Chikuma Asahi Castle

Revision as of 11:10, 16 May 2021 by ART (talk | contribs) (ART moved page Asahi Castle to Chikuma Asahi Castle: minor site )



It is thought that this castle was originally constructed by the Mimura Clan or the Ogasawara Clan. It was involved in the campaigns of the Takeda Clan in the area and probably served as a supplementary fortification to the main Mimura stronghold at nearby Takeijō. Later the Kamijō Clan took up residence at the castle (the area has many, many families called Kamijō today). An old mountaintop castle, Asahijō was likely abandoned long before the Edo Period.

Visit Notes

I was unfortunate to happen across a sign indicating the existence of this castle site. Said sign promised features like karabori (moats) and obikuruwa (belt bailey) around the central enclosure. I’m not sure I was able to identify these however. So now I knew of a castle ruin, and the mountain was before me. I had a couple of hours of sunlight left. I had to check it out. Now, I am not a skilled mountaineer. I quickly lost what I thought was a trail and decided to simply assault the mount head on. This was much more difficult than I had anticipated and I ended up crawling much of the way up (and sliding down). Gravity never felt so oppressive. Highlights of that interminable slog include falling off a fallen log spanning a dried-up ravine; stopping myself falling backward by grabbing a branch – with my teeth; ominously coming across beast droppings; and collapsing like sand what I thought was a sturdy rock formation… I’m getting too old for this. Needless to say I got quite tired and dirty. As for the castle, I was really appreciative to find a worn out old marker at the flat top of the mountain summit indicating its former existence. Asahi Castle is in three parts: the big castle, little castle, and an unnamed middle bailey. The big castle bailey is not so expansive but is the furthest along, I imagine, at the final point of a ladder layout (baileys arranged in a line, passing through one to get to the next) and therefore the toughest part of the old fortress to assault. Now all is mountain and there’s not much to see really. However, I only had time to make it to the “big castle” part, and so I plan to go back to see the other baileys if I can find a suitable trail. Asahijō (旭城) is in Asahi-mura (朝日村) but they take different kanji.

  • Marker in castle bailey
  • path in main bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Asahi Castle
Japanese Name 旭城
Founder Mimura Clan
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Trenches, Baileys; karabori (moats) and obikuruwa (belt bailey) around the central enclosure
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Alpico Bus Service to Asahi Village from Hirooka Station on the Shinanoi Line
Visitor Information 24/7 free
Time Required one hour
Location Asahi, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 8' 23.06" N, 137° 51' 46.15" E
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Added to Jcastle 2019
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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43 months ago
Score 0++
Thought I'd try something different for the cover picture here. I'll upload another one of the bailey.