Shimo Castle (Suwa)




Shimonojō was built as part of a complex of mountain fortresses which included Kaminojō and Hagikura-toride. For more information see my upload / profile on Kaminojō.

Visit Notes

Shimonojō ("Lower Castle") is paired with Kaminojō ("Upper Castle") further along the trail. Shimonojō has a ladder-layout essentially following the ridge up. I thought it very interesting that the ôte (main path) was often flanked on both sides by tall embankments. I identified a few kuruwa (baileys) and horikiri (trenches which bisect the ridge) whilst following this path up to Kaminojō. There are four principal baileys, the two lowest of which have koshikuruwa (sub-baileys) terraced beneath them, and there are many more smaller enclosures carved into the mountainside. The upper baileys do not have terracing above or below but each have a fairly deep trench to the rear.


Castle Profile
English Name Shimo Castle (Suwa)
Japanese Name 諏訪下城
Founder Kanasashi Clan
Year Founded
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Shimo-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 50 minute walk
Visitor Information 24/7 free
Time Required One Hour
Location Shimo-Suwa, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 5' 29.87" N, 138° 4' 38.32" E
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Added to Jcastle 2020
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed

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