Araihara Castle


TakaiAraiharajou (1).JPG


Araiharajō, once simply known as Shiroyama ('Castle Mount'), was a fortification overlooking a transit point on the 'Kenshin Road', a military logistics route used to convey materiel and men from the Kawanakajima area in Shinano to the Uesugi home territory in Echigo. It is said that Uesugi Kenshin himself fled along this route following the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima. Araiharajō's castellan is unknown, but it was probably a member or vassal of the Ôiwa-Suda Clan. It is speculated that the fort was also briefly used by Uesugi Kagekatsu in 1582 during the Tenshō-Jingo Rebellion.

Visit Notes

Araiharajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) site in the Araihara area of Takayama Rural Municipality, Upper Takai County. Araiharajō was a simple ridgeline fort with baileys on the flattened ridge separated by trenches. Remains are chiefly earthworks. There is an observation platform in the main bailey.

'Araiharajō' is a name derived from the nearby village of Araihara, but the castle had no such name historically that I can confirm. The site is also known by the very generic name of Shiroyamajō ('Castle Mount Castle'). Most hilltop or mountain castle sites are known locally as 'Shiroyama'. It may as well be called Castle McCastle-Face. Not every castle can be named after a Sabaton song, so this castle is also called Araiharajō. Elsewise, 'Takai-Shiroyamajō', incorporating the name of the county, could distinguish this site.

  • Observation deck in main bailey
  • Start of trail is to the left in this picture
  • Horikiri (trench) to rear of main bailey
  • Horikiri (trench) to rear of site

Castle Profile
English Name Araihara Castle
Japanese Name 荒井原城
Alternate Names 高井城山城
Founder Uesugi Kenshin / Suwa-Oh'iwa Clan
Year Founded Mid' 16th Century
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Horikiri, Kuruwa, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Suzaka Station on the Nagano Line; rent bicycle from education centre opposite station; cycle to trailhead in Takayama Village
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Takayama, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 40' 13.62" N, 138° 21' 42.80" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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