Shiodajō was first built by Hōjō Yoshimasa in 1277 as the seat of the Shioda branch of the Hōjō Clan. Subsequent castellans also included Hōjō Kunitoki and Hōjō Toshitoki. In 1333, the Shioda-Hōjō mobilised in order to defend Kamakura but were defeated there and wiped out.
After the destruction of the Shioda-Hōjō, the Murakami Clan took over Shiodajō. Various clans controlled the castle during the Sengoku Period: the Murakami, the Takeda, and the Sanada. Takeda Shingen first took the castle from the Murakami, but Murakami Yoshikiyo re-took it with the aid of Uesugi Kenshin and made the castle his residence. Shortly thereafter, however, Takeda Shingen returned with more forces and was able to conquer the castle. He placed Obu Toramasa in charge of Shiodajō, which became the Takeda's main base in 1553 during the Kawanakajima Campaigns and from then on.
After the downfall of the Takeda Clan, the Sanda Clan took over Shiodajō. When they built Uedajō in 1583, however, they abandoned the castle.
Shiodajō is split into two sections, the lower and upper parts. I didn't have time to climb the mountain to see the upper part of the castle, but the lower part is a forested area at the foot of the mountain and easy to access. It is a series of terraces with flattened areas between dorui (earthen ramparts) and karabori (dry moats), though the remains are rather deformed now. The tallest embankments are furthest up, the site of a gate ruin. Even though the lower castle is surrounded by a fence to keep wild animals out, I found obvious boar tracks beneath a persimmon tree.
Nearby is a facility called Shioda no Yakata which is a museum exhibiting displays on sericulture. The sign outside made reference to a historical Shioda-yakata, and I initially thought this might refer to the lower portion of Shiodajō. But the site of the actual Shioda-yakata is separate from the castle, located further out on the plain, and not at the site of the museum. This area of Shioda, according to the same sign, was called the "Kamakura of Shinshū", and I can certainly see that having also visited many of the temples around. Shiodajō is located between the important temples of Chūzenji and Zensanji.
|English Name||Shioda Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Kuruwa, Ishibumi|
|Access||Shiodmachi on the Ueda Densetsu Line; 35 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Mountain|
|Time Required||20+ minutes|
|Location||Ueda, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 20' 24.32" N, 138° 11' 45.85" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|