Mitake Castle (Kai)


KaiMitakejou (2).jpg


Mitakejō served chiefly as a fortified signal beacon, part of a network of such sites surrounding the Kai Basin that allowed for rapid warning and communication across the province. The fort was guarded by a band of local provincial warriors called the Mitake-shū. After the fall of the Takeda Clan the Mitake-shū served Tokugawa Ieyasu, and Mitakejō was used as a fort and signal tower by Tokugawa forces during their conflict with the Hōjō in Kai.

Visit Notes

Mitakejō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) ruin in Mitake Township, Kōfu Municipality. Ruins feature deformed bailey spaces and a double horikiri (trench) complex. I found the climb up instructive, with rocks, cliffs, chains and ropes to contend with; it's not a proper mountain unless it tries to kill you. I had several markers to aim for as the possible site of the castle; of course, it's always the highest one up... The yaguradai (turret platform) and nijū-horikiri earthworks are found further along the ridge from the Tengu shrine with the stone walls, and the shrine's narrow bailey space is the flattened ridge behind the shrine.

  • Horikiri (trench)

Castle Profile
English Name Mitake Castle (Kai)
Japanese Name 甲斐御岳城
Alternate Names 御岳の城山城
Founder Mitake-shū
Year Founded Sengoku Period
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Kuruwa, Horikiri, &c.
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Bus from Kōfu to Kinzakura-jinja; take the road that goes up past Meotogi-jinja; there is a path up the ridge there
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Kōfu, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 46' 12.47" N, 138° 33' 39.02" E
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Added to Jcastle 2024
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
Friends of JCastle
Jōkaku Hōrōki

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