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.
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.
|Suwa Shimo Castle
|Pre Edo Period
|Shimo-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 50 minute walk
|Shimo-Suwa, Nagano Prefecture
|36° 5' 29.87" N, 138° 4' 38.32" E
|Added to Jcastle
|Admin Year Visited