Kuwagatahara Fort

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KuwagataharaToride (1).JPG


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.

Visit Notes

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.


Castle Profile
English Name Kuwagatahara Fort
Japanese Name 鍬形原砦
Alternate Names 鍬形原烽火台跡
Founder Takeda Shingen
Year Founded 1540s
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
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
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(2 votes)
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