|English Name||Hakusan Castle|
|Alternate Names||Nabeyama Toride|
|Founder||Takeda Nobuyoshi (?)|
|Year Founded||mid 12th C.|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Designations||Top 100 Mountaintop Castles, National Historic Site|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Access||Nirakasaki Sta. 50 min walk|
|Visitor Information||mountain castle, open anytime.|
|Time Required||75 mins|
|Location||Nirasaki, Yamanashi Prefecture|
|Coordinates||35° 42' 3", 138° 25' 20"|
|Visits||October 12, 2015|
It's often said that Hakusan Castle was built by Takeda Nobuyoshi as a defensive position for his home just over a kilometer away. Many castles or seats of power from this time period are actually comprised of a home or palace on lower ground and a nearby mountain castle for times of unrest. Perhaps he founded some castle on this site, but from looking at the design and remnants you see today it is very much a Sengoku Period mountain castle. Given the position and style it was likely reformed or completely rebuilt by Aoki Nobutane in the defensive line from Hakusan Castle to Shinpu Castle to Noumi Castle. After the fall of the Takeda clan when the Tokugawa and Hojo fought for positions around the Yamanashi region, the Tokugawa got Hakusan Castle. The castle was maintained by Yamadera Nobumasa for awhile and was likely part of the Tokugawa Castle network in this region but there are no records of it's history after Yamadera. It was abandoned in the early Edo Period.
Visit NotesThis was a neat castle full of many trenches, earthen embankments and baileys and bailey entrances. They are more well defined than many sites so beginning fans of castle ruins can enjoy it and learn a lot. The only concern is there are not many signs.
There is also a bus from Nirasaki Station to the Takeda Hachiman Shrine, which is on the opposite side of the mountain from where I started. The busses are few so plan carefully. Due to poor timing of the bus after visiting Shishiku Castle, I took a taxi to the Hakusan Shrine to visit the castle and walked back to the station from here. If I were to do it again, I would probably start form Takeda Hachiman Shrine come down via Hakusan Shrine and walk back. The walk between the castle and the station also offers spectacular views of Mt Fuji. I read on a Japanese blog and was told by one person that bears are frequently spotted around the castle so wear a bear bell or go with others. Rather than bears I was more concerned that the two snakes I saw could be pit vipers. You never know what could be hiding under the brush.