40.Yamanaka Castle Part2

A beautiful historical park, now with a view of Mt. Fuji


Third Enclosure as Entrance

Now, the ruins of Yamanaka Castle have been well developed and maintained as the Yamanaka-jo Castle Park by Mishima City, though the ruins have only earthen foundation. The entrance of the ruins is alongside the old Tokaido Road, and you can park at the parking lot inside when you visit the ruins by car. The entrance was also once that of the Third Enclosure which is now the town area. So, you will walk to the center of the castle by passing through the ruins of the moats for the enclosure. Most of the moats are dried, but part of them remains as a pond called “Tajiri-no-Ike”.

The map around the castle

The entrance of the castle ruins
The dry moat of the Third Enclosure
Tajiri-no-Ike Pond

Second Enclosure as Pivot of Defense

From the pond, you have to walk up the stairs and winding slope to reach the Second Enclosure. The Second Enclosure was large and the connecting point with the center of the castle and the other parts. You can see good views of the area around, including Mt. Fuji from the enclosure. It is surrounded by high, thick earthen walls. It was the important point to protect the castle. Two more enclosures, including the North Enclosure, have been built to protect the Main Enclosure.

The slope to the Second Enclosure
The entrance of the Second Enclosure
A view from the Second Enclosure

Main Enclosure as Center of Castle

You have to walk up more and across the bridge to the center of the castle, the Main Enclosure. The bridge, which is made of half wood and half earth, looks very interesting. The part of woods could be destroyed when a battle happened. The Main Enclosure is the highest place in the castle and has two tiers. It is thought that a high turret called “Tenshu Turret” stood on the upper tier. The enclosure is surrounded by deep valleys.

The slope to the Main Enclosure
The bridge made of half wood and half earth
The ruins of Tenshu Turret at the Main Enclosure
The dry mort surrounding the Main Enclosure
The North Enclosure

Group of Western Enclosures

On the west of the Second Enclosure, there are the West Enclosure and the West Turret over another small enclosure called the former West Turret. Though they were all connected by wooden bridges in the past, we can now go to these enclosures through wooden or earthen bridges. The West Turret is also a kind of enclosures, but once had buildings for defense as the frontline of the castle. Actually, the severe battle between Hojo and Toyotomi occurred there. Many of the latticed dry moats called Une-bori and Shoji-bori remain around the West Turret and the West Enclosure. They were originally deeper and the soil was exposed. The original surfaces have been buried and planted to protect them, as a result, the moats look very beautiful like a waffle with a great view of Mt. Fuji.

The group of western enclosures
Going to the Former West Turret
The inside of the West Enclosure
A view from the West Enclosure
The West Turret
The latticed dry moat called Shoji-bori between the West Enclosure and the West Turret
the latticed dry moat called Une-bori around the West Turret

Taizaki-demaru defense strongpoint, others

Going back to the entrance of the ruins, you can also visit Taizaki-Damaru defense strongpoint to the south. This is a long and gently sloped enclosure which is also surrounded by earthen walls and Une-bori dry moats. The severe battle also occurred there, but it has a good atmosphere to walk around now. It may be a good idea to have lunch with a beautiful view of Mt. Fuji. You can also walk on the stone pavement of the old Tokaido Road below Taizaki-Dmaru. If you have time, I recommend that you visit the Sokan-ji Temple in the former Third Enclosure town area. There is the tomb of Naosue Hitotsuyanagi, a Hideyoshi’s commander, together with other tombs of Hojo’s soldiers.

Taizaki-Damaru defense strongpoint
A view from Taizaki-Damaru defense strongpoint
the latticed dry moat called Une-bori at Taizaki-Damaru defense strongpoint
A view of Mt. Fuji
The stone pavement of the old Tokaido Road
The old Tokaido Road through the Third Enclosure
The tomb of Naosue Hitotsuyanagi

To be continued in “Yamanaka Castle Part3”
Back to “Yamanaka Castle Part1”

投稿者: Yuzo

城巡りが好きなYuzoです。日本には数万の城があったといわれています。その内の200名城を手始めにどんどん紹介していきます。 I'm Yuzo, I love visiting castles and ruins. It is said that there were tens of thousands castles in Japan. I will introduce you top 200 castles and ruins of them, and more!

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