Arashi Castle

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Arashijou (10).JPG


Arashi Castle was built between the late 15th century and mid 16th century, but its current, complex layout dates to the late Sengoku Period. It was built by the Ogasawara Clan, nominal rulers of Shinano Province, to protect one Suwa side entrance into the valley where they had their main seats of power. Arashi Castle was the largest of three forts built along the same mountain, along with Iinawa Castle below it and Nishijou Castle at the very top.

Visit Notes

Arashijō is was one of three castles located on the same mountain, located in the middle position between the other two, Iinawa Castle at the bottom and Nishijou Castle at the top. I actually came to Arashijō first because I was exploring a section of disused railroad nearby and found a convenient trail leading straight from the end of the line. I then climbed to Nishijou Castle before descending back through Arashijō down to Iinawa Castle, after which I found more disused rail (it was part of a switchback system and so following it brought me back to where I had started several hours earlier).

The ruins of Arashijō consist of horikiri (trenches), dorui (earthen embankments) and one central bailey. The largest segment of dorui and corresponding trench is located at the back of the main bailey. I found unworked stone blocks here and they seemed to be positioned in rows along the trench and so I don't know but it seemed like they may have been part of the castle. As I mentioned I came through Arashijō twice and both times I saw deer running near the ruin, probably the same group. Other nature includes a pretty birdy and a tree scratched by a bear and bleeding sap. Bonus: I found Shelob's Lair.


Castle Profile
English Name Arashi Castle
Japanese Name 嵐城
Founder Ogasawara Clan
Year Founded 16th Century
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Kuruwa, Dorui, Hori
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Midoriko Station on the Chuo Line; 10 minute walk to trail head
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 5' 17.05" N, 137° 58' 7.50" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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