Shironomine Castle (Azumi)
Shironominejō (‘Castle Peak Castle’) is an unloved yamajiro (mountaintop fort) site. There is no information about it, but it is close to Kibunejō, one of Shinano’s largest yamajiro, and likely served as a satellite fortification of that castle. I had no information on how to reach this yamajiro, or on its layout, so I was going in blind. I cycled up a bumpy forestry road to get just below the ridge. I had to cross a gorge and then clamber up a muddy slope, but eventually I climbed (and it was indeed climbing) to a pylon. From here I followed the ridge downward to the southwest to reach the fort site.
Shironominejō seems to have been a single bailey complex but with the distinction of the spacious main bailey being split by a yokobori (lateral trench). Beneath the main bailey where I ascended there was a horikiri (trench), though it wasn’t very deep. The part of the main bailey which overlooks the plain is quite well formed, and one can see where dorui (earthen ramparts) were banked up and the slope was carved. This dying ghost of dorui is the clearest impression besides the trenches of a castle site, but admittedly it’s little to go off.
I proceeded down along another ridge spur but found no ruins. Eventually I dropped off the mountain to get back to the forestry road and my (rented) e-bike (that bicycle has a powerful battery and I realised it would get me into the mountainous interior of Ikusaka via Ômachi more handily than my own bicycle, so I might go on more rent-a-cycle adventures from Ômachi in the future). I’ll have to draw a map to show what I’ve found since I can’t find any existing one. My drawing skills are so poor but it’s least I can do...
|English Name||Azumi Shironomine Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Kirigishi, Horikiri, &c|
|Access||Nearest stations are Azumi-Kutsukake Station and Minami-Ômachi Station on the Ôito Line; I rented a bike from Shinano-Ômachi Station|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Ômachi, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 27' 51.01" N, 137° 52' 30.22" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|