which neighboured it and so he did not allow Shingen to advance into northern Shinano uncontested. Meanwhile Shingen often encouraged rebellions in Kenshin's territory to keep Kenshin in his province and deter him from campaigning outside of his borders.
Kaesajō is a fairly well maintained Sengoku Period yamajiro (mountaintop castle) which is very easy to hike to, as there is road access to the site, which is now a park. Although the slopes of baileys were a bit tangled with growth, important parts of the castle are cleared of trees, allowing us to appreciate them better. It seems that the baileys have recently been cleared of plant growth. Features include baileys, trenches and tatebori (climbing moats). An obikuruwa (ring bailey) rings the honmaru (main bailey), and there are two more integral baileys with sub-baileys surrounding them. At the base of the castle is a mizubori (water-filled moat), but it is hard to get near due to the densely growing flora surrounding it.
|English Name||Kaesa Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Kuruwa, Koshikuruwa, Obikuruwa, Karabori, Tatebori, Mizubori, Dorui|
|Features||water moats, trenches|
|Access||Kaesa Station on the Iiyama Line; 15 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; mountain|
|Time Required||80 minutes|
|Location||Nakano, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 46' 16.68" N, 138° 18' 53.57" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|