Chikuma Gotenyama Castle


ChikumaGotenyamajou (1).png


A map of municipal historic sites indicates a large area as the historic site of what I had presumed to be a small fort, spreading over a valley onto another hilltop beyond the Alps Park, which appears to be on private land. Little information is available on the site, even at the usual castle maniac hang-outs, and so it seems very little ruins remain to be found. I was somewhat confident that I had identified the main area, and figured the site for a fortified look-out or signal tower. Afterwards I had a quick look around the park before it started raining. Another possible site is at the complete other end of the Alps Park, by a famous sakura tree planted by a folkloric hero associated with the cultivation of the Matsumoto Basin. This may be apocryphal as it contradicts the map I found put out by the municipality (several maps put out by the Board of Education care to indicate the site!).

Visit Notes

I had long suspected a mountain castle site may exist between the relatively low-lying foothills of Inukaijō, and the much more formidable peaks of Hirasejō. It seemed like there was a nice big vacant plot there. Then I learnt of this site, and it fit right in with those expectations. The site of Goten'yamajō can be found within the Alps Park, which is a sprawling park in the mountains to the north of downtown Matsumoto. Goten'yamajō's remains ought to be found in a wooded, quieter part of the park at its northern edge, near to the Yama-no-Kami-jinja (which is a hokora).

To get to this site I had to go off the main trail and up onto a very densely thicketed ridge. I had to climb along a few fallen trees to pass through the bush. I climbed along and up one which took me over some impassable tangle of flora, and jumped down into a clearer patch. There's that old ninja training coming in handy again. Here I found a flattened but somewhat narrow portion of ridge line as well as some feint indications of terracing beneath - albeit not certain. Below this small peak is a flattened space before the ridge turns up again. The slopes around what I presumed to be the central bailey area looked steep and purposeful enough to have been worked, and this tentative kirigishi was the most convincing part of this site for me.


Castle Profile
English Name Chikuma Goten'yama Castle
Japanese Name 筑摩御殿山城
Founder ???
Year Founded ???
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Kita-Matsumoto Station on the Shinonoi Line; 52 minute walk or 8 minute drive to trailhead
Visitor Information 24/7; Free; Park
Time Required 10 minutes
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 16' 2.71" N, 137° 57' 11.56" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2021
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

(one vote)
Add your comment welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.