Genbao Castle, Iimori Castle, Nozaki Castle Added

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Genbao Castle, Iimori Castle, Nozaki Castle Added

2023/05/28


This is a small update for 2 castle day trips to Genbao Castle and Iimori Castle, but both are huge sprawling important mountaintop castles that are highly recommended for any castle fans.Genbao Castle even gets a little video walkthrough so be sure to check out the fabulous spring green colors on this great mountaintop castle.


 

Genbao Castle / 玄蕃尾城

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The two entrances to the honmaru are protected by clear umadashi. In particular the main entrance from the south is almost like three progressively smaller umadashi. The north side has a brilliant z-shaped narrow earthen bridge that zigzags from the main bailey around the north umadashi and into the northern side karamete bailey. There is an exit out the other side of this bailey and some slightly flattened areas which some poeple think indicate that the castle was not finished before the battle.

There is a bus from Yogo Station that gets you near the castle parking lot hiking entrance but useful busses are only around the hours 10am, 1pm, and 3pm so it can be tricky to plan a schedule. Originally I planned to use the 10am and 3pm busses even though it would probably leave lots of time waiting around, but I also found out you can rent a bicycle at Yogo Station which is probably the best way to cross the 8km to the hiking entrance. There are only a few bicycles, so during peak seasons they may be rented out already. They are more frequently used for touring around Lake Yogo. If you do rent a bicycle though, let the station master know you're going to Genbao Castle and he'll provide a good map how to get there. There seems to be a small community bus from the Tsuruga (Fukui) side of the castle too, but it's hard to find detailed information.

Videos
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Iimori Castle / 飯盛城

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There are some good maps on the city website so I recommend you print and take one with. I also saw some at Shijonawate Station but not at Nozaki Station. The castle is deceptively large and it's easy to miss sections. I spent about 4 hours on the castle grounds, excluding the hike each way, trying to get into as many baileys as possible and to uncover as many of the stone walls as possible. There are bits of ishigaki stone walls scattered throughout the site. Some are big wall sections but some are very small and mostly overgrown. You can probably tell from some of the pictures that I've brushed or scraped away vegetation in some places to uncover the stonework below. In a few places, paths or stone walls have eroded just in the last few years. I hope they are able to preserve the site better for the future. Shijonawate Sta. is closest to the Iimori Castle trailhead and more trains stop here, but you can also go to Nozaki Sta. and hike through Nozaki Castle on the way to Iimori Castle.
 
Nozaki Castle / 野崎城

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At the eastern end of Iimori Castle, overlooking the Higashi Koya Highway, you'll find Nozaki Castle. It is not very big and there are not many remains to see today, but it was an important point to watch over the highway and to help protect the route into Iimori Castle. If you go to Iimori Castle from Nozaki Station this is right along the way. There is one main bailey, a couple small side baileys made into lookout points today, and one horikiri just before entering the castle site.
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