Soudai Castle


Soudaijou (1).JPG


Sōdaijō was the fortified mountain redoubt, a ridgetop fort, which made up a jōkan (castle-residence) pairing with the Hoshina-yakata on the plain below. Sōdaijō was the central fort in a complex of fortifications which include Hoshina-Maenoyama-toride on the lower ridge. First constructed in the 15th century, Sōdaijō's lord was Hoshina Masatoshi, and the castle fell to Murakami Yorihira in 1513.

Sōdaijō was constructed impressively with stone-piled ramparts by incorporating ancient masonry purloined from pre-existing burial mounds on the mountain. These earthen structures became incorporated into the castle's defensive profile. A detached bailey of Sōdaijō can be found on the ridge above the castle which served as a monomidai (look-out platform).

Visit Notes

Sōdaijō is a yamajiro (mountaintop castle) ruin in the Wakaho Township of Nagano Municipality. The ruins feature kuruwa (baileys), dorui (earthen ramparts), horikiri (trenches) and ishigaki (stone walls). The ishigaki is most prominent on the southern side of the forward bailey complex. It appears to have been constructed by cannibalising kofun (ancient tumuli), at least in part. One portion of the ishigaki even appears to retain a small entrance way to a tomb. Other baileys can be found further up the ridge, and these are separated by horikiri. Sōdaijō also has a dejiro, a sort of annex or detached bailey, located even further up the ridge, which likely served as a look-out.

  • Ishigaki

Castle Profile
English Name Soudai Castle
Japanese Name 霜台城
Founder Hoshina Masatoshi
Year Founded 15th Century
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Artifacts Horikiri, Ishigaki, Kuruwa
Features trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Take the trail to Mount Tarou; climb from Hoshinamaeyama-toride.
Visitor Information 24/7 free; mountain
Time Required 60 minutes
Location Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 35' 45.74" N, 138° 15' 48.24" E
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Added to Jcastle 2023
Contributor ART
Admin Year Visited Viewer Contributed
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