Koori Nishiyama Castle

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History

The origins of Koori Nishiyama Castle likely date to 1189 when Date Tomomune built a castle called Akadate on this site. In 1532 Date Tanemune renovated the site building the new Koori Nishiyama Castle. Date Harumune moved the main seat of power for the Date clan to Yonezawa in 1548. The castle was likely abandoned at this point in terms of a primary castle, but some think it was also used as a minor fortification to maintain control of the Fukushima region. In 1868, at the end of the Edo Period, the Sendai Domain also built a canon placement on the south side of the castle in an elongated Bailey just south of the Honmaru. It is not known however if a canon was ever actually placed there or not.

Visit Notes

The castle is easy to get to, a short walk from the station and an easy climb up the main road. It also offers some great views of the valley making it highly recommended for castle fans. It was a bit cloudy and hazy this day so you can't quite see the great views in these photos but you get the idea.

The castle is situated along the top of a fairly flat mountain. The east side with the Honmaru and Ninomaru are separted by elevation and steep banks, but the western side of the castle (Nishidate and Nakadate) have trenches and the remains of stonework around the site. This difference seems to indicate that this section is newer. In particular, the masugata type entrance to the Nishidate is magnificent. It has huge embankments and a steep pathway into a stone lined entrance.

On your way to the castle from the station you will probably first encounter what looks like a tatebori trench or simply a water runway down the mountainside but this is actually the original main entrance (oteguchi). See the photo below. There is a trail marked that you could climb up from here, but it maybe wasn't worth the trouble to fight through the weeds and fallen trees.

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Castle Profile
English Name Koori Nishiyama Castle
Japanese Name 桑折西山城
Alternate Names Akadate-jo
Founder Date Tomomune
Year Founded 1189
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Koori Station (Tohoku Line); 15 min walk to the trailhead
Visitor Information mountain park, open any time
Time Required 90 minutes
Website https://www.town.koori.fukushima.jp/kankou/sightseeing/4/2073.html
Location Koori, Fukushima Prefecture
Coordinates 37° 51' 20.56" N, 140° 30' 35.46" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2020
Admin Visits November 1, 2020
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