Kamioka Castle

From Jcastle.info



Ema Tokimori built this castle under the orders of Takeda Shingen in 1564 to be the focal point of his intrusion into the Etchu area. It was a secondary castle to the Ema's home castle of Takahara Suwa Castle. In 1585 it was taken over by Kanamori Nagachika when he was given lordship of the Hida area by Hideyoshi. In 1615 it was decommissioned by the Edo Government.

Visit Notes

There's also an old farmhouse that appears to be have been relocated to just outside the gate. Otherwise, there's not much to see.

Photos and notes by Frank T.

  • Reconstructed mock main keep
  • Main keep and gate
  • Old farmhouse

Castle Profile
English Name Kamioka Castle
Japanese Name 神岡城
Founder Takeda Singen
Year Founded 1564
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Year Reconstructed 1970 (concrete)
Features main keep, gates, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Hida Furukawa Sta. (Takayama Line)
Visitor Information 450 yen, open 900-1700
Time Required
Website http://www.city.hida.gifu.jp/kanko/miru/spot/kamioka/22kamiokajyou/index.html
Location Hida City, Gifu Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 19' 47.68" N, 137° 18' 8.35" E
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Added to Jcastle 2011
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Admin Visits Viewer Donated

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61 months ago
Score 0++

Higashimachijō / Kamiokajō (Kamioka) 東町城・神岡城 [神岡]

The original castle, known as Higashimachijō, probably because it is to the east of the river in Kamioka town (formerly this may have been called Takahara town), was a small angular fortification with an inner and outer moat with stone-piled ramparts. To what extent these defences are now restorative I can only guess at, but I thought the ishigaki was quite well done, even beneath the faux reconstructed tower. There is something amusingly anachronistic about the tower now known as Kamiokajō. It is rather appealing, especially when viewed from town perched on the cliffside, but the tag line, "Romance of the Warring States Period", used at the castle is rather funny when one considers that the metal roofing used on the tower wasn't an architectural feature of the Sengoku Period! So much for Sengoku Period romanticism. Nearby Ema-yakata has much more of that, a historically authentic reconstruction! Kamiokajō is nonetheless quaint. Inside are displays, including samurai armour. The interior is drab in concrete, but the views of the town are great. A karaoke festival was going on at a local temple and so the castle was being blasted with music. The site also has a museum building, mostly of interest to geologists because it shows rocks ("they're not rocks, they're minerals!"). I was also deeply interested in the relocated minka (farm house) next to the castle. Even though it has a thatched roof this has also been covered in the same sheet metal which is abundant about the castle. It's very disappointing when I see preserved and relocated folk homes which nonetheless have had their thatching all covered up. Of course it's better than demolishing the structures after all. Minka with sheet metal are mostly lived in. Relocated or preserved minka tend also to preserve the kayabuki (thatched roofing). Inisde the folk home are many curios. There is a terrifically old machine shaped like a tower which, once a coin is deposited, will allow the viewer to switch between photos in a slide. Or it did at least. Now it is stuck on a picture of Kiyomizudera. The old home has three floors and its upper storeys were probably used for sericulture.


Kamiokajō / Higashimachijō was built in 1564 by the Ema Clan, local rulers who submitted to Takeda Shingen. Previously they had occupied the nearby yakata (fortified manor house) site. Kanamori Nagachika moved into the area in the 1580s and installed his own vassals, however, disenfranchising the Ema. In 1615 with the transfer of the Kanamori Clan under the new Shogunate and the implementation of the one castle per domain edict Kamiokajō was abandoned.