Tobiyama Castle was founded by Haga Takatoshi, a powerful retainer of the Utsunomiya clan, in the late Kamakura Period. It was a very large scale castle that effectively used the landscape, including the Kinu River, to its defensive advantage. The castle was an important site for the Haga clan from its founding through the end of the 16th Century. It served as a base for the Utsunomiya who fought for the Northern Imperial Court in the Nanbokucho Period and as a base to retake Utsunomiya Castle during the Sengoku Period. After the fall of the Utsunomiya clan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the decommission of Tobiyama Castle In 1590.
This was a great castle to visit and made up a little bit for the disappointment of Utsunomiya Castle in the morning. If you like exploring around vast ruins, then this is the place for you. Stop by the Tobiyama History Museum before exploring the ruins. There are some nice dioramas and they have some English materials for you too. If you have kids they can dress up like a samurai or princess for a small fee. They also have some traditional games they are happy to demonstrate. The staff were incredibly helpful to me before I went with planning my trip and after I arrived too. They have taken much care to faithfully rebuild several structures from the history of this site and to balance preserving the current condition of the site with reconstructing some parts for educational purposes.
|English Name||Tobiyama Castle|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Utsunomiya Station (JR or Tobu); 30 min bus + 10 min walk|
|Location||Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 33' 23", 139° 57' 58"|
|Visits||October 17, 2008|
|Added to Jcastle||2008|