Kitanojō was a base of the 中越氏 (Nakaetsu Clan? There's like five different ways to read this) from the Muromachi Period. Although there is a theory that Kitanojō was built as part of a network of castles to guard against Takeda Shingen's invasion of the valley, the structure of the castle is more in line with a fortified residence for a clan. It seems it was not the clan's main residence though.
Kitanojō ("North Castle") is a scenic site featuring dorui (earth-piled ramparts), karabori (dry moats) and kuruwa (baileys). The shukuruwa (main bailey) is surrounded by earthen ramparts which still rise quite tall. There is a ditch to the east. To the north and west the Heaven Dragon River flows by, and the castle ruins sit atop of fabulous rockfaces bordering the fast-flowing waters.
Kitanojō is paired with Ina Shimono Castle ("Lower Castle"), located across a small river. Why "Lower Castle" and "North Castle" go together and not "North Castle" and "South Castle" or "Upper Castle" and "Lower Castle" I don't know, although it may have been part of a network of fortifications which also included such castles as "Main Castle", "Middle Castle", "Upper Castle", and so on. "Lower Castle" makes sense in reference to the Tenryū River which flows southward.
|English Name||Ina Kitano Castle|
|Year Founded||Muromachi Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Karabori, Dorui, Kuruwa|
|Access||Akagi Station on the Iida Line; 24 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; park|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Miyada, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 46' 21.58" N, 137° 57' 37.01" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
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