Hanaoka Castle (Azumi)
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.
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 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.
|English Name||Hanaoka Castle (Azumi)|
|Founder||Ikeda Clan (theorised)|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Horikiri, Kuruwa|
|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|
|Added to Jcastle||2023|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
|Friends of JCastle|