Asuke Castle

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Asuke22.jpg

History

It is said that Asuke castle was one of the seven residences(castles) of the Asuke family during the Kamakura period(AD 1192-1333). No evidences were found about that. It's commonly acknowledged that the castle was built by Suzuki Tadachika at the end of the 15th century. It was on mount Mayumi, 301 meters above sea level. In 1525, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, grandfather of Tokugawa Ieyasu, attacked this castle and the Suzuki family became vassals of the Matsudaira. In 1554 the Suzuki switched their allegiance to the Imagawa. In 1564, Tokugawa Ieyasu attacked this castle and the Suzuki changed sides again. In 1571, Takeda Shingen took the castle with an army of 25000. In 1575, Matsudaira Nobuyasu, eldest son of Tokugawa Ieyasu, retook the castle from the Takeda. In 1590, the castle was abandoned, when Ieyasu was moved to the Kanto area by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.


Visit Notes

Asuke Castle is one of the rare faithfully reconstructed Sengoku Period mountaintop castles. The castle was really called Mayumiyama Castle but when it was built as a tourist spot it was named after the more well known Asuke Clan, whose main castle was really one mountain over at Iimoriyama. Iimoriyama is in the middle of Korankei, the famed autumn colors spot.

There are several ways to get at Asuke. From Nagoya, you may take a Ltd. Express at the Meitetsu Nagoya Station, on the Meitetsu Nagoya Main Line, bound for Toyohashi. Get off at Higashi-Okazaki Station, after a 30min ride (660yen). At the North Exit, at bus stop 4, take the bus n°8 bound for Asuke. After a 70min ride(800yen) get off at bus stop Korankei Ichinotaniguchi. From there it's 1.5 km to the castle. Another way to go back to is to take a bus at bus stop Korankei (in front of Asuke Hachiman shrine). It's also bus n°8, but of the Toyota-city bus company. It is bound for Toyota Welfare Hospital. After a 50min ride(500yen) get off at Josui Station. This station is on the Meitetsu Toyota Line. Get a ticket for Nagoya. At Akaike Station the line becomes the Nagoya Subway Tsurumai Line and you are back in Nagoya.

Asuke is very well known for it's momiji (red maples) in November. The Korankei is a valley with thousands of maple trees. During this period there are frequently traffic jams, which lengthens the time considerably with the bus. The Sanshu Asuke Yashiki is also located in the Korankei Valley. There are several old buildings used by different artisans : paper makers, weavers, etc. The Korankei valley seems to be a spot that is popular in summer too. There were many people playing around and in the river on a hot day.

Original Profile by Furinkazan (2017) - Notes and photos updated by Eric (2020).


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Castle Profile
English Name Asuke Castle
Japanese Name 足助城
Alternate Names Mayumiyama castle; Asuke-Matsuyama castle
Founder Suzuki Tadachika
Year Founded 15th century
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 2 levels
Year Reconstructed 1990 to 1992
Features main keep, gates, turrets, bridges, trenches, walls
Visitor Information
Access see notes
Visitor Information Closed on Thursday (the following day if Thursday is a public holiday). Open everyday from April 29 to May 5, November 1 to 30, and December 25 to January 5. Adults 300 yen, high school students 100 yen, junior high school age and under free.
Time Required 90 mins
Website http://asukejo.com/
Location Toyota, Aichi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 8' 4.09" N, 137° 19' 31.22" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2017
Contributor Furinkazan
Admin Year Visited 2019
Admin Visits August 4, 2019
Friends of JCastle
Shirobito - Asuke Castle
Kojodan - Asuke Castle
Jokaku Horoki - Asuke Castle
Oshiro Meguri Fan - Asuke Castle


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avatar

ARTShogun

27 months ago
Score 0++

Asukejō / Mayumiyamajō / Asuke-Matsuyamajō (Toyota) 足助城・真弓山城・足助松山城 [豊田] Asukejō is one of a handful of largely restored Sengoku Period castles, making it a valuable site. In addition to remaining earthworks, fences have been reconstructed around the west, south and central baileys. There are two miyagura (watchtowers), of which the Nishimonomidai (West Viewing Platform) in the Nishinomaru (West Bailey) has a thatched roof. The Minaminomaru (South Bailey) has restored structures for daily use, such as cooking and sleeping, and the Honmaru (Main Bailey) has a nagaya (row house) and attached tenshu (donjon), called “Takayagura (grand turret)”, with a shingle roof. All buildings are reconstructions. Earthworks include the aforementioned baileys, as well as their sub-baileys stemming from them (cuttings into the ascending ridges of the mountain creating stair-like terraces), and horikiri (trenches). The surrounding terrain is very mountainous. I really liked the latticed swinging drop-down door before the south bailey.

History:

Tradition holds that Asukejō was established by the Asuke Clan in the Kamakura Period, but the veracity of this cannot be ascertained. Archaeological findings indicate the castle was built in the late 15th century, likely by Suzuki Tadachika, and was used throughout the Sengoku Period. Suzuki Clan leaders after Tadachika were Shigemasa, Shigenao, Nobushige, Yasushige. Asukejō was a rare example of a mountain fort that was used continually as a residence throughout this period, and not merely as a stronghold to retreat to in times of conflict. The Suzuki were perennially under the yoke of the Matsudaira Clan of Okazaki (that is, the future Tokugawa), but rebelled against them several times in the 15th century. In the 16th century the Suzuki were brought firmly to heel as vassals of the Matsudaira and fought for them in campaigns such as the siege of Takatenjinjō. In 1571 Takeda Shingen’s forces captured the castle and held it until 1573. In 1590, the last castellan of Asukejō, Suzuki Yasushige, relocated to the Kantō area along with his master, Tokugawa Ieyasu, following the peace and compromise between him and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Asukejō was thereafter abandoned. For four centuries the castle ruin was given over to nature. Excavations were carried out from 1990 to 1992 and reconstructions based on the findings of the survey followed.
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FurinkazanHatamoto

50 months ago
Score 1++
The reconstructed buildings on the excavated parts of this yamashiro are outstanding. Lots of kuruwa(=baileys) haven't been excavated and are diffucult to see between the trees. Don't miss the honmaru koshiguruwa 1 , which is accessible from the kita koshiguruwa 1. From the honmaru koshiguruwa 1, you can reach the kita koshiguruwa 2. These 2 kuruwa aren't well maintained(they were overgrown when i visited in may) and a lot of visitors don't see them.