Hitomoshi Castle (Saku)
Hitomoshijō was a branch fort constructed by Aiki Tokie, lord of Aikijō. It was a small fort principally used as a noroshidai, or signal tower. Aiki Tokie initially resisted but would later pledge allegiance to Takeda Shingen. He fought for Takeda Shingen at the siege of Taketenjinjō, and later became lord of Taguchijō. Hitomoshijō was incorporated into the noroshidai network used by the Takeda Clan throughout Saku. The name "Hitomoshi" simply means "Firelight".
Hitomoshijō, the third stop on my miyagura tour in Saku, is a fortified beacon site overlooking the beautiful Omika Falls. We appreciated the natural beauty cascading and flowing about us before making the steep ascent onto the hill above where there is a reconstructed miyagura. There are two ridge spurs beneath the main bailey where the yagura is situated, and these seem to have been used as part of the fort. Both spurs end in cliffs, with the lower spur overlooking the falls, which, though pretty, would be death to plunge into. In this way the fort space is naturally easy to defend and cuts a very impressive profile with its sheer, watery drops. To the rear of the bailey-keep are horikiri, trenches cut into the ridge to protect the mountainside flank of the earthen fort.
|Saku Hitomoshi Castle
|No main keep but other buildings
|Pre Edo Period
|Miyagura, Horikiri, Dorui, Kuruwa
|Trail begins from Omika Falls; the nearest station is Saku-Uminokuchi on the Kōmi Line
|24/7 free; mountain
|Minami-Aiki, Nagano Prefecture
|36° 2' 24.47" N, 138° 32' 23.78" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
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