Built in 1520 by Takeda Nobutora. This site served as a regional centre and office for the Takeda clan and also as a mountain stronghold for Tsutsujigasaki Yakata. Yogaisan Castle is on top of a steep mountain and had lots of masugata, koguchi and kuruwa as well as occasional vertical moats, making it very defensible. It was also protected by Kuma Castle to the south-east. After the demise of the Takeda, the castle briefly came under control of the Tokugawa until it was given over to Kato Mitsuyasu by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The stone wall remnants you see today are believed to be form this time period. After the Battle of Sekigahara (1600), the Kai Region once again fell under Tokugawa control and the castle was abandoned.
A lot of places tell you to take a bus from the station but there are only a few busses per day and the timings aren't great for hiking the castle. Some places say you can walk from the Tsutsujigasaki Palace but that would be a long uphill walk on paved roads to get to the Sekisuiji Onsen. I took a taxi (1800 yen) to the onsen from the station. I hiked the castle and walked back to the Tsutsujigasaki Palace and then took the tourist bus on to Kofu Station and Kofu Castle which seemed to be a very efficient way of doing it (actually I went down via Kuma Castle from Yogaisan Castle too, but that's a treacherous path I can't recommend for beginners.)
It seems there is some confusion how easy it is to climb and how interesting the site it. Personally I thought it was absolutely outstanding. The mountain ridge is bailey after bailey. Each is well defined with nice ruins of gates and entrances and a lot more stonework than you typically find around this area. There are also several trenches you can easily see. From the Sekisuiji Onsen it's a steep but short climb up several switchbacks. It's not a jogging trail but there may be some trail runners who use it. Once you get to the ruins, the rest is easy. A lot of the trees have been thinned out but that also means there are lots of weeds, especially in the summer, so I would recommend visiting in late fall or early spring after the snows melt.
|English Name||Yogaisan Castle|
|Alternate Names||Yogaiyama-jo, Yogai-jo, Yogaizan-jo, Sekisuiji-jo, Maruyama-no-shiro|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Kofu Sta. (Chou Main line), 20 min bus to Sekisuiji Onsen|
|Visitor Information||Mountain trails, open any time. Start from the Sekisuiji Hot Spring.|
|Time Required||120-150 mins|
|Location||Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 42' 11", 138° 35' 54"|
|Visits||March 18, 2017|
|Added to Jcastle||2012|