Hirase-noroshidai was a fortified beacon built by Takeda Nobutora who unified Kai Province in 1519. Hirase-noroshidai was constructed, it is assumed, after Nobutora built the Tsutsujigasaki Palace where three generations of Takeda would live. Hirase-noroshidai was part of an extensive network of beacon and signal towers in the mountains surrounding this main base of the Takeda Clan. Signal fires were lit at the beacon tower to warn of any approaching danger. If the atmosphere was not conducive or it was night, then bells were struck as part of a back-up aural warning system. Hirase-noroshidai was manned by the Mitake-shū, a group of ‘frontier warriors’ who served the Takeda by defending the remote regions of their territory.
Hirase-noroshidai overlooks the beautiful Shōsenkyō gorge area, and this has been the site of crystal mining and quartz crafting since ancient times. The Mitake-shū also established the Kinzakura-jinja nearby. Since the area was trafficked with craftsmen and pilgrims, Hirase-noroshidai likely also played a role of guarding the mountain paths and checking traffic along the gorge.
Hirase-noroshidai was a fortified beacon ruin with a small main bailey, and some terraced belt baileys ringing it. A koguchi (gate complex) ruin with ishigaki (stone walls) survived, along with a curious ring of stone blocks in the main bailey. As of at least spring this year, the ruins have been heavily damaged by some kind of development. Most of the ruins described above are now indiscernible, but, at least for now, a segment of ishigaki survives. The amount of stones on the mountain is incredible, though it’s hard to say if they were once used to fortify the noroshidai. Many muddy stone blocks are now scattered about the site after being dug up by digging machines. Some of these disturbed rocks have been carelessly dumped beside the fort’s stone walls. It’s a sad sight.
|English Name||Hirase Noroshidai|
|Year Founded||c. 1519|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Busses run from Kōfu Station to the Shōsenkyō gorge area.|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; mountain|
|Time Required||20 minutes|
|Location||Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 43' 16.64" N, 138° 33' 13.64" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|