Shimosaka Yakata

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The Shimosaka-yakata was built in the Muromachi Period as the fortified manor house of the Shimosaka Clan who were the head clan governing Shimosaka Village in Sakata District. The Shimosaka Clan were militarily active throughout northern Ōmi Province throughout the Nanbokuchō and Sengoku Periods, serving both the Kyōgoku and Asai Clans (though presumably a different times).

The main building (Omoya) which stands today dates to the late 18th century, but it is considered to be a faithful reconstruction of the original lord's hall from the Sengoku Period. This is so also for the Omotemon (front gate). This has led to the site being hailed as the only kyokan site with its architecture retained from the Sengoku Period.

Visit Notes

Yakata refers to a medieval fortified manor house. Shimosaka-yakata is exceedingly precious because it contains faithful Edo Period reconstructions of the original Sengoku Period structures. I had initially come at the beginning of last month but it wasn't open at that time. It's now open to the public on weekends. I was able to enter the omoya (main residence) and get a good look at the dorui (earthen ramparts) and hori (moats) surrounding the site. There is also a koguchi ("tiger's maw") gate ruin.


Castle Profile
English Name Shimosaka Yakata
Japanese Name 下坂館
Founder Shimosaka Clan
Year Founded Muromachi Period
Castle Type Fortified Manor
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Omotemon, Karabori, Dorui, Omoya, Koguchi
Features gates, palace, trenches
Visitor Information
Access Tamura Station on the Hokuriku Line; 20 minute walk
Visitor Information 9:00-16:00 (last entry 15:30); 300yen. Open only on SATURDAY and SUNDAY. CLOSED IN WINTER.
Time Required 120 minutes
Location Nagahama, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 21' 57.78" N, 136° 17' 4.45" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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46 months ago
Score 1++
updated gallery with new pictures