Suwa Kami Castle
Kaminojō was built as part of a complex of mountain fortresses which included Shimonojō and Hagikura-toride. Its origins are obscure but it may have been built by the Kanasashi Clan as part of their complicated and militarised relations with the Suwa shrine complexes. At some point Kaminojō was controlled by the Yamada Clan - it is said. When Takeda Shingen took over the territory he put his vassal Yokota Takatoshi in charge of Kaminojō.
Kaminojō ("Upper Castle") is paired with Shimonojō ("Lower Castle"). The castle layout is simple and concentric, a yokobori (lateral trench) surrounding the shukuruwa (main bailey), in turn surrounded by an obikuruwa (ring bailey). It was interesting to see the defence of the castle so heavily relied on a yokobori without any tatebori (climbing trenches) or horikiri (trenches cut into the mountain ridge). There is a stone marker indicating the castle ruin, but I missed it at first because the shukuruwa is quite big.
|English Name||Suwa Kami Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Shimo-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 55 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||60 mins|
|Location||Shimo-Suwa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 5' 48.05" N, 138° 4' 38.32" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|