Tobayama Castle




Tobayama Castle was located at the confluence of the Tenryu River and Futamata River, which used to flow between Tobayama Castle and Futamata Castle. The modern course of the Futamata River now flows east of the castle.

Tokugawa Ieyasu lost Futamata Castle to Takeda Shingen in 1572 after the Battle of Mikatagahara. In 1575, he built Tobayama Castle and positioned most of his troops here to retake Futamata Castle. During the siege of Futamata Castle in 1575, Ieyasu also placed troops in other forts (toride) built to isolate Futamata Castle: Ninahara Fort (north of Futamata Castle), Bishamondo Fort (east of Futamata Castle), and Wadagashima Fort (west of Futamata Castle). He finally took Futamata Castle after a seven-month siege.

After regaining the castle, Ieyasu's general Horio Yoshiharu became lord of the castle. Tobayama Castle and Futamata Castle were managed as one. Tobayama Castle was improved with the stone walls at this time and used as a fortified palace and extension of Futamata Castle. The castles were abandoned in 1600.

Visit Notes

Tobayama Castle is generally well signposted but there are some great stone walls around the Honmaru that are not obvious to the casual visitor. I had a good map, but if you walk along the embankments of the Honmaru you should be able to find a trail in the corner near the viewing platform that will take you down alongside the stone walls. You will also see the stonework marked in blue in the last photo below.

Tobayama Castle is best visited along with Futamata Castle. My recommendation is to start from Futamata Honmachi Station, walk to Futamata Castle and then walk across the embankment along the river to Tobayama Castle. After Tobayama Castle you could walk to Nishikajima Station (2km) and take a different train line (Enshu Line), which provides perfect access to get you to Hamamatsu Castle allowing you to visit all 3 in one day. If you are lucky with timing, there is a bus that stops alongside both Futamata Castle and Tobayama Castle that will also take you directly to Nishikajima Station.

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Castle Profile
English Name Tobayama Castle
Japanese Name 鳥羽山城
Founder Tokugawa Ieyasu
Year Founded 1575
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Futamata Honmachi Sta. (Tenryu Hamanako Line); 15 mins walk
Visitor Information park, open 24/7
Time Required 75 mins
Location Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Coordinates 34° 51' 29.09" N, 137° 48' 20.27" E
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Added to Jcastle 2012
Contributor Eric
Admin Year Visited 2020
Admin Visits January 12, 2020

(4 votes)
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51 months ago
Score 1++
Super fun happy slide 5/5


69 months ago
Score 0++

Combined with nearby Futamata Castle this makes for an okay short trip if you have one or two hours to spare in this area. (I made a quick visit just before sunset after having visited nearby Kiga Checkpoint.)

The location of this castle is quite dramatic. The honmaru has a viewing platform from which you can see the river and the two bridges spanning it. While Futamata's tenshudai (stone base of the main keep) is quite nice and well-preserved, I felt that Tobayama Castle might be a bit better as a castle site. One strong point of Tobayama are many explanatory signs (in Japanese) about the ruins. They do a good job at explaining the location of a few different gates. There are even some remains of a dry landscape garden with a nice artist's impression of its former glory on the sign.


87 months ago
Score 0++
Tobayamajō is a mountaintop castle ruin overlooking the Tenryū River. I tried to follow an unlikely trailhead up the mountain so as to not have to walk around it. An old lady warned me that it was not a path humans could use – her words – but I found the remains of a path which went by a plot of grave markers and ascended the slope by using shoots of bamboo like a ladder. The honmaru (central compound) is cleared park space but to walk atop of and beside all the ramparts requires walking back and forth, up and down, as, maze-like, no single path loops all the way around and instead the paths are either overgrown or dead ends, or go up and down rather than around. There is even a slide for children which goes from the dorui (earthen ramparts) of the honmaru to the ninomaru. I felt like I was playing real life snakes and ladders at this castle site, and I am not ashamed to say that I used the super fun happy slide. Ishigaki (stone ramparts) remain at Tobayamajō and form several walls and gate ruins. One gate ruin now has a bridge built across it so that you can walk to the next rampart. I had to walk though a lot of overgrown areas to fully explore Tobayamajō and at one point disturbed a large snake but luckily it slithered quickly away.