Shimoyama Castle (Koka)




Local history says that the castle was built round 1309 (1308-1311) when Ban Tarozaemon Kagehide moved to the Bantani area. The main Bailey is 50mx55m and the highest embankments are about 5 meters high following the line of the hill, the embankments vary in size to keep the top level. From the top of the embankments to the bottom of the trenches ranges from 5-7 meters.

About 100m north of the castle site was the Ban Yashiki or the Ban clan's fortified manor. Shimoyama Castle was the 'Tsume-no-shiro' or secured fort of the manor. I'm rather disappointed I was not aware of the Ban Yashiki and missed it, but it seems the location today is just the Kuhonji Temple and houses.

Visit Notes

Shimoyama Castle is a great site with large embankments (approx 3m high) and surrounding trenches that have been very nicely preserved. It looks like they have been working to clean up the area recently because the center is much cleaner than many photos I have seen online.

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Castle Profile
English Name Shimoyama Castle (Koka)
Japanese Name 下山城
Founder Ban Tarozaemon Kagehide
Year Founded 1309
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features trenches
Visitor Information
Access Mikumo Sta. (JR Kusatsu Line), 35 min walk
Visitor Information park, open any time
Time Required 30 mins
Location Koka, Shiga Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 59' 19.43" N, 136° 8' 22.52" E
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Collections Koka Castles
Added to Jcastle 2022
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2022
Admin Visits April 1, 2022

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