Yokoyama Castle

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NaganoYokoyamajou (4).JPG


Uesugi Kenshin set up base here in 1555 to watch over Zenkōji Temple and assist in the Kawanakajima Campaign, likely following the Battle of Sai River. The fortification became synonymous with the temple and was also called Zenkōji-Yokoyamajō. In August 1561 Uesugi Kenshin arrived at Zenkōji-Yokoyamajō, stationing 5,000 soldiers and marching out with 13,000 troops to engage Takeda Shingen, the two clashed at the Battle of Hachimanbara, the most famous and costly clash of the Kawanakajima battles. After losing over 70% of his forces, Uesugi retreated back to Zenkōji-Yokoyamajō. Although details are unclear a fortification had existed upon the site since the Nanbokuchō Period. Incidents surrounding Zenkōji at that time are presumed to have involved Yokoyamajō.

Visit Notes

Today Yokoyamajō, a hilltop castle overlooking Zenkōji (temple), is the site of civil buildings, park space and a shrine (called Takeminakatatomiinochihikogamibetsujinja). Some dorui (earthen embankments) remains are to be discerned around the shrine. I thought I'd found some suggestive stonework but upon close inspection this turned out to be unrelated to the castle. Of the modern piled stone work in this area around the shrine, some of it seems to designed to imitate castle ramparts, at least more so than the usual concrete glued frequently seen, which is likely a little nod to the former castle.

  • Earthen embankment, but the stonework may not be castle related
  • Earthen embankment, but the stonework may not be castle related
  • Earthen embankment, but the stonework may not be castle related

Castle Profile
English Name Yokoyama Castle
Japanese Name 横山城
Alternate Names Zenkōji-Yokoyamajō
Founder Uesugi Kenshin
Year Founded 1555
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Zenkojishita Station on Nagaden Nagano Line; 20 minute walk
Visitor Information Free 24/7
Time Required 30 minutes
Location Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 39' 38.27" N, 138° 11' 28.86" E
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Added to Jcastle 2017
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(2 votes)
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51 months ago
Score 0++
Added some new pictures of the (possible) ruins (spring). Nice site to visit on the way to Zenkouji as it overs some nice views of the temple from this hillside.