Komaki Castle

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Komaki Castle followed Nagoya Castle (different from modern day Nagoya Castle) and Kiyosu Castle becoming Oda Nobunaga's third castle. After Nobunaga secured Mikawa province (eastern Aichi prefecture) by an alliance with Tokugawa Ieyasu, he set his sights on invading the Mino province (Gifu prefecture). To that end he built Komaki-jo in 1563.

It is said that when Nobunaga decided to build Komaki-jo he sensed that his vassals would object to moving so far from their present home of Kiyosu-jo. So that his people couldn't object, he first suggested that they build a castle on top of Ninomiya mountain in Inuyama. Ninomiya mountain is very steep and it would be a difficult place to build a castle. As soon as they objected the Ninomiya plan Nobunaga suggested Mt. Komaki instead. Having just turned down their lord's first plan, they couldn't object to his second idea too so they moved to Komaki without complaint. Nobunaga stayed in Komaki-jo until he defeated Saito Tatsuoki in 1567 and conquered Mino privince. Nobunaga then moved into Gifu-jo.

Visit Notes

Komaki-jo has a very interesting location. In the middle of a huge plain with no relief whatsoever is a large hill called Mt. Komaki. Komaki-jo sits atop this mountain with an incredible view of the whole area. It's the ideal location for a castle. Unfortunately, the top of the mountain/hill is fairly small and most of it is wooded so it's almost impossible to get a picture better than this from the ground. The whole mountain is designated as a National Historic Site.

  • donjon
  • main keep
  • main keep
  • Cross Section of an embankment
  • Karameteguchi
  • Moat and earthen embankment
  • Small stone from behind a stone wall.
  • View of the keep from near the top
  • Bailey 402
  • Entrance D
  • Otemichi
  • Entrance F
  • Dry moat between Bailey 402 and Bailey 403a on the left
  • Earthen embnakment of Bailey 403a
  • Map of the castle
  • Map of the smaller baileys around the foot of the mountain

Castle Profile
English Name Komaki Castle
Japanese Name 小牧城
Alternate Names Komakiyama-jo
Founder Oda Nobunaga
Year Founded 1563
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 3 stories
Year Reconstructed 1968 (concrete)
Features main keep, trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Komaki Station (Meitetsu Komaki Line), 10 minutes by bus
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.komaki.aichi.jp/kanko/komakiyama/index.html
Location Komaki, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 17' 33.32" N, 136° 54' 48.74" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 1999
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 1996
Admin Visits April 1996

(16 votes)
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144 months ago
Score 0++
I went to this castle last weekend. I had low expectations of this castle ruin site after reading the website’s description and Furinkazan’s comment about it. Well, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found there. Yes, the castle keep is definitely rubbish-looking on the outside and, of course, there was no such castle keep in its day. However, if you enjoy tracking the development and evolution of Nobunaga’s castles, this is an interesting site to visit. In many ways, it is a prototype for his later and grander Azuchi Castle. There are baileys (some overgrown) lining both sides of the long Otemichi (Main Road) running up the hill eventually to the Honmaru. This is just like the design at Azuchi Castle. The main difference is that at Azuchi, the Otemichi and the baileys lining it were all encased in stone, while at Komaki they were mainly just earthenworks for the baileys and stones for the Otemichi. Once you have reached the honmaru, there is a tacky pseudo-castle concrete building which houses a museum. However, on the inside they have made some effort to fit it with wooden paneling, wooden ceiling, and covered the concrete stairs with wood. Almost everything is in Japanese except for four pages in English in a booklet describing the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute. After reading the English explanation, I pressed a nearby button to get the full audiovisual rundown in Japanese about the battle. The museum has only one suit of armour, lots of pottery, and a pretty cool section about the famous battle including a copy of a screen painting showing the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute. Standing on the veranda of the top floor, you can clearly see downtown Nagoya and the pin-prick outline of Gifu Castle perched on Mt. Kinka. Also, you can just make out the hill where Inuyama Castle is located. Just below the fake castle keep in the honmaru are some ishigaki ruins and three piles of stones that the archaeologists have found and stacked up in their 2003 excavation of the area around the honmaru. They will use all the loose stones in the future when restoring the honmaru ishigaki. Located at the base of the hill to the east and north are a series of restored baileys (obi kuruwa), their earthworks, some moats, a well, a cross-section of one part of the earthen embankments to show how they built, and some koguchi (gates) ruins. Up on the hill, there are four more koguchi ruins. Overall, this castle ruin actually had a total of 9 koguchis, but I could only locate 6 of the 9 gate ruins. I guess a re-visit is needed in winter when the undergrowth and weeds have died back. While this castle won’t compete with some of the nearby heavyweights in Aiichi Prefecture like Inuyama Castle, Okazaki Castle, and Nagoya Castle, I reckon this castle is worth a re-rating to 1.5 to 2 stars because it is well signposted in Japanese (except for some of the koguchis), there are enough older sengoku-period-style defensive features to be seen, and the museum, while not great, is pretty informative about its most famous episode: the Battle of Komaki-Nagakute in 1584.


167 months ago
Score 0++
After Inuyama, this castle was really disapointing. No possibility to make nice pictures, and not alot to see inside the castle. Nothing in English. Consolation : entryfee is 100yen. I wanted to see both sides of the Komaki\Nagakute Campaign, but i won't recommend visiting this castle.