Kaminoyama Castle

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Revision as of 09:10, 6 November 2017 by Eric (talk | contribs)



Kaminoyama-jo marked the southern extent of the Mogami clan territory. It was the focal point in the power struggles between Lord Mogami and Date Masamune in that area. In 1692, the Toki clan, the current occupants, were reassigned and the castle was torn down.

Visit Notes

I stopped by this castle on a long day trip around the Southern Tohoku area. The station is actually called Kaminoyama Onsen. I wish I had time to go to an onsen there, but it was getting dark and was going to take a couple of hours to get home.

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Castle Profile
English Name Kaminoyama Castle
Japanese Name 上山城
Alternate Names Tsukioka-jo
Founder Takenaga Yoshitada
Year Founded 1535
Castle Type Hilltop
Castle Condition Reconstructed main keep
Historical Period Edo Period
Main Keep Structure 3 levels, 4 stories
Year Reconstructed 1982 (concrete)
Features main keep, turrets, stone walls, walls
Visitor Information
Access Kaminoyama Onsen Station (Oou Honsen), 15 minute walk
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.city.kaminoyama.yamagata.jp/kanko/kankou/kami-filed4.html
Location Kaminoyama, Yamagata Prefecture
Coordinates 38° 9' 28", 140° 16' 33"
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Year Visited 1997, 2017
Visits October 1997; November 2, 2017
Added to Jcastle 1999
(12 votes)
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7 months ago
Score 1++
For information - the roof of this castle is being repaired and the entire structure is covered in scaffolding. There is a full-size screen on the front with a picture of the castle - think of the way Himeji looked for years, but on a much smaller scale! Repairs are expected to be completed in “about a year” according to Tourist Information. That would make it around April 2019. The museum inside can still be visited while the repairs are taking place.


7 months ago
Score 0++
wow, I was lucky to visit just a few months ago then. Thanks for the update!


43 months ago
Score 0++

After Yamagatajô i went to this castle. The entrance is under repair, but you still can take some nice pictures of the tenshukaku. It's a nice museum inside and there are now a lot of english explanations as Kris tend to say there weren't when he visited. I confirm, there are a lot stairs ;-)

This castle is only to visit if you are in the vicinity.


76 months ago
Score 0++
Kaminoyama is a pleasant place to stay in Yamagata – it has a triple heritage as a castle town, an onsen town and an inn town and the three kind of blend into each other, so one moment the road is where the old moat was, the next it follows the old highway and then leads up to the onsen areas. We stayed the night at an onsen hotel that had a view of the castle from the open air bath on the roof. The castle is lit up at night so even at night there is still a good view. There is a hot spring foot bath right next to the keep if you don't have time for the onsen. I went during Summer holidays so the castle was the focal point of summer activities for kids – they had tents with activities for children like making a magatama or whittling pieces of wood. My favourite was the archery range they had set up on the hillside right next to the castle main entrance where aspiring young yumi ashigaru could take shots at cut-out rabbits, pheasants, deer and wild boar. I really heart the people of Kaminoyama who organised this. The castle reconstruction does oddly resemble a chibi-robot ashigaru of sorts – (see the top two windows as eyes and the gable underneath as a moustache) – but it is more remarkable inside as it only has two floors and a lot, yes, a lot of stairs in between them. Also, the explanations are largely in Japanese and German, the lord of the castle is referred to as Herr von Kaminoyama throughout. From here we went to nearby Hasedo-jo, and then to Yamagata.