The ruins of Kuwagata-toride are located atop of Nakayama at an elevation of 836m. The fort was primarily a beacon fort used to send signals by means of fire, likely built during Takeda Shingen's attack upon the Ogasawara at nearby Haibarajō. The word for signal fire in Japanese is Noroshi (狼煙), written with the characters for "wolf" and "smoke". Why wolf? Because wolf dung was burnt to produce a thick smoke which was easiest to see. Japan's native wolf population was wiped out during the Meiji Period.
This former fort is now the site of a large modern necropolis built on the slopes of Mt. Nakayama. There are some suggestive features which may have been embankments and baileys, but it's not so clear. Now the area is a mallet golf course! The views of the surrounding plain are nice and the mount of Haibarajō can be seen close-by. Inukaijō can be seen in the distance. At the time the cemetary was built (before 2004) it seems there were large scale archaelogical excavations. The ruins of the fort were mapped out, forming two small enclosures at the peak of the mountain. Various kofun (burial mounds) remains were also found.
|English Name||Kuwagatahara Fort|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Hirata Station on the Chuo Line; 70 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 11' 52.04" N, 137° 59' 28.54" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|