Yamanaka Castle

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Yamanaka9.jpg

History

This castle was founded by Hojo Ujiyasu to protect the main Hojo stronghold at Odawara. It was part of a string of fortifications that inlcuded Nirayama Castle and Ashigara Castle. As relations between Hojo and Toyotomi Hideyoshi worsened, Hojo Ujimasa began to strengthen the fortifications of Yamanaka Castle around 1587. At this time, the Daisaki Demaru Bailey was constructed to overlook the road leading to Odawara. In 1590 before Hojo had completed the new fortifications, Hideyoshi launched the full force of nearly 70,000 troops against the meager 4,000 defenders of Yamanaka Castle. It is said that the castle fell in less than a half day and in only 2 hours by some accounts. This was the first assault by Hideyoshi on Odawara in his campaign to overthrew the Hojo.

Visit Notes

There are no buildings or structures remaining, but you can really understand the layout and grounds of a sengoku period mountaintop castle. The Hojo put all their castle construction techniques and know-how into building this castle. The rare and unique defenses and moat structures are superbly preserved. This castle is a must see for any castle fan. At the entrance to the Daisaki Demaru Bailey, along the roadside, and parking lot is a small shop where you can also get a map and the Top 100 castle stamp.
現存や復元の建物はありませんが、多分どこよりも戦国のの山城の構造が分かる城です。北条氏が全部の技術を尽くして作った城なので、お城ファンなら必見です。お城ファンじゃない家族や友達が一緒に行っても景色を楽しむこともできます。

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Castle Profile
English Name Yamanaka Castle
Japanese Name 山中城
Founder Hojo Ujiyasu
Year Founded 1560's
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Mishima Station (Tokaido Honsen), 30-40 minute bus ride
Visitor Information The park is open any time.
Time Required 2 hrs
Website http://www.sengoku-shizuoka.com/castle/3119012/
Location Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 9' 23", 138° 59' 33"
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Admin
Year Visited 2002, 2012
Visits July 27, 2002; Nov 10, 2012
Added to Jcastle 2002


2.57
(7 votes)
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FurinkazanHatamoto

19 months ago
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I forgot to tell where to buy the Mishimaru kippu. When you exit the station go left past the bus stop #5. There you'll see 2 counters. The kippu is available at the one on the right, with orange inscriptions.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

19 months ago
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I confirm, it's bus stop #5 on the South exit of Mishima station. I discovered on the site of the Tokai bus company that you can buy a 900¥ ticket called Mishimaru kippu. It allows you to take the bus to Motohakone and you may descend and ascend as many buses as you want. So a trip to Yamanakajô is paid with this ticket. Now what can i add to the other comments? The site is indeed marvelous. I really enjoyed strolling around. Sadly it was very cloudy today. So i didn't saw the Fuji. I encountered a lot of tourists touring around. 2 men asked from where i was and if i liked japanese castles. I told them i liked very much japanese castles and that this one was my 135 castle visited in Japan. One of them showed his 100 meijo stamp book. I showed mine and we were comparing each other's books. You have to know that the bus stop, to go back, beneath the site is not in front of the site. It's next the parking lot a little bit back on the road.

Since i had time left, i decided to go to the Skywalk. It's Japan's longest pedestrian hanging bridge. I went first to the Sky garden, where i had a meal. It began to rain, but i still went to the bridge. It was literally in a cloud and this gave some very nice atmospheric pictures. Of course mount Fuji had taken a walk.
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JcastleHatamoto

25 months ago
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South Exit. My notes say bus stop#5 but these things can change often. There should be a tourist info center there, you can ask to be sure if it's unclear and they can give you a brochure and map too.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

25 months ago
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Little question on the bus stop. Is it at the north or south of Mishima station? I intend to include this site on my next journey in 2017.
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Anonymous user #1

65 months ago
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My the wife and I just got done visiting this castle today. RaymondW's directions from Mishima are spot on. You will see a large green sign on the right of the road that will include the English words Yamanaka Fort Ruins. Please do be aware that the return bus fare depending on if you take the bus from the stop above or below the ruins will cost you 640 and 610 yen respectively.
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NPKPeasant

73 months ago
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A site worth some time to explore in any season. Although picturesque at any time of year, it would make a great place for a picnic lunch on a fine spring day or autumn afternoon. Interesting moat design, wooden bridges, and a 500-to-600 year-old tree are just some of the points of interest. All in all, a well-kept site (spanning both sides of the road) with nice views. If you are passing through, this is not a site to be missed!
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RaymondWHatamoto

84 months ago
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I went to this castle today. This castle is little bit hard to get to by public transport if you throw in all the traffic jams on the “Coming-of-Age” long weekend in January. The bus back to Mishima was late by over 30 minutes, and once it came, it took around 45 minutes to get back to JR Mishima Station. Still, if you are a yamashiro (mountaintop castle) fan and want to see some very well preserved moats and earthworks, then this is one castle ruin that you should not miss. There are all kinds of dry moats, some spanned by wooden bridges. The whole site is very well kept and free. From the Nishinomaru (Western Bailey) and the Daizaki Outer Bailey, one has a very fine view of the Mt. Fuji and nearby mountains on a fine day. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy today, so Mt. Fuji was shrouded in cloud. The siege and battle was over quite quickly. According to “日本を変えたしずおかの合戦” (Battles in Shizuoka Which Changed Japan), Toyotomi had 67,800 troops vs Hojo’s 4,000 to 5,000 defenders. With odds of at least 15 to 1, it is not surprising that the castle fell so quickly. It took me 2.5 hours to do this site quickly, but I reckon you could spend a good half day here if you bring along a packed lunch to enjoy while admiring the panoramic views from some of the baileys. Take the bus from the No.5 bus stop outside JR Mishima Station and catch the one with Hakone as its final destination. Get off at the Yamanaka Castle Ruin Stop. A one-way ticket cost 590yen and takes around 30 minutes if there are no traffic jams. The 100 Meijo stamp is in the little shop / restaurant opposite the bus stop when you get off. For me, this is a very good 2.5 stars because it is one of the few castle ruins which showcase so clearly the different types of dry moats used by Sengoku Period yamashiros.
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KrisGunshi

96 months ago
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Not from Yamanaka, (late afternoon clouds had come over and we were mostly looking the other way), but we did get amazing shots of Fuji from across the sea near Toi. Sounds like a good reason to come back.
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JcastleHatamoto

96 months ago
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Could you see Mt. Fuji from the castle?
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KrisGunshi

96 months ago
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I went to Yamanaka yesterday coming back from Shizuoka. There was snow in the moats – it was amazing. Previous visitors had left snowmen in the various areas - they were like poor, out-numbered Hojo soldiers struggling to guard the fort; there were also toboggan tracks in the De-no-maru. In terms of view it is great location for a castle – it's a shame view counts for so little when you're outnumbered 17 to 1.

Currently there is some repair work going on until March. The area near the Nishi-no-maru unebori is closed off on one side but you can still take decent photos of the moats. I learnt a lot about moats at this castle - it's an excellent example of Hojo-style castle building – especially the shoji-bori and une-bori moats. The sunset was breath-taking; if it is clear you should definitely head down to the lower parking lot and watch the sun set.