Arikoyama Castle

From Jcastle.info
Castle Properties
English Name Arikoyama Castle
Japanese Name 有子山城
Alternate Names
Founder Yamana Suketoyo
Year Founded 1574
Castle Type Mountaintop
Castle Condition Ruins only
Designations Next 100 Castles, Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site
Historical Period Pre Edo Period


Features samurai homes, trenches, stone walls, castle town
Visitor Information
Access Toyooka Sta. (Line), bus to Izushi, 15 min walk from the last bus stop to the trail head
Visitor Information open anytime. The trail starts from the Inari Bailey of Izushi Castle (after the red torii gates).
Time Required 200 mins
Location Toyooka, Hyogo Prefecture
Coordinates 35° 27' 20", 134° 52' 41"
Admin Visits
Year Visited 2013
Visits September 26, 2013
Added 2013
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Arikoyama14.jpg


History

Yamana Suketoyo built this castle in 1574 after his Konosumiyama Castle was defeated by Hideyoshi. Arikoyama Castle is just Xkm south of Konosumi Castle. Another name Konosumi Castle is Konusumiyama (盗山城) which looks like "stolen child". He named Arikoyama Castle (有子山城) "mountain where the child is" as a play on words from Konusumiyama. Arikoyama Castle was again attacked by Hideyoshi in 1580 when Seketoyo's son Akihiro was lord of the castle. After it fell to Hideyoshi, Maeno Nagayasu and then Koide Yoshimasa becams lords of Arikoyama Castle. Afer the Battle of Sekigahara, Koide fortified the foot of the mountain as Izushi Castle and abandoned the mountaintop Arikoyama Castle. After hiking up the mountain to get to the castle I can see why he wouldn't want to use it if it was no longer necessary. The Edo Period saw a more stable government with no local conflicts so many provinces moved from mountaintop castles to lower castles and put their efforts into building up the surrounding castle towns.

Visit Notes

I was really amazed at the extensive stone walls that remain here. It's second only to Takeda castle in Hyogo Pref. and should be one of the top mountaintop castles in Japan. Recently they cleaned it up by cutting back brush and trees so you can see the walls very nicely and even see them from the city. Maybe I would not have been so impressed a year ago. The trail to the top is fairly steep with poor footing in some places. Wear good shoes and plan enough time to get up and back. Carry a hiking stick if you have one. The way up may be fine but coming back back down it can be hard to get a stable footing. This castle also offers stunning views and is absolutely worth the hike.

Japanese Notes

山上の見事な石垣にとても感動しました。私が行った数日前に草木を刈ったばかりなのでなおさらきれいに見えたと思います。兵庫県では竹田城の次に、全国で見ても最も石垣が立派な山城の一つです。登山道は結構急で足場が悪い所もあるのでいい靴と履いて時間を十分にとってください。トレッキングポールがあれば持って行った方がいいと思います。登りが大丈夫でも下りはちょっと不安です。山頂からの眺望もすばらしいので山に登る価値はあります。

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