Shiozakijō was originally the base of the Shiozaki Clan. The Shiozaki were vassals of the Murakami Clan. In 1550 Shiozakijō was conquered by the Takeda Clan. The castle was rebuilt by the Takeda, its layout dating to that time. Shiozakijō became a key fortification in the battles of Kawanakajima fought between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin. In 1564 when Uesugi encamped at Kawanakajima, Takeda Shingen gathered his troops at Shiozakijō and defended from here for sixty days. Shiozakijō and the surrounding area was the site of the fifth and last major battle to take place in those series of conflicts (the fourth and previous battle was the largest and fought on Kawanakajima plain itself).
The ruins of Shiozakijō, a yamajiro (mountaintop castle), feature earthworks such as dorui (earthen ramparts), kuruwa (baileys), koshiguruwa (sub-baileys), karabori (dry moats) and tatebori (climbing moats), and ishigaki (stone-piled ramparts). The castle's layout is fairly simple: the terracing follows the ridge up, creating a ladder-like formation. The shukuruwa (main bailey) has a large dorui to the rear with a deep cutting into the mountain ridge beyond that. The remnants of ishigaki are modest but for me were a highlight of the site.
|Pre Edo Period
|Horikiri, Tatebori, Karabori, Dorui, Kuruwa, Koshiguruwa, Ishigaki
|trenches, stone walls
|Inariyama Station on the Shinonoi Line; 15 minute walk to trail head at Hasedera Temple
|24/7 free; mountain
|Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
|36° 32' 59.68" N, 138° 5' 42.14" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited