Nikaidou Yakata

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Nikaidō-yakata was the fortified manor hall of the Nikaidō Clan, established from some point in the medieval era. In the Muromachi period Erinji was established by the clan on its grounds. It’s not clear when the Nikaidō left the manor, but it probably coincided with the rise of the Takeda Clan; there is a theory that the Nikaidō once ruled Kai Province before the Takeda. Takeda Clan vassals would later establish their own residences in this area. The temple remained but was torched by Oda Nobunaga during the demise of the Takeda Clan; it was subsequently rebuilt and stands today.

Visit Notes

Nikaidō-yakata is a medieval manor hall site in Enzan Township, Kōshū Municipality. The site of Nikaidō-yakata, the medieval fortified manor hall of the Nikaidō Clan, is now that of the temple Erinji, a large Zen temple complex which is famous in the prefecture. Since the temple is a major cultural site it is worth visiting in its own right though there are no ruins of the yakata. History fans have a special reason to pay homage at the temple, as it is also the final resting place of Takeda Shingen.

Erinji was established in the Muromachi period after the Nikaidō donated their manor hall or adjacent land. It was torched to the ground after the demise of Takeda Katsuyori by Oda Nobunaga. It was subsequently re-built in the Edo period. The temple’s garden is seven centuries old and very beautiful. The temple’s architecture is also impressive; the oldest extant structure is a bright red gate with shingled roof, and there is a more recently constructed three-tier pagoda (interesting as Zen temples traditionally don't have such sctructures usually). One can tour the halls of the temple by entering through the kuri (kitchen hall). The temple is not so famous nationally, but it seems they have done a lot to attract visitors through various projects; one portion of the halls includes a labyrinthine, twisting passageway in pitch black (similar to at Zenkōji). There are also various cats around, each named by the temple; the temple staff showed us some tiny kittens kept in the kuri. They were adorbs. The attendant kept asking ‘Ikaga desu ka?’, as though we might adopt one of the kittens. Then she put a box over the kittens which was their nest, but one kitten got boinked on the head by it. Finally, the temple offers funerary services with the enticing tagline of laying one to rest with Takeda Shingen. There is a museum dedicated to Takeda Shingen at the temple but I didn’t go in this time.

  • Foundation stone for the original temple gatehouse which was torched by Oda Nobunaga

Castle Profile
English Name Nikaidou Yakata
Japanese Name 二階堂館
Alternate Names 二階堂出羽守貞藤館・二階堂屋敷・恵林寺
Founder Nikaidō Clan
Year Founded Kamakura Period or Muromachi Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations has Important Cultural Properties
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Akamon (Momoyama Period)
Features gates
Visitor Information
Access Nearest station is Enzan Station on the Chūō Main Line
Visitor Information Temple is open 8:30-16:30
Time Required 90 minutes
Location Kōshū, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 43' 47.46" N, 138° 42' 49.14" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Oshiro Tabi Nikki

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