Motoyama Castle (Chikuma)




Motoyamajō was the mountain redoubt used by the Motoyama Clan during the Sengoku Period. The Motoyama Clan, who served Kiso Yoshimasa, had their main residence at the foot of the castle mount. The Motoyama Hall later became the site of the Honjin (main inn) of Motoyama-juku, a post town along the Nakasendō (Interior Trunk Road).

Visit Notes

This site was tricky to get to because there was no obious trail. I stuck to the ridge line as much as possible. The rocky mountain scenery was invigorating. The castle ruin consists of a series of spacious terraced baileys surrounding the uppermost bailey. Including the shukuruwa (main bailey), there are four tiers of sculpted earth in all. The koshikuruwa (sub-bailey) beneath the shukuruwa is surrounded by dorui (earthen embankments). The trench to the rear of the main bailey is very deep.


Castle Profile
English Name Chikuma Motoyama Castle
Japanese Name 筑摩本山城
Founder Motoyama Clan
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Hori, Kuruwa, Koshikuruwa
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Hideshio Station on the Chuo West Line; 20 minute walk to trail head
Visitor Information Free; 24/7; Mountain
Time Required 50 minutes
Location Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 3' 38.63" N, 137° 54' 21.67" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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