Hijiyama Castle (Iga)

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Hijiyama castle was attacked by the forces of the warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581. The “shadow warriors” of Iga were able to defeat the troops of Nobunaga’s son some two years earlier, and not liking to lose, Nobunaga sent a larger, more powerful army. This was the second Tensho Iga no Ran, also known as the ninja wars. Thousands of people were killed, and the battle saw the near extinction of the ninja.

Visit Notes

Visited the ruins of the ninja castle, Hijiyama Castle in western Iga Ueno City, Mie Prefecture today. Hijiyama is a mountain castle. A very steep and high mountain castle that has not been maintained, nor cut back, nor properly prepared for visitors. Hijiyama is not easy to climb and without a guide, is difficult to access. My guide was the very capable Kasai San from Iga Ueno City. This was one of the roughest castle visits I’ve done!

All that remains of the castle are the original earthworks, dorui, or earthen embankments around leveled compounds, Horikiri trenches cut into the mountain to prevent enemy advances, and kirigishi, mountainsides shaved back to increase the angle and prevent infiltration. It is exceptionally overgrown, even in winter. This was real Indy Jones jungle tour trekking. We walked a total of 6km, but according to the health meter in my mobile phone we climbed the equivalent of 66 flights of stairs!

Profile by Chris Glenn (edited by ART).

  • Dorui

Castle Profile
English Name Iga Hijiyama Castle
Japanese Name 伊賀比自山城
Founder 福喜多将監・百田藤兵衛
Year Founded 1581
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Kuruwa, Horikiri, Dorui
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Nishiôte Station on the Iga Line; 35 minute walk to trailhead
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required
Location Iga, Mie Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 45' 33.44" N, 136° 5' 53.41" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor 豪谷
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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