Nakayama Castle (Suwa)
Suwa-Nakayamajō was built by the Suwa Clan in their opposition to the Takeda Clan who invaded Shinano Province from their base in Kai Province. In 1528 Takeda Nobutora invaded Suwa and established Sendatsujō, and Nakayamajō may have been built in response to or preparation for this. It may have also been used as a residence by the Suwa. It is believed that the fort saw a battle between the forces of the Suwa and Takeda. The Takeda Clan would eventually conquer all of Suwa.
It’s surprising to me I haven’t been to more fortification sites with the name ‘Nakayama’ considering how common the name is; it simply means ‘Middle Mountain’. This is a very minor site in Suwa County, and therefore not to be confused with several other sites with the same name throughout Shinano. Little to nothing remains of Nakayamajō, though on the hillside there is a flattened area which may have once hosted a residence. Castle blogger Takeshita Hanbē, who has gone about the region leaving reviews of obscure sites on Google Maps, reports tatebori (climbing moats), but I couldn’t find any. I went to the top of the hill to be sure not to miss anything and found an abandoned van (abandoned vans are so much creepier than abandoned cars). It wasn’t immediately obvious to me how it got up there, but I guess there used to be a road, and that the hill has been extensively worked throughout modern times, though it is just woods now.
|Suwa Nakayama Castle
|Pre Edo Period
|Fujimi Station on the Chūō Main Line; 25 minute walk
|24/7; free; mountain
|Fujimi, Nagano Prefecture
|35° 54' 32.72" N, 138° 13' 15.20" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited