102.Kaminokuni-Katsuyama Date Part3

These ruins deserve a long journey to visit.


Main Gate as Pivot of Defense

You will finally reach the front of the main portion, the Main Gate Ruins. If you go out of the ruins, you can see how well the gate was protected. There is another enclosure in front it, divided by a long and deep dry moat. The moat has double ditches and you need to go across them on a small bridge and a large one. These bridges are zigzagged so that enemies would sometimes be stuck when they attacked the hall. There are thick and high earthen walls with restored wooden fences around the gate ruins, where you can imagine defenders could counterattack with arrows.

Arriving at the Main Gate Ruins
Looking at the ruins form the outside
The two bridges were built being zigzagged
The restored wooden fences on the earthen walls around the gate
Around the Main Gate of the Kaminokuni-Katsuyama-Date miniature model, exhibited by the Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility

Later History

Kaminoyama-Katsuyama Date Ruins were the place of ancestor worship for the Matsumae Domain during the Edo Period. As castle ruins, they were designated as a National Historic Site in 1977, considered one of the “Kaminokuni Hall Ruins” including Hanazawa Tate, one of the Dounan 12 Halls. After that, they have been excavated and researched since 1979. That’s why the new discoveries about the mainland and Ainu people were found.

the miniature model of Kaminokuni-Katsuyama-Date, exhibited by the Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility
The ruins of the Main Gate

My Impression

I think Kaminokuni-Katsuyama Date deserves not only a hall, but definitely a castle or a medieval city, too. That was the destination of the halls which the mainland people going to Ezo built. That also created a unique way of life where the mainland and Ainu people lived together. I recommend visiting the ruins even though it may take a long time for you to get there.

The Iouzan Tombs seen from the Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility
The ruins of the Stable

How to get There

I recommend using a car when you visit the castle ruins because there are only a few buses available.
It is about 70km drive away from Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station. From Hakodate Airport or the center of Hakodate City, it takes about 90km to get there. You can use the parking lot beside the Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility. It may be a good idea to rent a car at the station or the airport.
To get to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station from Tokyo: Take the Hokkaido Shinkansen super express at Tokyo Station.

The parking lot beside the Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility

Links and References

Katsuyama Castle Guidance Facility, Kaminoyama Town

That’s all. Thank you.
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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!