Hoshigasaki Castle

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There are few historical records of Hoshigasaki Castle, but early histories claim it was built by the Kagami Clan as a branch castle of Kannonji Castle. The Kagami clan was founded by Sasaki Hisatsuna who took the surname Kagami when he built the castle. The family line died out with the death of Hisatsuna, but Sadayoshi, son of Kyogoku Muneji, succeeded to the Kagami family name and ruled over the castle and served as a trusted retainer of the Sasaki. Hoshigasaki Castle was the "Tsume-no-shiro" or mountain fortress of the Kagami's fortified home nearby, which was also called Kagami Castle or (Inoue Yakata) today.

Visit Notes

Hoshigasaki Castle is a relatively small and simple mountaintop castle, built as the mountain fortress of nearby Kagami Castle (Inoue Yakata) but with a fair amount of stonework for the castle fan to explore. This site is well known among castle explorers to Shiga, but some of the stone walls that we found well below the main bailey are rarely if ever seen on other websites so it was exciting to get some good photos of them. With a good map in hand and an extra pairs of eyes (ART) we could cover everything. The castle is mainly comprised of a single stone walled central bailey with some minor fortifications along the same ridge. The simple layout and lack of supporting fortifications indicates it likely also served as a branch castle of Kozutsumi Castle. In this respect it reminds me of Sasou Castle which is in a similar relationship to Kannonji Castle.

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Castle Profile
English Name Hoshigasaki Castle
Japanese Name 星ヶ崎城
Alternate Names Hoshigamine-jo
Founder Sasaki Hisatsuna
Year Founded 1200's
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Shinohara Sta. (Tokaido Line), 35 min walk to Ryuo Michi-no-eki, hiking trail is nearby. Also, bus from Yasu Sta. for Mitsui Outlet Park stops here
Visitor Information mountain, open any time
Time Required 120 mins
Website https://www.biwako-visitors.jp/spot/detail/4017/
Location Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 4' 58.22" N, 136° 4' 37.31" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2022
Admin Visits May 3, 2022
Friends of JCastle
Kojodan - Hoshigasaki Castle
Shirobito - Hoshigasaki-jo

(2 votes)
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17 months ago
Score 1++

I’ve been to this little-known yamajiro ruin a few times, including one visit where I hiked from Hoshigaki Castle via Mt. Kagami across to Kotsuzumishiroyama Castle passing Iwakura Castle on the way. If a castle fan does this, it makes for a good combo of visiting several castle ruins and getting in an easy bushwalk for a few hours. The trail to Mt Kagami leads out from that dobashi-like trail heading away from Hoshigasaki Castle in one of your photos. Along the way up to Mt Kagami, there are some post-Edo Period(?) stonewalled terraces. Also, there is no need for renting a bike or bring your own folding bike as you start from Shinohara Station (about 25 minutes to walk to the trailhead for Hoshigasaki Castle) and then finish up at Kibogaoka Bunka Park, where you can catch a bus back to Yasu Station.

Thanks for the info about Inoue Yakata. I didn’t know about that one, so the next time I head up to Hoshigasaki Castle for a bit of bushwalking and castle-hunting with the missus, I’ll be sure to suss out the nearby Inoue Yakata.