Karasakijō's construction date is not known but itwas controlled by the Amemiya Clan who were a branch clan of the Murakami Clan, who were local hegemons before Takeda Shingen made minced meat out of them. Karasakijō then likely was incorporated into the network of castles used by the Takeda Clan to protect their new territory in northern Shinano between 1553 and 1582. Karasakijō may have been abandoned with the death of Takeda Katsuyori in 1582. Many of these smaller clans joined whichever powerful warlord had attained dominance in the area, however, and subsequently followed a resurgent Uesugi Clan. In that case Karasakijō may have seen some use up until 1598 when the Uesugi were relocated to Aiźu along with most of their vassals from Shinano Province.
The castle's layout is "L" shaped roughly, with terraced minor baileys streaking off down two ridges. At the top is a large sub-bailey and two integral baileys, the latter partially surrounded by dorui (earthen ramparts), now heavily eroded. To the rear, where the mountain climbs, is a dry moat. The castle further features tatebori (climbing moats) here and there on the mountain slopes. These features proved difficult to photograph though. The town at the base of the castle is still called Amenomiya, Karasakijō being the castle of the Amemiya Clan, and the ruins can be accessed via a small shrine, Shōkonsha, at the foot of the mountain there.
|English Name||Karasaki Castle|
|Year Founded||Sengoku Period|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Kuruwa, Karabori, Tatebori, Koshikuruwa|
|Access||Yashirokoukoumae Station on the Shinano Railway; 25 minute walk to trail head|
|Visitor Information||Free; 24/7; Mountain|
|Time Required||40 minutes|
|Location||Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 32' 44.38" N, 138° 9' 14.90" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|