147.Takatenjin Castle Part2

The Legendary Strength of The Castle


Going to Castle Ruins through steep slope

Today, you can visit the ruins of Takatenjin Castle easily if you have a car. You can park in front of either the Main Route in the south or the Back Route in the north. If you want to get a taste of how tough the castle was, I recommend walking on the Back Route. The route is flat all the way to the foot of the mountain, but it gets very steep on the slope. It goes up and zigzags through rough cliffs for a while. However, when you reach the top, you will see that it is actually flat. After seeing this, you will understand that the natural terrain was more than suitable for the mountain castle.

The map around the castle

The northern entrance of Takatenjin Castle Ruins
The Back Route
The steep slope through cliffs
the flat area on the top

Western ridge part

The spot you reached is called the Well Enclosure, which is the connecting point of the eastern and western ridges. The eastern ridge is the older part of the castle, which includes the Kane, Matoba, Main, Gozen, and Third Enclosures. These enclosures were built along natural terrain, which was partly surrounded by earthen walls and paths.

The Well Enclosure
The partly remaining earthen walls
The original path around the Main Enclosure

The Main Enclosure is at the center and it is the highest point of the castle. You can look down vertically at the steep cliffs anywhere and see a view of Fort Hinodake, one of the Six Takatenjin Forts, from the enclosure. The Third Enclosure is located at the easternmost part of the castle, having a fine view. On a clear and sunny day, you can see a great view of Mt. Fuji in the east.

The Main Enclosure
Looking down a steep slope
The ruins of Fort Hinodake
The Third Enclosure
A view of Mt. Fuji from the Third Enclosure

Eastern ridge part

The western ridge is the newer part of the castle which includes the Western, Babadaira, Second, Dono-o, and Seiro Enclosures. The Western Enclosure is the highest point of the ridge where Takaten Shrine currently stands now, so you can see a good view of the Pacific Ocean in the south. The Babadaira Enclosure is below the Western Enclosure and divided by a ditch. Over the Babadaira Enclosure, there is a narrow path. This path is often referred to as “Inumodori” which translates to “Dogs return” meaning “Dogs cannot go through because it’s too tough”.

Takaten Shrine on the Western Enclosure
A view of the Pacific Ocean from the Western Enclosure
The ditch between the Western and Babadaira Enclosures
The Babadaira Enclosure
The narrow path called “Dogs return”

The Second, Dono-o and Seiro Enclosures are in a line next to the Western Enclosure, which were fortified by the Takeda Clan. This was because other mountains are connected over the Seiro Enclosure, which could have been attacked from this direction. To prevent this from happening, Takeda built a long dry moat along these enclosures and deep ditches dividing them.

The long dry moat along the enclosures
The ditch between the Second and Dono-o Enclosures
The Seiro Enclosure

To be continued in “Takatenjin Castle Part3”
Back to “Takatenjin 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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