Yamabe Castle

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History

A branch family of the Suwa Clan founded Tokuunji Temple at the foot of the mountain in the Kamakura Period and changed their name to Yamabe. They became the leaders of the town and built the first castle here. The Yamabe Castle we see today is from a later period and has likely undergone several renovations. The first historical mention of Yamabe Castle is 1490 when it was attacked by Ogasawara Nagatomo and came under the territory of the Ogasawara. Orino Masaharu, a branch of the Ogasawara clan came to Yamabe in 1505 and was renamed Yamabe Masaharu. Yamabe Castle was attacked by Takeda Shingen along with Kirihara Castle, Hayashiohjo Castle and other Ogasawara castles in the area in 1550. Yamabe allied with Takeda and became lord of Yamabe and Kirihara castles.

Visit Notes

I took a taxi (3000yen) from Matsumoto to Yamabe Castle (Tokuunji Temple). There is a bus that goes to the temple but they are very few and I would have had to wait 90 minutes for the next one. I also had my Brompton bicycle with me. From the Tokuunji Temple I walked up the western slope that starts from the back side of the graveyard (left side of the temple). There are no signs until you get close to the main part of the castle, but the “trail" is not difficult to follow. Along the way, there are several small baileys and trenches that a castle fan should be able to pick out. The stone wall is amazing. It’s definitely the tallest and longest around the Matsumoto area. It’s easy to get around the stone wall and lots of good angles for pictures. Just beyond the main bailey are a series of 4 large trenches and a couple more baileys. On the way down I took the more direct route via a bunch of switchbacks that lands you at the opposite side of the temple. Steeper and less to see, but I think it’s a good quick way down. I would recommend the same course to anyone visiting Yamabe Castle. After Yamabe Castle I cycled to Kirihara Castle.
松本駅からタクシー(3千円)で徳運寺へ行きました。バスもあるけれど本数がとても少なくて次は90分後でしたのでタクシー。徳運寺から墓地の裏の道で西尾根から登って行きました。この道なら説明板はありませんが城ファンなら小曲輪や堀切はすぐわかるでしょう。主郭の高石垣は本当に見事で感動しました。主郭を過ぎると堀切が四つ連続にあって、そしてまた小曲輪群があります。下りは主郭付近からもうちょっと直の道で徳運寺の東の方に降りました。西尾より険しいけれど、下りだから楽に下ることができます。この西尾根から登って直面からオ下りるコースがお勧めです。この後は折りたたみ自転車で桐原城に向かいます。

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Castle Profile
English Name Yamabe Castle
Japanese Name 山家城
Alternate Names Yanbe-jo, Nakairi-jo
Founder Yamabe Clan
Year Founded late 15th C.
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Matsumoto Sta. (Shinonoi Line), bus or taxi (3000 yen)
Visitor Information mountain, open any time
Time Required 150 mins.
Website http://takara.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/prefecture/060.html
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 13' 19", 138° 3' 8"
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Admin
Year Visited 2015
Visits October 30, 2015
Added to Jcastle 2016


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