Matsuo Castle (Ina)
Matsuo Castle was the castle of the Matsuo branch of the Ogasawara Clan. The Ogasawara Clan were nominal governors of Shinano Province during the Muromachi Period. The main branch was based in Chikuma, at Fukashijō (Matsumoto Castle). Matsuojō and Suzuokajō (Ina Suzuoka Castle) each represented different branches. It is not known when Matsuojō was first built, but it is said that Ogasawara Sadamune inhabited it during the Nambokuchō Period. In 1582 Matsuojō fell to Oda Nobunaga. In 1590, with the regency of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the Ogasawara were evicted and Matsuojō was abandoned to ruin. The site was likely farmland before being made into a park.
Matsuo Castle's ruins consist of kuruwa (baileys), koshiguruwa (sub-baileys), karabori (dry moats), tatebori (climbing moats), ido (wells) and what looks to me like a yaguradai (turret platform) in the shukuruwa (main bailey). Matsuojō is located near to Suzuokajō; they're on opposite mountain fronds with a steep valley betwixt. I took a footpath between the two sites, coming to Matsuojō after Suzuokajō.
Instead of entering Matsuojō through the main path which winds up through the karabori beneath the shukuruwa, I took a dubious approach which brought me out at the karabori beneath the ninokuruwa (second bailey). I didn't go further northwest beyond this point, although the castle's footprint extends into what is now fields and homes (the map of the site shows the "old castle" to the north); as it was getting on, I kept to the park boundaries, proceeding onto the shukuruwa.
|English Name||Ina Matsuo Castle|
|Year Founded||Nambokuchō Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Prefectural Historic Site|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Karabori, Kuruwa, Tatebori, Yashiki-ato, Ido-ato, Yaguradai, Koshiguruwa|
|Access||Kega Station on the Iida Line; 15 minute walk to trail head|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; park|
|Time Required||50 minutes|
|Location||Iida, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 29' 13.02" N, 137° 49' 42.49" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|