Haiyama Castle

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Known to hikers simply as the Haiyama Garden Ruins, because of the unique array of large stones, this is also the site of Haiyama Castle. The story says that the stone formation is from a garden that was attached to the Nyoi Temple in the Heian Period. After the Nyoi Temple was abandoned, Haiyama Castle, a small outpost along the Nyoi-goe Pass was established here in the Muromachi Period. It may have been used as a distant outpost of Nyoigatake Castle with a view towards Shiga.

Visit Notes

This castle ruin is along the Nyoi-goe Pass over the mountain range from Lake Biwa. It is much closer to the Lake Biwa side than Kyoto side but is just over the border into Kyoto Prefecture. I actually walked here from Hieidaira along a long winding road. It was a little tricky to find the site and when I thought I must be close I just kind of went into the woods from the road and found it, partly by happenstance. The rock garden is unmistakable, but of all the websites I've seen about this castle no one mentions the castle ruins. I have no doubt that the horikiri trench in the photos below is a horikiri as part of the castle and connects to a 5m high dorui. I went back and forth over this ridge and through the horikiri itself and am sure of it. Likewise, on the opposite side there is a natural valley so they seem to work together. There are 2 main baileys that I can make out from the ruins here, but I know there is a survey of this site at the prefectural library I will try to get to one of these days.

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  • horikiri trench
  • Natural valley
  • Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Haiyama Castle
Japanese Name 灰山城
Founder unknown
Year Founded Muromachi Period (1336-1573)
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Visitor Information
Access Hieidaira Bus Stop 25 mins walk
Visitor Information mountain trail, open anytime
Time Required 20 mins
Location Kyoto, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 0' 59.62" N, 135° 50' 4.02" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2022
Admin Visits June 3, 2022

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