Hanaoka Castle (Azumi)

From Jcastle.info

AzumiHanaokajou (3).jpg


Was Hanaokajō used as a mountain redoubt by the lords of the Horinōchi-yakata, the Ikeda Clan? This site's history is a matter of speculation. It could've been used by villagers or local lords as a place to hide in times of conflict. Vassals of the Nishina Clan, likely the Ikeda, may have built a fort to protect against possible incursions from the Niki-Maruyama on the eastern side of the mountains. It could've also been constructed anticipating an invasion from Takeda Shingen, but then the defenders gave up building their fort, surrendered and / or fled. Any of these scenarios would place the fort's construction in the early-to-mid' 16th century.

Visit Notes

Hanaokajō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) ruin in Ikeda Township, North Azumi County. It is an earthworks fort ruin which features dorui (earthen ramparts), horikiri (trenches), kuruwa (baileys) and such.

The path up to the castle is next to a German-style house (I think a sort of show-home). The path has many fallen trees across it. Duck and jump; what a lark! Oh, hang about, this tree has fallen into the path, all of its branches forming a veritable abbattis! Anyway, I got to the castle site after detouring through a trough of a stream. The only reason there was a path at all was because of the steel pylons, but we oughtn't complain.

Hanaokajō has a long profile made up of four baileys dug into the ridge and separated by horikiri. Some of the baileys seemed a bit lopsided to me, giving the impression of an incomplete yamajiro. The rear bailey seems to have been the main bailey.

Note: this site is Hanaokajō in Ikeda Township, historical Aźumi County. It is not to be confused with Hanaokajō in historical Suwa County, or Hanaokajō in historical Saku County, also in Shinano Province / Nagano Prefecture.

  • Dorui
  • Horikiri (trench)
  • Bailey

Castle Profile
English Name Hanaoka Castle (Azumi)
Japanese Name 安曇花岡城
Founder Ikeda Clan (theorised)
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Dorui, Horikiri, Kuruwa
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Closest station is Shinano-Matsukawa Station on the Ôito Line; or, Shinano-Ômachi Station on the Ôito Line; rental cycle
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Ikeda, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 26' 30.91" N, 137° 52' 59.77" E
Loading map...
Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle

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