Tobiyama Castle

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Tobiyama Castle was founded by Haga Takatoshi, a powerful retainer of the Utsunomiya clan, in the late Kamakura Period. It was a very large scale castle that effectively used the landscape, including the Kinu River, to its defensive advantage. The castle was an important site for the Haga clan from its founding through the end of the 16th Century. It served as a base for the Utsunomiya who fought for the Northern Imperial Court in the Nanbokucho Period and as a base to retake Utsunomiya Castle during the Sengoku Period. After the fall of the Utsunomiya clan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi ordered the decommission of Tobiyama Castle In 1590.

Visit Notes

This was a great castle to visit and made up a little bit for the disappointment of Utsunomiya Castle in the morning. If you like exploring around vast ruins, then this is the place for you. Stop by the Tobiyama History Museum before exploring the ruins. There are some nice dioramas and they have some English materials for you too. If you have kids they can dress up like a samurai or princess for a small fee. They also have some traditional games they are happy to demonstrate. The staff were incredibly helpful to me before I went with planning my trip and after I arrived too. They have taken much care to faithfully rebuild several structures from the history of this site and to balance preserving the current condition of the site with reconstructing some parts for educational purposes.

  • entrance gate, bridge and moat
  • bridge, moat
  • masugata gate ruins
  • moat
  • heijuumon gate
  • moat
  • troop barracks
  • moat
  • view from the castle
  • moat
  • inside a guardhouse
  • moat
  • smoke signal station reconstruction
  • storehouse
  • map

Castle Profile
English Name Tobiyama Castle
Japanese Name 飛山城
Founder Haga Takatoshi
Year Founded 1293
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Utsunomiya Station (JR or Tobu); 30 min bus + 10 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 33' 22.54" N, 139° 57' 58.18" E
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Added to Jcastle 2008
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2008
Admin Visits October 17, 2008

(3 votes)
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110 months ago
Score 0++
This morning i visited this site. Apparently there are only 3 busses heading to the Takeshita-busstop and all in the afternoon. The inforamtion desk in the station told me to take a bus heading for Mashiko at busstop 14 in front of the station. I had to get off at Koteyama-busstop. I arrived early at the busterminal and a staff-member told me to take a bus for Moka, also passing at Koteyama. From Koteyama-busstop it's about 2 km to the castle-site. I arrived just 5 minutes before the opening of the museum. A lady saw me, and she immediately opened the doors. The museum is small but has nice models of the castle and some artifacts. The site is very different from other castles. The reconstructed buildings are thought to have been used as lodgings and barracks for the soldiers. The site is free of charge, but since the staff was very friendly i tried to put on a yoroi (=armor). It's 300¥. I found it heavy, being made of plastic. Personally i have 2 replica armors in iron. The weight was comparable.