It is said that Uenotairajō was first built by Minamoto Tametomo in the Late Heian Period. In the Kamakura Period it was the base of the Chiku Clan, vassals of the Suwa Clan. It was once thought that the castle was abandoned by Chiku Nobusada in 1221 following the Jōkyū War, but archaeological investigations in the Heisei Period have determined the castle was used during the Sengoku Period.
The ruins of Uenotairajō, an earthworks castle classified as a hirayamajō (hilltop castle), consist of dorui (earthen ramparts), karabori (dry moats) and kuruwa (baileys). The castle is situated on a long, projecting foothill with baileys arranged sequentially from the second bailey at the tip of the promontory, onto the first in the center, up to the fourth uphill at the back. Each bailey was separated by a dry moat, but today the first and third moat systems are best preserved. The third moat is how I entered the castle. In the middle it forks off and climbs uphill past the third and fourth baileys. The castle is bordered to the east by mountains, to the west by the plain, and to the north and south by rivers, the Chikusawa and the Terasawa respectively.
|English Name||Uenotaira Castle|
|Year Founded||Late Heian Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Kuruwa|
|Access||Sawa Station on the Iida Line; 25 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||60 minutes|
|Location||Minowa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 55' 53.58" N, 138° 0' 4.54" E|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|