Orignally built by the Ibuka Clan, Ibukajō was established as a branch castle of Hayashiôjō. It was controlled by the Gochō Clan, vassals of the Ogasawara Clan. The Gochō were destroyed by the Akazawa Clan who then took control of Ibukajō. In 1550 Takeda Shingen's men took over the castle. Takeda Shingen appointed the Komiyama Clan as castellans. Ibukajō was abandoned in 1583.
Ibukajō ruins consist of kuruwa (baileys), horikiri (trenches), dorui (earthen ramparts) and the remnants of stone-piled ramparts: I found three segments of ishigaki, and stone blocks scattered all over. The basic layout of the integral baileys are as follows: the shukuruwa (main bailey) is situated furthest up the mountain with a large dorui at the back, similar to other sites in the area. The main bailey is terraced, with a smaller bailey below. Two koshikuruwa (hip baileys) are to be found below here, and there is another koshikuruwa to the west of the shukuruwa.
Beyond the shukuruwa is a series of trenches. The trench system visible from behind the shukuruwa is a double horikiri with a small embankment between the two trenches, roughly in the shape of a narrow eye. This trench must've been quite massive when first dug. Tatebori (climbing moats) climb the mountain and protect the approach from below. The trail up the mountain passes by some terraced areas. At the foot of the mountain is a shrine, used to venerate the ancestors of the castle lords during the time of Ibukajō. On the way up there is a smaller shrine to the fox-loving god Inari where I actually saw a fox!
|English Name||Ibuka Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Local Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Features||trenches, stone walls|
|Access||Matsumoto Station; 100 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free|
|Time Required||60 mins|
|Location||Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 17' 14.14" N, 137° 58' 38.71" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|