56.Takeda Castle Part2

The current tourist route is very similar to the bypass route the castle originally had. Hence, the route for the defenders of the castle in the past makes it possible for current visitors of the ruins to move smoothly as well.


Well-developed Castle Ruins

Today, the ruins of Takeda Castle have been well developed to maintain them and control many visitors. If you want to drive to the ruins, you need to park at a tourist facility called “Yamajiro-no-sato” (or “the Village of the Mountain Castle”) and get to the ruins by a taxi, a bus, or walking. Even if you use a taxi, you will still need to walk the last kilometer from where you are dropped off to the ticket office, the entrance of the ruins. The path to the entrance is paved, but the terrain of the mountain is steep and rough when you walk along this path. You may wonder why and how the builders built a castle with great stone walls on such a mountain.

The map around the castle

The tourist facility
Everyone must walk from here
You can see very steep and rough slopes beside the path
Arriving at the ticket office

In the ruins, the tour routes are set one way and the range for visitors to walk around is also limited by poles and ropes. The stone walls and the foundations of the castle look well maintained. This is done by officials closing the ruins for a certain period of time to repair them every year. These activities contribute to keep the ruins in a good condition as well as securing the safety of visitors. For instance, visitors first enter the entrance of Kita-Senjo (meaning Northern 1,000 mat Enclosure in Japanese) at the edge of the northern ridge, then, walk on the ridge, pass the side of the stone wall base for the Main Tower at the Main Enclosure, walk on the southern ridge, and finally get out from the edge of it. This route is very similar to the bypass route the castle originally had. Hence, the route for the defenders of the castle in the past makes it possible for current visitors of the ruins to move smoothly as well.

The map around the castle

You can’t access the edge of an enclosure at the site

Entrances and routes are strictly protected

To get back to the entrance at the edge of the northern ridge, it has a defensive square space surrounded by high stone walls, called “Masugata”. It also had gate buildings on it, where the defenders would attack enemies outside by using guns and arrows. If the enemies reached the gate, they would be locked in the Masugata system.

The entrance of the castle ruins
The Masugata system at the edge of the northern ridge (called the Main Gate at the site)
The Masugata system seen from the inside

Inside the entrance, there is the extensive Kita-Senjo Enclosure, where as the name suggests, could accommodate lots of soldiers and supplies in the past, or tourist groups and events in the present.

The Kita-senjo Enclosure
A view around the enclosure
The Third Enclosure seen from the Kita-senjo Enclosure

If you want to go to the center of the ruins, you will pass another Masugata system to the Third Enclosure and an altered gate built with stone walls to the Second Enclosure through the zigzagging path.

The Masugata system in front of the Third Enclosure
Entering the Third Enclosure
The Third Enclosure
Going to the Second Enclosure

You will next walk on a narrow northern ridge through the Third and Second Enclosures, looking at the center of the castle with lots of stone walls and a view of the area around below. The route is guided by the official instructions to walk around safely in the narrow area.

The tourist routes are guided by the official instructions
The Second Enclosure
The lots of stone walls in the center, seen from the Second Enclosure
A view from the Takeda city area below

Main Enclosure with remaining Stone Wall Base for Main Tower

You will eventually reach the center, the Main Enclosure with the stone wall base for the Main Tower. The route goes beside the base on wooden steps and there are other wooden steps to the base. The base was built using natural or roughly processed stones in the Nozura-zumi method, which look really great. Some historians speculate that a three-level Main Tower might have been built on the base, according to the size of the base.

Arriving at the Main Enclosure
The route goes on the wooden steps beside the base
The stone wall base for Main Tower
The top of the base
A view from the base

To be continued in “Takeda Castle Part3”
Back to “Takeda 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!