Iimori Castle

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History

Iimori Castle was originally founded by Kizawa Nagamasa, a top vassal of the Hatakeyama clan in 1528-1532 and helped control the Kawachi Region (southern Osaka). Kizawa tried to betray the Hatakeyama and ally with the Hosokawa which led to conflict with the Hatakeyama. Hatakeyama Yoshitaka lost and committed suicide in a combined battle with Kizawa and his Ikko Ikki allies in 1532. Kizawa continued to build his power until Miyoshi Nagayoshi and the remaining Hatakeyama clans took back the castle in 1542. Yasumi Naomasa, a vassal of the Hatekayama was made castellan. Naomasa eventually banished the Hatakeyama and tried to claim the territory for himself. With the help of Miyoshi again, Hatakeyama Takamasa was restored to power in Iimori Castle. Eventually Takamasa came to fear Miyoshi Nagayoshi and restored Yasumi Naomasa to power in Iimori Castle. In 1560, Miyoshi Nagayoshi had enough of this and took Takamasa's Takaya Castle and Iimori Castle for himself. Nagayoshi handed over Akutagawasan Castle to his son and moved his power base to Iimori Castle. Nagayoshi died in 1564 and the castle was rule by his sons. The castle was defeated by the forces of Oda Nobunaga in 1576 and subsequently abandoned.

The castle you see today was most renovated by Miyoshi Nagayoshi. It is regarded as an especially valuable historical site as one of the few castles to extensively use stone walls predating Nobunaga's Azuchi Castle.


Visit Notes

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.


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Gallery


Castle Profile
English Name Iimori Castle
Japanese Name 飯盛城
Alternate Names Iimoriyama-jo
Founder Nagamasa Kizawa
Year Founded 1528-1532
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Shijonawate Sta. (JR Touzai-Gakkentoshi Line), walk 15 mins to the trailhead
Visitor Information mountain, open 24/7
Time Required 120 mins
Website https://www.city.shijonawate.lg.jp/site/bunkazai-shiseki/1857.html
Location Shijonawate, Osaka
Coordinates 34° 43' 35.87" N, 135° 39' 13.86" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2023
Admin Visits February 26, 2023
Friends of JCastle
Shiro Meguri Fan
Kojodan
Japan Castle Explorer
Jokaku Horoki
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ARTShogun

11 months ago
Score 0++
I'm glad you went. I was going to go here at the beginning of the year before deciding to extend my time in Wakasa.
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RaymondWDaimyo

11 months ago
Score 0++

Eric, it's good to see that you have created a profile of this top notch yamajiro in Osaka Prefecture on Jcastle. You have also included lots of photos showcasing what can be seen at this massive mountaintop castle ruin, so other castle fans use it as a visual guide when they visit this yamajiro.

This castle is certainly the Osaka equivalent of Kannonji Castle in Shiga. It’s impossible to visit all its baileys in one day because of its sheer size. Also, some sections of the castle ruin have been closed and placed off-limits to any visitors, so it is now impossible to get to some of the baileys with ishigaki (stone wall) remnants which I saw on one of my visits to this castle.

As shown in two of Eric’s photos with the orange and black fence, it looks like some ishigaki have partially collapsed since I last visited. It was one of the longer sections of stone walls that could be seen and photographed.

There are plenty of castle ruins to see for experienced yamajiro fans including features like dobashi, horikiri, ishigaki, koguchi, and dorui. There are also tatebori shown on maps that I have, but they are overgrown and difficult to see and photograph.

This yamajiro is massive, stretching over 1.2km along the top of the mountain, with multiple sets of baileys running down the sides of the mountain like the branches of a tree. Some of these baileys are heavily overgrown and not possible to explore. Also, some baileys are located down steep slopes which I have not clamber down yet. I have been to this mountaintop castle four times over the last 10 years, and like Kannonji Castle in Shiga and Takatori Castle in Nara, there are still new baileys for me to explore at this expansive yamajiro, so I’m sure I will revisit this yamajiro ruin again.

Eric’s advice about going up from Nozaki Station and coming down to the Shijonawate Station is the way to go for castle fans planning to explore this castle ruin. I have also gone up from Nozaki Station and come back down to Nozaki Station, too, but trains are more frequent at Shijonawate Station. Also, the trail up from Shijonawate is steeper, so it’s easier to walk down it than go up it.