Arato Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Arato Castle
Japanese Name 荒砥城
Alternate Names
Founder Yamada clan
Year Founded 1524
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition No main keep but other buildings
Designations Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, Local Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period


Features stone walls
Visitor Information
Access Togura Sta. (Shinano Tetsudo); 1700 yen taxi
Visitor Information
Time Required
Website http://www.chikuma-bunka.jp/joyama/gaiyou.html
Location Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture
Coordinates 36° 28' 48", 138° 8' 12"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2008
Visits October 16, 2008
Added
Loading map...

Arato10.jpg


History

Arato Castle was built by the Yamada clan as retainers for the Murakami around 1524. It became the focal point of the battles between Takeda Shingen and Murakami Yoshikiyo. In 1548, Yamada Kunimasa, the lord of Arato Castle was killed in a battle at Toishi Castle. His son, Kunitsugu, also perished in the battle at Katsurao Castle in 1553. With the fall of Katsurao Castle, the Yamada clan were destroyed and Takeda Shingen chose his retainer Yashiro Masakuni as the lord of Arato Castle. From 1553-1564, Arato Castle was involved in several skirmishes during the Battles of Kawanakajima. After the destruction of the Takeda clan in 1582, Arato Castle and it lord, Yashiro Hidemasa, came under the control of Uesugi Kagekatsu. In 1584, Yashiro turned on the Uesugi and made a secret pact with Tokugawa Ieyasu. Yashiro fled to Arato Castle but was attacked and destroyed by the Uesugi forces. After this the castle was decommissioned and no longer used.

Visit Notes

This is a castle I've wanted to visit for a long time. It splendidly recreates the feeling of a Sengoku Period mountaintop castle. It was also used as the location for filming several scenes from the NHK drama Furin Kazan.



Gallery



3.17
(6 votes)
Add your comment
Jcastle.info welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.


avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

6 months ago
Score 0++
I revisited this site today. Since i was still in Nagano prefecture, i dicided to go back to this wonderful reconstruction. It's easy to get to Togura station from Nagano. It's a 410¥ ride on the Shinano tetsudo line. This time the weather was outstanding. Not too warm this morning to walk from the station. In the barracks are 2 videos. The long one of 20 min talks about the activities one could do in Chikuma city and the traditions in the region. The short video of 8 min talks about the history of the castle and it's structures.(in japanese : Aratojô monogatari)
avatar

JcastleHatamoto

46 months ago
Score 0++
There are several reasons that led to the building of monster castles like Matsumoto, but when comparing it to Arato, basically no one built castles like Matsumoto at that time. The warfare, economics and political climate all contributed to the rise of the big Edo Period castles.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

46 months ago
Score 0++

Wow - amazing website! I live at the base of Arato-jo, so was thrilled to see you included it.

I'm sure you're already aware of this, but when I show guests Arato-jo I always explain that the main difference between a mountain fortress like this and typical Japanese o-shiro like Matsumoto Castle is that the latter are usually built in the middle of a town so as to be seen from anywhere in the town (i.e. the builder had a big ego), whereas the former is designed so that you can't see what's in it from below.
avatar

Camarena.alex.96Peasant

64 months ago
Score 0++
Hey, have you seen the movie, The Hidden Fortress by Akira Kurosawa, i think this is the castle in which they made one of the last scenes, im no sure, i just wanted to say it
avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

66 months ago
Score 0++
I bought the 2011 NHK Taiga Dorama 'Go-hime'(princess Go). It arrived today and i saw the first episode. Some scenes representing Odani-castle of the Azai were filmed at Arato-jô. Nice to see that it is still used like this.
avatar

JcastleHatamoto

79 months ago
Score 0++
John, have a look at Ne Castle, Shiwa Castle, Taga Castle, and Kikuchi castle on this site for some other good examples. Also Hotta Saku in Akita is another good one but I haven't been there yet.
avatar

Anonymous user #1

79 months ago
Score 0++
were there even casltes (other than Ki castle) in japan before the 1300s? I'm doing some research on japan in the Nara, Heian and kauakura periods, particularly partaining to the samurai, and i need to know what castles looked like in those time periods. can anyone give me some info on this?
avatar

Alamo6400Peasant

83 months ago
Score 0++
arato castle beloned to the takeda clan such a castle is a shame to be lost when the takeda lost the battle of nagashino in 1575 when the takeda clan got ripped out of the pges of history
avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

90 months ago
Score 0++
The location of this little yamashiro and the buildings reconstructed are very nice, but don't expect a castle like Himeji or Matsumoto.
avatar

FurinkazanHatamoto

101 months ago
Score 0++
I went there during last april. The day was very cloudy, but i decided to walk to the castle. It is 4km from Togurastation. I have to tell that the last km is an almost 17% steep climb to the castle. I could figure out that attacking a castle like this, in full armor and with defenders shooting and hurling stones at you, would'nt be an easy task. The reconstructed parts are very interesting and surely worth the 3 stars.