Kanbayashi Castle

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Very little is known about this castle's history. Some records link the Kanbayashi clan to important landholders dating back to the 1300's. In the 1500's they were high ranking retainers of Akai Hideie and controlled much of the Kanbayashi Valley. Excavations on the site revealed advanced stone building foundations and many artifacts dating to the mid 1500s so it is likely that the castle most flourished during this time period. The Kanbayashi clan was considerably weakened by fighting with Akechi Mitsuhide and eventually capitulated. By 1573 the Kanbayashi scattered around Japan and the castle was abandoned.

In 1601, the Fujikake Jin'ya was established at the base of the mountain. Similar to Yamaga Jin'ya, the mountaintop fortification may have been maintained as a tsume-no-shiro in case of emergency.

Visit Notes

This is more like a hilltop fortified residence as the home of the Kanbayashi Clan than a true mountaintop castle. It sits on a small mountain or hilltop in the middle of the Kanbayashi Valley with great views on all sides and ridges of mountains to the North and South, an ideal place to rule all that you can see. The castle has one main bailey and three or four similar extended side baileys, but you don't see a lot of earthworks like koguchi entrances, earthen embankments, walls, nor moats. The stone foundations of residential buildings have been excavated in the main bailey, but have mostly been reburied. With the good views and stonework this castle was supposed to be the main event for the day but didn't really get me excited for some reason. Thankfully Hekitani Castle filled the gap. Kanbayashi Castle and Hekitani Castle are along the same bus route as Yamaga Jin'ya and Kogamine Castle so a well planned day could get you to all four sites.

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Castle Profile
English Name Kanbayashi Castle
Japanese Name 上林城
Alternate Names Katatsumuri-jo (snail castle), Seikansan-jo
Founder Kanbayashi Clan
Year Founded early 1500s ?
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Ayabe Sta. (Sanin Line), 30 min bus, 15 min walk
Visitor Information Park, open 24x7
Time Required 45 mins
Website https://www.ayabe-kankou.net/spot/kanbayashijyoshi/
Location Ayabe, Kyoto
Coordinates 35° 21' 35.14" N, 135° 24' 23.47" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2024
Admin Visits April 14, 2024
Friends of JCastle
Jokaku Horoki
Woodland Kyoto (森の京都)

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