198.Chiran Castle Part2

You can experience a castle on the Shirasu Plateau.


Walking down to Maintain Castle

Today, the ruins of Chiran Castle are accessible either from the Chiran Samurai Residences side at the foot the plateau or from the former Chiran Airport (where Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots is located) side on the plateau. If you choose the latter route, you may get an interesting experience.

The map around the castle, the blue broken line is the route from Chiran Samurai Residences to the castle, and the red broken line is the route from the former Chiran Airport to the castle

When you want to go to a mountain (or hill) castle, you will usually go up or at least go on flat ground close to the castle. However, in the case of the route from the plateau to Chiran Castle, you will go down towards the castle and eventually reach the bottom of the deep dry moats. This is because of the special location and the construction method of this castle on the edge of the plateau. You will also look up at the tall enclosures looking like mountains from the ruins’ entrance which is actually the moat’s bottom.

Chiran Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots
The route goes down from around there
The route is going down
Arriving at the past bottom of the moat, the plateau in on the right
The enclosures on the plateau look very tall

Walking on Bottom of Deep Dry Moat

The dry moat is still about 20m deep which was filled in naturally by the collapsing volcanic ash since the period of the castle being active. Visitors first need to walk on the bottom of the moat which was also used as a path in the past. If you walk on the bottom from the entrance, two of the four primary enclosures, the Main and Kuranjo Enclosures are on the right, and the other two enclosures, Imanjo and Yunbajo Enclosures are on the left, as the signposts at the site show.

The map around the castle including the four primary enclosures

The bottom of the dry moat (licensed by PIXTA)
the signpost for Imanjo and Yunbajo Enclosures at the site (licensed by PIXTA)

Protected Route to Enclosure

For example, if you want to go to the Imanjo Enclosure, you need to turn left and go up the path to it. However, the path doesn’t go directly to its entrance. Attackers first need to reach the wall of the enclosure and go along the side to reach it. That means the defenders of the castle would attack enemies from above before they reach the entrance. The entrance also had the defensive Masugata system. The inside of the enclosure is a flat square which has no buildings now, but you can see the earthen square shape of Masugata and earthen walls around.

The layout drawing of Chiran Castle, quoted by Minami-Kyushu City, the route to Imanjo Enclosure (the red arrow) and the counterattack from the enclosure (the blue arrow)

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