Very little of the history of Tenpaku Castle is known. It is situated just 600 meters away from Sanadahonjo Castle and 500 meters from Sanadashikan. It was obviously one of the many castles in the network that rings the Sanada township. There's one huge 11 meter high trench cut from the mountain rock behind the main bailey along the ridge of the mountain. In front of the main bailey are are couple small baileys going down the mountainside but it is somewhat difficult to identify them on your way up because they're mostly heavily forested are buried in grasses.
Look for the Kita Akai shrine which is at the entrance to the hiking trail. From the road there is a sign pointing up the hill. It looks like you're just going into someone's driveway but just keep going up until you see the temple and you'll know you're in the right place.
This is a neat little castle and well worth the trip if you have some time while visiting Sanada historic sites. It has a few stone wall remains, but the main point of interest is the huge trench across the ridge of the mountain. It's not such difficult climb, but in the autumn it was very slippery with fallen leaves.
If you don't have a car the best way to get around the Sanada historic sites in the Sanada Township area is by electric bicycle. Electric bicycles can be borrowed for free at the Yukimura Yume Kobo. This tourist information center also has all the maps and other information you'll need. I highly recommend stopping here before exploring the area. During the peak tourism season there is also a local tourist bus that circles through all the major historic sites you're likely to see. If there is something not on this route, then try a bicycle too.
|English Name||Tenpaku Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Ueda Sta. (Shinano Railway, Nagano Bullet train), 25 minute bus to Yukimuranosato bus stop (Sugadaira bus from #3 bus stop at Ueda Sta), 45 min walk from bus stop|
|Visitor Information||mountain, open any time. Look for the Kita Akai Shrine as the entrance to the hiking trail.|
|Time Required||60 mins|
|Location||Ueda, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 26' 9", 138° 19' 29"|
|Visits||December 14, 2015|
|Added to Jcastle||2016|