The Kitabatake clan was descended from the Imperial Family and was appointed governors of Ise Domain (Mie Pref.) around 1336. Part of their domain included the most sacred Ise Shrine. Having been of noble birth, they enjoyed the finer things in life, and built a grand living quarters and administrative center at the foot of Mt. Kiri, with a castle at the top of the 570m high mountain. They lived there for around 200 years, until warlord Oda Nobunaga decided he wanted Ise for himself, and organized for his son, Nobukatsu, to marry the daughter of Lord Kitabatake. Nobukatsu later killed his father-in-law, imprisoned his grandfather-in -law and usurped Kitabatake power. Then he made the mistake of attempting to take neighboring domains, and failed miserably. His father, Oda Nobunaga did not like failure, in 1576 sent 20,000 samurai to capture the entire region. He started with an attack on the Kitabatake's castle, destroying the castle and the elegant structures below it. Only the beautiful gardens remain.
Kiriyama Castle in on top of the mountain and Kitabatakeshi Yakata (residence) is at the foot of the mountain. If you are going by train you will need all day cause only a few trains per day. There is a bus from Ise-Okitsu station but not many. It was quicker for me to walk. I go off the train at Hitsu station the station before Ise-Okitsu station and walked about 45 min. to the entrance to the hiking trail. Went through Kiriyama-jo then down the mountain to Kitabatakeshi Yakata and walked about 1 hr. to Ise-Okitsu station. It was worth the trouble. So glad I got to see it!
|English Name||Kitabatakeshi Yakata|
|Alternate Names||Kiriyama-jo, Tage-jo|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Hitsu Station (JR Meisho Line), walk 45 minutes to hiking trail or Ise-Okitsu Station (JR Meisho Line) and bus.|
|Location||Tsu, Mie Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 31' 6.38" N, 136° 17' 56.62" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|