Ara Castle (Murakami Clan Fort Network)
Arajō is twinned with Ushibusejō below on the same mountain ridge. The ridgeline was thought to resemble a cow lying down, and if that is so then Arajō was the cow’s buttocks. Smaller than Ushibusejō, the castle was likely used as a signal fort. Both castles were part of the Murakami Renju Toride. See my profile on Murakami-Kokuzōsanjō for more information: Murakami Kokuzousan Castle.
Arajō sits above Ushibusejō on the same ridge. It cannot be missed climbing from Ushibusejō but the way is quite long and steep. It is another single bailey fort, like Ushibusejō, with trenches to the rear dug into the ridge, except overall its dimensions are smaller than Ushibusejō’s. One interesting feature of Arajō, however, is that the mountainside dorui (earthen rampart) segment is very thick, almost as wide as the bailey it protects it seems. Given its girth maybe this dorui was used as the foundations of a small tower? Beneath it are two horikiri (trenches).
|English Name||Murakami Ara Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Access||Ascend from Ushibuse Castle or descend from Mt Tarou.|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; mountain|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Ueda, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 25' 35.36" N, 138° 15' 9.54" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2021|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|