Also known as Jorakuji-jo (常楽寺城), Kimura-jo was the residence of the Kimura clan, retainers of the Rokkaku at Kannonji Castle and priests of the Sasaki Shrine. The area known as the Azuchi Castle Town today was first developed by the Rokkaku. The Kimura managed the waterways into Lake Biwa and facilitated trade for the Rokkaku. The castle itself stood at one intersection of these waterways in the first few photos below.
The Kimura became an important magistrate in the development of the new Azuchi Castle town too. There are records of Nobunaga and Akechi Mitsuhide visiting the Kimura shortly after the Fall of Kannonji Castle. It seems likely Nobunaga was already building out plans for Azuchi Castle with the help of the Kimura well before they started construction in 1576. The castle was likely abandoned or repurposed after Nobunaga built Azuchi Castle.
These waterways and canals were in use until the end of the Edo Period. The stonework you see around the canals dates to Nobunaga's period of development but it may have been modified or repaired over the years as the canals were in use until the early Showa Period (early 1900s). The walls were also repaired and restored in 1983.
No castle like structures have been found on the site and the castle was likely more of a fortified residence than a castle. The exact location and size is unknown but the right angle shape of 2 canals seems to be the likely site of the castle. Many other artifacts dating to the Sengoku Period found here also indicate it was a well used site.
Most of the photos below are of the canals of Azuchi town but it seems appropriate to put them here for the connection to Kimura Castle and because they may have been used, in some part, by each of Azuchi Castle and Kannonji Castle
|Pre Edo Period
|Azuchi Sta. (JR Tokaido Main Line); 10 mins walk
|parks, open any time
|Azuchi, Shiga Prefecture
|35° 8' 38.69" N, 136° 7' 39.18" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited
|December 12, 2021