Yumurayama Castle

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Yumurayama15.jpg

History

Takeda Nobutora built Yumurayama Castle after Yogaisan Castle as another fortress in the network around their base at the Tsutsujigasaki Palace. The main purpose of this castle was as a lookout and smoke signal tower. Signals from here could easily be seen from the Tsutsujigasaki Palace. The castle was likely abandoned after the downfall of the Takeda clan, but given it's strategically important location it may have been used through the end of the Sengoku Period.


Visit Notes

Unfortunately the site is not well maintained otherwise it could be much more interesting. Watch carefully to find the original stone wall ruins at the top. There are also deceptive modern stone walls along much of the road up from the Sports Complex.

Probably the easiest way to get here on public transportation is to take the bus from Kofu Station to the Yumurayama Onsen. Use a map and follow the switchbacks of the road up the mountain until the road ends. At the end of the road you should see a dirt path that leads to the paved road up from the Midorigaoka Sports Complex. Whether you go from the hot spring or the sports complex the road is paved all the way to the castle ruins.


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Gallery
  • Stonework around the Second Bailey
  • Stonework around the Second Bailey
  • Stonework around the Second Bailey
  • Stonework around the Second Bailey
  • Stonework around the Second Bailey
  • Kofun
  • Paved road up the mountain
  • Third Bailey on the upper left.
  • First Bailey
  • Atop of the embankment of the First Bailey
  • First Bailey with an embankment in the background
  • Well in the first bailey
  • Little resthouse outside the First Bailey
  • Large trench between the Second and Third Bailey
  • Trail to the castle ruins. There is another trail behind the photographer but it goes elsewhere.
  • Signal tower description
  • The mountain seen from a distance
  • Map of the Takeda castle network


Castle Profile
English Name Yumurayama Castle
Japanese Name 湯村山城
Alternate Names Yunoshima-jo
Founder Takeda Nobutora
Year Founded 1523
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period
Features turrets, trenches, stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Kofu Sta. (Chou Main Line), bus for Yumura Onsen 12 min, walk 30 mins
Visitor Information park, open any time
Time Required 30 mins
Location Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 41' 3.88" N, 138° 33' 8.64" E
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Admin
Added to Jcastle 2017
Admin Year Visited 2017
Admin Visits October 9, 2017


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ARTShogun

5 days ago
Score 0++

Yumurayamajō is a Sengoku period yamajiro (mountaintop castle) site overlooking Yumura, an onsen neighbourhood in Kōfu. Ruins include earthworks and some bits of old masonry. I had been prepared to be disappointed in one aspect coming because I knew that there was once a reconstructed miyagura (watchtower) built here but that it had been torn down after becoming dilapidated. However, much to my delight, I found a completely new miyagura there in its place! The new miyagura was constructed at the end of last year (2022), and looks better than the first one. Of course, the reconstruction is speculative.

Yumurayamajō has a sprawling bailey complex built on a ridge which is quite wide. The top of the ridge is both surrounded and intersected by dorui (earthern ramparts). At the rear is a trench-like formation and then an area beyond that is filled with large boulders - I don't know what that was used for. A corner segment of dorui in the southwest is quite wide, and may have hosted a turret or tower of some sort; there is a small altar there now. The aforementioned miyagura is at the very back of the site in a 'saddle' of the ridge. There is some modern-looking ishigaki (stone masonry) near here but I assume that was built for the park.

In the south and southwest there is a terraced lower bailey carved into the ridge. This is where I found most of the old-looking ishigaki at the site. The western slope of the castle mount has tatebori (climbing moats), though they are hard to make out, and the southern slope is covered in large boulders. Kofun (ancient burial mounds) can also be found on the mountain. The castle site is maintained as a park and the trails up are paved and maintained. If on foot, the trail to take is on the eastern side of the hill going from the sports complex. If driving, however, it is much quicker to drive to the end of a road which snakes up from the south of the hill; it terminates in a trail, though it is not a paved one like in the east, and I found myself just scrambling over boulders. This strange but fortuitous road owes to a housing development complex which was abandoned; garages (carholes) are built at regular intervals into the hillside, but only a few have houses built above them.
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ARTShogun

10 days ago
Score 0++
I've made a slight update. A new miyagura (watch tower) was built here at the end of last year! It looks better than the old one (from what i can tell). I'll comment my other impressions of this site later perhaps.