Inawashiro Castle




Inawashiro Castle was founded by Ashina Tsunetsura in 1191. After moving into the castle he took the surname Inawashiro. The Inawashiro clan ruled Inawashiro Castle for about 400 years. In 1589, the Inawashiro, who had always been on uncertain terms with their distant Ashina relatives, joined forces with Date Masamune in his campaign asgainst the Ashina. At a decisive battle at Suriagehara, the Date forces crushed the Ashina and Date moved into Wakamatsu. After Date's departure to Yonezawa, the castle was controlled by Gamo Ujisato, Uusugi Kagekatsu and then again returned to Gamo clan hands, followed by the Kato and was finally ruled by the Matsudaira until the end of the Edo Period. Inawashiro castle was an exception to the One Castle Per Country law of the Tokugawa and was maintained until the end of the Edo Period. It is often called Kamegajo, reflecting it's close relation to Tsurugajo of Aizu Wakamatsu. In Japanese, the tsuru (crane) and kame (turtle) are both symbols of good fortune and long life.

Visit Notes

Inawashiro Castle, also known as Kamegajo, is a perfect companion to visit along your way to Aizu Wakamatsu. It has an interesting layout with several well maintained baileys and moats and is one of the few Tohoku castles with significant stone walls which makes it a worthwhile stop for any castle fans. If you have time the Mt Bandai area and Lake Inawashiro are both fun places to relax for a day or two.

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  • masugata entrance
  • masugata stone wall
  • First stone steps after the gate
  • Doumaru bailey
  • Next set of stone stairs
  • Stone steps to the Honmaru and Ninomaru
  • stone steps to the ninomaru and masugata
  • masugata entrance
  • Ninomaru stone walls and gate
  • Ninomaru steps and masugata stone walls
  • Ninomaru bailey
  • Honmaru earthen embankment
  • honmaru bailey
  • Stone wall in the honmaru bailey
  • bailey
  • dry moat and earthen embankments
  • Dry moat and earthen embankments
  • Yamauchi Residence
  • Mt. Bandai
  • Map

Castle Profile
English Name Inawashiro Castle
Japanese Name 猪苗代城
Alternate Names Kamegajo
Founder Ashina Tsunetsura
Year Founded 1191
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Prefectural Historic Site
Historical Period Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Inawashiro Sta. (Ban'etsu Saisen Line); 20 min walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Location Inawashiro, Fukushima Prefecture
Coordinates 37° 33' 43.45" N, 140° 6' 13.97" E
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Added to Jcastle 2011
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2011
Admin Visits July 18, 2011

(3 votes)
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134 months ago
Score 0++
It's from the name of the area which is called Inawashiro. There doesn't seem to be a solid origin for the name Inawashiro itself.