Suwa Imori Castle
Imori Castle was perhaps founded by the Suwa Clan in the 13th century. Below Imorijō was a large flattened area which formerly would’ve hosted the castellan’s main residence. It is partially farmland and otherwise overgrown with tall grasses today. To the south of Imorijō across a small stream valley was the Gakiyama Signal Tower, which was also fortified by carving terraced baileys from out of the mountain, but with a much narrower profile than the castle proper.
The ruins of Imorijō were quite impressive owing to the ten or so obikuruwa (ring baileys) terracing the mountain on the way up to the shukuruwa (main bailey), the only integral bailey of the castle. The extensive terracing reminded me of some tremendous tumulus, but of course the castle was carved out of an existing mountain. Climbing it, and perhaps one can see from these pictures, is like ascending a gigantic staircase. The shukuruwa is now overgrown with trees, as is the rest of the site. Although fairly interesting “in person”, it was hard to catch the sense of scale with my camera.
|English Name||Suwa Imori Castle|
|Year Founded||13th century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Kuruwa, Koshikuruwa, Hori, Daikan, Noroshidai|
|Access||Kami-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 25 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; mountain|
|Time Required||50 minutes|
|Location||Suwa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 1' 59.88" N, 138° 7' 42.46" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|