Karidako Castle

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Karidakojou (1).JPG


Karidakojō is thought to have been a satellite fortification of Karidaôjō further up on the same ridge. It probably functioned as a watchtower. See Karidaoh Castle for more information.

Visit Notes

The are two fortified ridges which meet up at the site of Takinoirijō on the mountaintop. The northern ridge hosts the forts of Tsutsuhatajō, and the southern ridge hosts Karidajō. Karidajō is split into two fortifications sites: Karidaôjō (‘Karida Greater Castle’) and Karidakojō (‘Karida Lesser Castle’).

Karidakojō consists of a single bailey with a trench to the rear, albeit narrow between the rocky ridge, and terraced ishigaki (stonewalls) piled around in numerous bands to form a very neat square. The banding style of ishigaki is similar to that found at other sites in the area built by the Takanashi Clan, such as Tsutsuhatajō, but the ishigaki is in marvelous condition. I began to speculate immediately. Is it that these walls were maintained and re-piled by many generations of worshippers from Ganshōin below? Perhaps a shrine was built here, and so the castle walls were maintained at Karidakojō whilst other sites went neglected? Or perhaps there were no such walls here during the time of the fort. Why would the castle-builders go to such trouble to elaborately construct such a small, minor fort? The size of the fort is more suited of a simple look-out, after all. I cannot say. Something’s up, and there’s a mystery, but, at least, these walls are very handsome.

See also: Tsutsuhata Castle I, Tsutsuhata Castle II, Tsutsuhata Castle III, Tsutsuhata Castle IV, Tsutsuhata Castle V, Takinoiri Castle, Ganshouin Yakata

  • Ishigaki

Castle Profile
English Name Karidako Castle
Japanese Name 雁田小城
Alternate Names 苅田城
Founder Karida Shigemasa; Hagino Tsunemichi; Takanashi Clan
Year Founded 1184; 1367; 1492
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Ishigaki, Horikiri, Kuruwa
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Tsusumi Station on the Nagano Electric Line; 20-minute walk to trailhead at Ganshōin
Visitor Information Mountain
Time Required 20 minutes
Location Obuse, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 41' 59.06" N, 138° 20' 6.18" E
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Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki
Shiro Meguri

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