|English Name||Hanakuma Castle|
|Founder||Wada Koremasa or Araki Murashige|
|Castle Condition||Ruins only|
|Historical Period|| Pre Edo Period
|Access||Hanakuma Station on the Hankyū Kōbe Express Line, 2 minute walk (turn right) Or, Motomachi Sta. (Tōkaidō Main Line), 5 minute walk (turn left) By car: parking is very convenient here.|
|Visitor Information||24/7, free|
|Time Required||30 minutes|
|Location||Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture|
|Coordinates||34° 41' 17", 135° 10' 58"|
|Year Visited||Viewer Contributed|
Hanakuma Castle was established in 1568. During the Miki Campaign (1578-1580) it served as a fortification watching over shipments of food being unloaded there by anti-Nobunaga forces. In 1580 Araki Murashige fled to and held up in the castle after losing Itami Castle following a year-long siege in 1579. Hanakuma Castle was thereupon besieged by Ikeda Terumasa and Ikeda Tsuneoki. A stalemate ensued lasting several months until July 2nd 1580 when Ikeda Terumasa’s troops approached the castle concealed in the long summer grass which surrounded it, assaulting and taking the castle’s garrison by surprise. At this time Ikeda Tsuneoki engaged head-on, fighting a fierce battle around the castle’s main gate. Tsuneoki sent a contingent to attack the rear gate and they entered the castle that way and attacked the castle defenders at the main gate from the rear, defeating them. The castle fell but Araki Murashige escaped again and lived out the rest of his days as a tea ceremony devotee. After Hanakuma Castle fell to Ikeda Tsuneoki it was abandoned.
This castle is quite unique: the stone walls encase a multi-storey car park. This means that the stonewalls are perforated with fire exit doors and ventilation outlets, as well as two wide entrances at street level for cars to enter. So it’s a bid sad, but also quite curious. The walls of the car park’s three floors lean inward, following the shape of the ishigaki on the outside. This is particularly noticeable around the fire exits. This is the only clue from within that the car park is encased by a castle.