Suwa Takagi Castle
The Takagi Clan were followers of the Kanasashi Clan and built Takagijō to protect the Lower Suwa Shrines in the 15th century. In the 1540s the Clan supported Takeda Shingen and Takagijō was used as a noroshidai (signal tower platform) during his conquest of Suwa.
Takagijō is a small ruin. It consists principally of two integral baileys. The ramparts around the shukuruwa (main bailey) are still impressive. At the rear of the shukuruwa, toward the mountainside, dorui (earthen ramparts) in this region were piled particularly high, and that is very evident at Takagijō. Usually this would be the end of the castle, aside from trenches, as the shukuruwa would be situated at the highest point, but it seems, perhaps due to the shape of the mountain, that a second bailey was created beyond the shukuruwa here, although it is situated beneath the shukuruwa and likely would’ve been the first place invaders would’ve attacked if they did not directly assault the front. Between the two baileys was a horikiri (trench), but it is largely filled up now and hard to identify.
I was particularly happy with the dorui here. Because utility pylons have been erected here the space is nice and clear. Indeed in the shukuruwa now stands a pylon. I came up to the castle from the north but to the south is the main trail which I took down. This trail takes one past several small stone-pilings, but these would’ve been made by farmers as the mountainside was subsequently cultivated, although it has largely returned to nature today. When I entered at the base of the ruins I heard a sharp call and saw a pair of deer flit off up the mountainside in front of me.
|English Name||Suwa Takagi Castle|
|Year Founded||15th Century|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period||Pre Edo Period|
|Artifacts||Dorui, Kuruwa, Koshikuruwa, Hori|
|Access||Shimo-Suwa Station on the Chuo Line; 20 minute walk|
|Visitor Information||24/7 free; mountain|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Shimo-Suwa, Nagano Prefecture|
|Coordinates||36° 4' 9.70" N, 138° 6' 6.08" E|
|Added to Jcastle||2020|
|Admin Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|