Awazawa Castle (Suwa)

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Awazawajō was a fortified residence and manor hall constructed originally by Awazawa Shichirō in the late Heian period. The Awazawa Clan were vassals of the Suwa Clan, and later the Suwa Clan took over the manor, establishing the Awazawa-Suwa. The last of his line, Suwa Yoritoyo served Takeda Katsuyori but was killed along with his sons by Kiso Yoshimasa at the Battle of Torii Pass in Kiso*. Awazawajō was built on a jutting plateau, but instead of sectioning off parts of the plateau with trenches and relying on the elevation and cliffs for natural defence - perhaps because they were not so steep - the manor hall compound was defended by earthen ramparts and dry moats ot the north, east and west. In the south the cliffside was used for defence. The moats here may have followed the slope. This then was a gakejiro (clifftop castle) type fortification with a single square bailey. Gates were located in the east and west of the ramparts.

  • For more information about that battle, see my profile on Yabuhara Fort.

Visit Notes

Awazawajō is a fortified residence site in the Tamagawa Township area of Chino Municipality. There is a stone marker for the site, and a suggestion of earthworks down the side of it, looking somewhat like dorui (earthen ramparts) and a karabori (dry moat), but the impression is indistinct so it's hard to tell. Still, this remnant of earthworks is thought to represent the southwestern ramparts and moat of a square fort built alongside the clifftop (the plateau is about 20m tall). The site is now fields and housing.


Castle Profile
English Name Awazawa Castle (Suwa)
Japanese Name 諏訪粟沢城
Founder Awazawa Shichirō
Year Founded Late Heian Period
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Karabori
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Chino Station on the Chūō Main Line; 35 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free; fields
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Chino, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 59' 52.66" N, 138° 10' 32.70" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Kojō Seisuiki

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