Enryakuji Kitatani Fort
See Enryakuji for more information.
The Kitatani-toride (‘North Valley Fort’) is one of many terraced ridges surrounding the temple-fortress of Enryakuji. Searching for its exact location I came across many terraced areas and the impression I got was of a fortified mountain, of which the forts I was searching for were merely nodes or clusters of dense fortifications within a contiguous sprawling expansion of baileys and embankments, which would’ve had walls, stockades and temple halls which could double as barracks. I found many long neglected ishigaki (stone walls) in these shady areas too. Some were in a state near to collapse, and their complete crumbling had been forestalled only by a fortuitously situated tree bowl or such. The main area of Kitatani-toride can be accessed by descending via a trail from the temple’s carpark. Here the terracing is tall and the flattened spaces are wide. I even thought I might’ve found the remains of a karabori (dry trench). These features make it the fort’s centre but from various dubious shortcuts I took I can attest that multiple ridges are terraced, and this makes me think that the fort covered a large area at the temple’s northern lower terraces. These terraced baileys would’ve contained barracks for ‘warrior monks’ and lodgings for worshippers. It is thought that the entire complex could’ve held up to 20,000 people, including thousands of monks, soldiers and their dependents in times of siege.
|English Name||Enryakuji Kitatani Fort|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Karabori, Kirigishi, Kuruwa, Dorui|
|Access||Yase-Hieizanguchi Station on the Eizan Line; Eizan Cable Car; Eizan Ropeway; Hike for 30 minutes to Enryakuji or bus; or, Sakamoto-Hieizanguchi Station on the Keihan Ishiyama-Sakamoto Line; Sakamoto Cable Car; or, Direct Bus via Kyoto Bus no. 51 or Keihan Bus no. 57 from Kyoto Station to Hieizan-cho.|
|Visitor Information||Yase Route is 1,420 yen in total, including Eizan Railway and shuttle bus one-way; Sakamoto Cable Car is 870 yen; direct bus is 770 yen.|
|Time Required||50 minutes|
|Location||Ôtsu, Shiga Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 4' 20.57" N, 135° 50' 22.99" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2022|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|