Hayashikojo Castle

From Jcastle.info



It's not clear exactly when the castle was founded but it was likely in the 1440's to 1450's. It was built after Hayashiohjo Castle and the two combined are often simply called as Hayashi Castle. The Ogasawara surrendered when they were surrounded by the Takeda forces in 1550. The castle was destroyed and abandoned at this time.

Hayashikojo Castle combined with Hayashiohjo Castle across the small valley to the North are often call Hayashi Castle together. The "ko" in Hayashikojo castle is the Japanese character for small (小). The character for "old" (古) is also read "ko" and at one time it was thought that the character for "old" should be the character for the castle name since people assumed it was "older". Recent studies show that it is more likely to be newer than the larger Hayashiohjo Castle. The stone walls are also much more extensive than Hayashiohjo Castle and very similar to those at Kirihara Castle and Yamabe Castle. I think it also makes much more sense as the location of Hayashiohjo Castle seems to be a better location for a castle. It is higher with better views and looks more defensible.

Visit Notes

This is a fantastic site. I wish I could rate it higher, but it's definitely a must see site around Matsumoto for fans of mountaintop castle ruins. There are many stone walls remaining and some very large earthworks and trenches around the site. The horikiri on the south side of the first bailey is especially impressive.

There are two or three different entrances. The one I used is the shortest way to the top and easy to find. There is a large sign along the road so you can't miss it. From the sign follow the track alongside the fields at the base of the mountain until you see a gate in the fence. Pass the gate (close it behind you) and follow the trail into the woods and up the mountain. A couple minutes in you will see a sign pointing up the trail for the castle ruins. It's easier than it sounds. Just follow the well worn paths. This castle should be visited in combination with Hayashiohjo Castle. There is a trail starting from the base of Hayashiohjo Castle up through the castle down the back entrance and then over to Hayashikojo Castle. I would recommend this trail over the route I took and then from Hayashikojo Castle go out the back entrance so that you can visit both castles without doubling back on the same trail anywhere. The only problem is finding a way back to the station. You should probably follow the road back to the trail head at the base of Hayashiohjo Castle and call a taxi or go over to the bus stop across the bridge and take the bus. There are only a few busses a day so plan carefully.


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  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Large vertical trench
  • Small bailey
  • Stone walls of the Second Bailey
  • Stone walls of the Second Bailey
  • Stone walls of the Second Bailey
  • Stone walls of the Second Bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Entrance to the main bailey
  • Embankment of the main bailey
  • Embankment of the main bailey
  • Embankment of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Large trench behind the main bailey
  • large trench
  • Stone walls of the main bailey
  • Main bailey entrance
  • small baileys
  • Entrance to the castle trailhead

Castle Profile
English Name Hayashikojo Castle
Japanese Name 林小城
Alternate Names Hayashi-jo, Fukuyama-jo
Founder Ogasawara Kiyomune
Year Founded 1459
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Matsumoto Sta. (Shinonoi Line); 75 min walk.
Visitor Information open anytime, unhook the gate yourself and pass through (close the gate behind you)
Time Required 120 mins
Website http://takara.city.matsumoto.nagano.jp/prefecture/060.html
Location Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 13' 10.67" N, 138° 0' 13.90" E
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Added to Jcastle 2015
Admin Year Visited 2015
Admin Visits October 31, 2015

(2 votes)
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55 months ago
Score 0++

The are two main routes up the mountain. I came up from the plainside. The other route would be taken by any explorers coming from Hayashiohjō. There's not much to see until one reaches the castle ruins along the route I took but along the other my map indicated a mysterious tarn. I encountered a group of children and their mothers. The children were cute and one boy was a mini castle fan, and he spoke high praise of "Hell's Well". Well, I didn't see the well, since it was down the opposite side of the mountain from where I had disembarked from my bicycle, but its story (fact: all wells are haunted) involves a horse's head.

The castle ruins are centered around the shukuruwa (main bailey), of course, and go off in three principle directions, neither of which are the same exactly as the hiking trails, and so be prepared to backtrack if you want to see them all - or to scramble up parts of the mountainside without a path, but I don't recommend this unless you're pro. I found a great map of both the castles at a postbox at the foot of Hayashiohjō which I was using to navigate. It was very useful but I can't seem to find it online.

Anyway, the rear ruins consist of a series of horikiri (trenches) protecting the back of the shukuruwa. Then there is a cluster of small enclosures terracing one of the mountain spokes besides a large tatebori (climbing moat). The trail I took awkwardly passes by the cluster of enclosures so I went back down this way after departing from the track, sliding off the mountain when I ran out of ruins to follow. Another spoke which is connected to the shukuruwa via several larger baileys continues down the mountain as a series of terraced enclosures. I went down a little way here and then trudged back up when the ruins petered out.

At the foot of the mountain are several temples ruins.