Komoro Castle

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During the Sengoku Period Takeda Shingen founded Komoro Castle on the grounds of two earlier castles called Otome Castle and Nabebuta Castle to help administer the Eastern Shinshu area. Sengoku Hidehisa became lord of the castle in 1590 and later his son Tadamasa expanded the castle further. The original Otemon gate (Important Cultural Property) and the foundation of the tenshu date from this time period.

Visit Notes

The Otemon is on the oppsoite side of the station from the main park and Sannomon. Be sure to visit it too.

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  • Sannomon Gate
  • Otemon gate
  • Otemon Gate
  • stone wall foundation of the main keep
  • stone walls, Ninomaru bailey
  • This is where the guardhouse stood just to the left of the stairs in the previous picture.
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • stone walls
  • dry moat
  • weapons storehouse
  • view from the castle
  • map
  • stone wall foundation

Castle Profile
English Name Komoro Castle
Japanese Name 小諸城
Founder Takeda Shingen
Year Founded 1554
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Castles, has Important Cultural Properties
Historical Period Edo Period
Artifacts Otemon Gate, Sannomon Gate
Features gates, turrets, trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Komoro Sta. (Koumi Line, Shinano Testudou); 5 min. walk.
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.komoro.nagano.jp/kankou/kaikoen/index.html
Location Komoro, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 19' 38.50" N, 138° 25' 1.99" E
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Added to Jcastle 2008
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2008
Admin Visits October 16, 2008

(12 votes)
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11 months ago
Score 0++

10/05/2023. After Tatsuokajō, I went to Komoro. This is the last station on the Koumi line in the opposite direction. I visited Komoro castle back in 2009. My camera of that time wasn't great and I missed the Otemon(main gate), since it is on the other side of the train tracks than the rest of the castle. I didn't had the book for the 100 meijō stamp neither. So enough reasons to go back. This time I saw the Otemon gate, I collected the stamp inside the Chokokan museum. The museum has a nice collection, but sadly, you aren't allowed to take pictures. The suneate(shin guards) of one of the armors on display were reversed. The left one was on the right position. I told it at the entrance, and she came out of her office to verify. She was very glad I pointed out that mistake. That said, I've seen this error in other museums as well. After that I visited the castle ruins as thorough as possible. Komoro castle is the only castle in Japan of the Ana-type(lit.: hole-type). The main bailey is at the lowest point of the site.

Not far from the Otemon, there is the honjin omoya. This was used by daimyō as lodging when doing the Sankin kōtai(alternate attendance).


18 months ago
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My second visit to Komorojō, was my first visit in about four or five years. The castle's geography and features are quite unique. It was built straddling a series of gorges going down to the Chikuma River. The main castle mount sits snugly between two flanking ridges, which were also part of the castle's precincts, though now one hosts a shrine and another a cramped and morbid zoo. Between these two embracing arms the castle almost feels sunken and exposed, but these ridges are essentially, so long as they can be retained, gigantic walls which protect the castle proper. The dead spaces between the ridges and the castle mount would've been killing zones should any hostiles stream in there. The castle's precincts were unified in the third bailey, but now this is the site of Komoro Station. The Japanese term jōkamachi, referring to the town surrounding a castle and often incorporated into its outer defences, literally means 'town beneath the castle', but in Komorojō's case that is an oxymoron since the town is situated above the castle beyond the third bailey! For this reason Komorojō was also known as an Anashiro, or 'pit castle'. The third bailey is also higher up than the first and second.

The castle's and indeed the town's symbol is an extant gatehouse of the castle, the sannomon (third bailey gate), which was built in 1766, replacing an earlier gate which was built in 1615 but destroyed by flooding in 1742. The gate is of elegant architecture and very fetching. On the other side of the railway tracks is another original structure, the Ôtemon (main gate), dating to 1612. The gate endured some alterations after the castle was decommissioned because it was used as a restaurant, but it was fully restored at the beginning of the current century.

The castle park is called Kaikoen (‘Old Pocket Garden’), another allusion to its geography, and it is paid entry, at 250円, which is not at all unreasonable, though technically it would cost more to visit the whole castle because of the zoo. One can see both extant structures without entering the park, but the ruins of the castle proper are not to be missed. In general the atmosphere is indeed garden-like with trees, benches, gazebos, cafés and shrines. Effulgent moss grows over the ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts) of the castle. Have I mentioned the ishigaki? It's fantastic. The castle is an adventure. One walks the length of the ramparts around the main bailey to reach the tenshudai, the platform of the main keep. The ishigaki of the tenshudai is concave, and its corners appear to strike out. One feels like one is walking a gangplank as one teeters over the edge. There is a segment of banded ishigaki made from yōgan (volcanic rock), and that rock can be found throughout the park. The architecture in the park is complementary to the ruins. Komorojō is a major Edo period castle, and a unique one at that, and I'd recommend this castle for everyone.


27 months ago
Score 0++
Added some co-ordinates to existing pictures


92 months ago
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One three-tiered portion of ishigaki is built from black volcanic rocks.


158 months ago
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The gardens behind were in full cherry blossom bloom. Was a beautiful place to visit

Anonymous user #1

164 months ago
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Komoro is Stamp Heaven. In addition to the 100Meijo stamp, (in the office to the side of the museum), I got thirteen other stamps, (I didn't even go to the art gallery or the zoo), and the custodian at the museum, when he saw I collected stamps, brought out a 'rare' one that they don't use anymore. The museum had a good assortment of different things to look at. The grounds are kind of busy, home to lots of different buildings, but still very pleasant to walk around. Also, the souvenir shops had a good range of Takeda goods; I bought discounted 'Furinkazan' mechanical pencils from 2007, Kansuke, Lord Takeda and Uesugi, (the shop owner had probably given up all hope of ever getting rid of them). I don't know that I would give it 4 stars, even if I give extra stars because of the Takeda factor, but it is a convenient stop on the way to Ueda and Nagano and thoroughly worth seeing.


178 months ago
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Get off the train, and the castle site is just a few minutes walk away. This castle ruin has plenty of ishigaki, but there are no surviving turrets or castle keep. It does have an original “Sannomon” gate and the recently renovated “Otemon” gate, which is all by itself on the other side of the train tracks. There was a volunteer guide at the Otemon, and from what she told me in Japanese, the Otemon was converted into a restaurant at one stage, and that renovation was only completed last year. A 600yen ticket gets you into the grounds and includes entry to some museums plus the zoo (which I skipped.) Sorry Eric, but I tend to agree with Furikazan that this castle should rate only three stars because there are not enough of the original fortifications left. The museum on the grounds has more scrolls and calligraphy but less samurai armour and weapons on display than Ueda City Museum.


180 months ago
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I went there in last april. I don't think it deserves 4 stars.The gates and the park are nice and the museum is worth a visit. I would give it a 3 stars.